Effects of Dietary Kaolin Supplementation on the Growth Performance and Serum Chemistry of Broilers
AbstractOne hundred and sixty (160) Anak 2000 day-old broiler chicks were used to investigate the effects of kaolin on the haematology and growth performance of broilers. The chicks were randomly assigned to four treatments, each treatment consisting of four pens with 10 chicks per pen. The four treatments were; basal diet only (control group), basal diet + 10g/kg kaolin, basal diet + 20g/kg kaolin and basal diet + 30g/kg kaolin. For ten weeks, data from each treatment were collected weekly on the body weight, weight gain and feed conversion ratio. Feed intake was recorded daily. At the end of the 10th week of experiment, 8 birds were picked from each treatment, euthanized using chloroform and blood samples were collected for haematological analysis. Major digestive organs were excised and weighed. Data collected were subjected to one-way ANOVA in a completely randomized design. Results from growth studies revealed that supplementing broiler diet with kaolin significantly (P < 0.05) improved the body weight, weight gain, dressed weight and haematology compared to the control. Also, chicken fed kaolin-based diets had higher resistance to coccidian and diarrhoeal infections. It appeared that dietary supplementation with up to 20g kaolin/kg of diet had beneficial effects on the growth performance, carcass characteristics, disease resistance and haematology of broilers.
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