Carcass yield and haematological indices of broiler chickens fed diets containing varying levels of dried watermelon rind (DWMR)
150 day old unsex broiler chicks were used for the experiment to determine the effect of replacement of wheat offal with dried watermelon rind on the carcass yield and haematological indices of broiler birds. The chicks were randomly distributed into five treatments with each treatment having three replicates with ten chicks per replicate. Carcass yield and haematological indices were conducted in a completely randomized design comprising five dietary treatments such that T1 was served as the control, T2 were fed 25% DWMR replacement, T3 had 50 % DWMR, T4 had 75 % DWMR and T5 were given 100 % DWMR. At the end of the eight weeks, three birds from each dietary group were sacrificed to estimate the dressing yield and relative weight of organs (liver, heart and gizzard) while blood was collected for haematology and serum biochemistry analysis. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA). Replacement of wheat offal with DWMR significantly (p<0.05) improved the thigh, back, heart and lungs characteristics whereas it did not significantly (p>0.05) influenced the live weight, slaughter weight, eviscerated weight and other primal cut parts. RBC and MCHC were significantly (p<0.05) affected. It can be concluded from this study that DWMR can be included in broiler chickens diet with no negative effect on the carcass characteristics and serum indices.
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