COST AND PRODUCTIVITY IMPLICATIONS OF ENERGY FEED INGREDIENTS SUBSTITUTABILITY IN BROILER PRODUCTION

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ABSTRACT

Two hundred and forty 14-day old broiler birds were used in a study conducted to investigate cost and productivity implications of energy feed ingredients substitutability in broiler production,  physiological response of boiler birds to oral supplementation with aloe vera gel and neem leaf extracts. In experiment one, one hundred and twenty 14- day old broilers were used to assess the physiological response of the broiler birds to oral supplementation with alovera gel extract, while in experiment two, one hundred and twenty 14- day old broilers were used to assess the physiological response of the broiler birds to oral supplementation with neem leaf extract. The birds of both sexes were randomly allotted into five treatment groups of 24 birds each in a completely randomized design (CRD) in both experiments. Treatments 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 received ordinary water, Vitaltye, 10, 20, and 30% of each of the two extracts, respectively. Results obtained in experiment one showed that there were significant (p<0.05) differences in final body weight, feed conversion ratio, average cost/kg gain and mortality rate. Birds on T4(20%AVGE) had the lowest feed conversion ratio(3.09) and lower average cost of feed per kg gain(N308.67) than others with feed conversion ratio [ T1(3.36), T2(3.46),T3(3.21) and T5(3.18), and average cost of feed per kg gain [T1((N336.33), T2(N345.67), T5(N317.66), respectively. There were significant (p<0.05)differences among treatments in packed cell volume, red blood cells, hetrophil, lymphocyte, moncyte, eosnoohil, and basophil. There were also significant (p<0.05) differences among treatments in crude protein, ether extract and  nitrogen free ether retained; significant differences existed among treatments in total protein, albumin globulin, glucose, creatine, cholesterol and calcium. Live body weight, dressed weight (%LW), head, gizzard, empty gizzard, shank, heart, liver, kidney, abdominal fat, lungs, and large intestine were significantly affected by treatments. However, there were no significant (p<0.05) differences among treatments in average daily weight gain, average daily feed intake, daily water intake, protein efficiency ratio, white blood cell, dry matter retained, dressed weight(kg), and small intestines. Birds that received neem leaf extract (T4 and T5) showed progressive increase in final body weight (3.42kg and 3.70kg, respectively) compared to the control (3.14kg) and T2 [(vitalyte) (3.39kg)]. Birds on T5(30%NLE) had the lowest feed conversion ratio(2.85) and lower average cost of feed per kg gain(N284.67) than others which had  feed conversion ratio of

3.48 (T1), 3.21 (T2), 3.29 (T3) and 3.15 (T4), and average cost of feed per kg gain as

follows:T1(N347.67), T2(321.00), and T4(N315.33). There were significant (p<0.05) differences among treatments in packed cell volume, red blood cells, hetrophil, lymphocyte, moncyte, eosnoohil, and basophil. Significant differences (p<0.05) also existed between treatments in the apparent retentions of crude protein, ether extract and nitrogen free ether, and in total protein, albumin, globulin, glucose, cholesterol and calcium. There were also significant (p<0.05)differences among treatments in live weight, dressed weight(%LW), head, gizzard, empty gizzard, shank, heart, liver, kidney, abdominal fat, lungs, large intestine and small intestine. However, there were no significant (p<0.05) differences among treatments in average daily feed intake, total water intake, dry matter retained, and serum creatine. Results showed that the levels of aloe vera gel and neem leaf extracts used in the present study enhanced the growth performance of broiler birds, especially at 20% and 30% inclusions.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Poultry is on the fastest means to achieving appreciable improvement in the nutritional standard of the populace because of its short generation interval, quick turnover rate and relatively low capital investment (Smith, 2001; Ani and Okeke, 2011)

Nutrition is the most important consideration in any livestock enterprise. Its survival is dependent on the availability of feedstuffs, which are mainly components of human food. The unavailability of grains and the high cost of imported ingredients have made the price of commercial animal feed to increase over 300%. These problems remain the most important constraints to the expansion of commercial poultry production in Nigeria.

The high cost of conventional feedstuff has already sent a lot of livestock farmers out of business, thus leading to reduction in overall animal protein production and availability for humans dietary’s need. The provision of feed alone has been reported to account for 60-80% of total cost of livestock production in developing countries alone (Igboeli, 2000; Esonu, 2006). In view of this, there is increased interest by poultry farmers on the search for non conventional feed ingredients that could be cheaper such as leaf and seed meals of ethno medicinal plants (Okoli et al., 2001, 2002). The use of various plant extracts in broiler production has been documented (Essien et al; 2007; Nworgu et al 2007; Galib and Noor, 2010). One way is to look for alternative source of feed supplement that is not only cheap and could boost the growth of chickens but organic and readily available.

In an effort to develop new feedstuff for animal feeding, a number of researchers have investigated the proximate composition of neem seed cake (Bawa et al., 2006; Uko and Kamalu, 2001), leaf meal (Oforjindu, 2006; Esonu et al., 2005, 2006; Ogbuewu et al., 2010a, b) and its use as feedstuff in poultry (Esonu et al., 2005; Oforjindu, 2006; Uko and Kamalu, 2007) and rabbits (Sokunbi and Egbunike, 2000a; Ogbuewu, 2008). Result of proximate analysis of neem showed that of had 92.42% dry matter, 7.58% moisture, 20.68% crude protein, 16.60% crude fibre, 4.13% ether extract, 7.10% ash and 43.91% nitrogen free extract (Esonu et al., 2005; Oforjindu, 2006; Ogbuewu, 2008).