Anti-nutrients, Haematology, Serum Chemistry and Digestibility of Broiler Chickens Fed Graded Levels of Cassava Foliage Meal
Anti-nutrients, haematology, serum chemistry and digestibility of broiler chickens fed graded levels of cassava foliage meal (CFM) were investigated. A total of one hundred and fifty (150) Abor Acre strains of broiler chicks were purchased from Agrited Farms Ibadan, Oyo State and raised at the poultry unit of Teaching and Research Farm of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State. The birds were stabilized for one week using commercial diets after which they were randomly assigned to 5 treatment diets containing 0, 2.5, 5, 7.5, and 10% cassava foliage meal (CFM). The variety of cassava used was UMUCASS 36. Each treatment was replicated into 3 with 10 birds per replicate in a completely randomized design experiment. The experiment lasted for 47 days. Feed and water were given ad libitum and drugs and vaccines were administered as at when due. The birds were housed in a deep litter brooding pen at day-old. Data were collected on anti-nutritional factors, haematology, serum chemistry and digestibility. On blood constituents, broiler chickens on diet D2 had the highest values for red blood cells (RBC) (3.58x106/mm3) count, packed cell volume (PCV) (36.02%) and haemoglobin (Hb) (10.70g/dl). Biochemical indices showed significant differences (P<0.05) for total protein and albumin with respective values of 2.98g/dl and 1.27g/l for broiler chickens on diet D1; 4.22g/dl and 2.66g/l in diet D2; 2.52g/dl and 1.21g/l in diet 3, 2.60g/dl and 1.24g/l in diet 4 and 2.45g/dl and 1.18g/l in diet D5. There were significant (P<0.05) differences for all the parameters considered for digestibility except crude fibre. Broiler chickens on diet D2 had the best crude protein digestibility coefficient (81.19%) which is significantly different from D1 (75.61%), D3 (76.07%) and D4 (74.89%) which were similar statistically. The ether extract digestibility followed the trend of crude protein, while ash, nitrogen free extract and dry matter did not follow a particular trend in the treatment groups. There were significant (P<0.05) differences for all the antinutrients considered. The highest content of hydro-cyanide, (HCN) was found in diet D5 (0.435mg/kg) while the least was in control (diet D1) (0.295mg/kg). This is still below the tolerable level recommended for broiler chickens. The phytate followed the trend of the HCN. Phytic acid, chelates calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc rendering them unavailable to non-ruminant animals. Broilers on diet D2 (2.5 CFM inclusion) gave the best haematological indices and nutrient utilization and therefore is the recommended level for inclusion into broiler chickens diets.
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