Evaluation of Ensiled Leucaena leucocephala Leaves as Feed Supplement in Broiler Chicks.
AbstractTo reduce the cost of protein source in poultry feeds, attempt was made to supplement the diet with ensiled leaves of Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena) - a protein rich but toxic forage crop. Four (4) treatment groups consisting of ten (10) chicks each were fed a standard commercial feed (ECWA feeds), 20% ensiled leucaena, leucaena silage inoculated with ruminal fluid, and sun-dried leucaena-supplemented feed ad libitum and growth rate monitored by weight gain and feed efficiency. At 20% supplementation level, the feed efficiency was highest in the group on ECWA standard diet (2.39) and lowest in the group on sun-dried leucaena supplement (1.14). The highest cumulative weight gain (2,260g) and highest feed intake (4,664g) was found in group on ECWA feed while the group on sun-dried leucaena supplement had the lowest cumulative weight gain (1,148g), and the lowest average feed intake (665.8 - 683.8g) was found in groups on “normal” silage and microbe- treated silage-supplemented diets. These results suggest that at 20% supplementation level, leucaena causes reduced growth rate, and that ensiling (with or without ruminal fluid) only has marginal effect on the toxicity of mimosine found in Leucaena leucocephala.
Key Words: Leucaena leucocephala, silage, feed supplement, broilers.
Trop. Vet. Vol.22: (1) 41-48 (2004)