Growth performance and haematology of broiler chickens fed diets with graded sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaf meals
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A total of 60 Russ 2011 two weeks old broiler chicks with an average weight of 215.33+4.55g were fed with diets compounded with sweet potato leaves (SPL) for 56 days. The diets consist of T1 (0% SPL), T2 (5% SPL), T3 (10% SPL) and T4 (15% SPL). The proximate composition of the SPL was determined in the laboratory. The birds were randomly allocated to four treatments using completely randomized design (CRD). Each treatment was subdivided into three replicates of five chicks each. At the end of the experiment, all data collected were subjected to one way analysis of variance and difference in means was separated using Duncan’s New Multiple Range Test. The results showed no significant difference (p>0.05) in the average body weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and protein efficiency ratio (PER). However, birds on T2 (32.77g) had the best daily body weight gain followed by T4 (30.36g), T3 (30.06g) and T1 (29.21g) while in terms of daily feed intake, T4 (98.20g) consumed most followed by T2 (98.17g) and T3 (96.59g) whereas, T1 (92.38g) consumed the least feed. The birds on T2 (3.00) demonstrated the best FCR followed by T1 (3.16), T3 (3.21) and T4 (3.23). Also T1 (1.59) showed the best PER closely followed by T1 (1.53), T3 (1.46) and T4 (1.43). There was, however, a significant difference (p<0.05) in Hb concentration when T2 (11.62g/dl) and T3 (12.48g/dl) were compared with T1 (10.34g/dl) and T4 (10.21g/dl). In the PCV, a statistical difference (p<0.05) also was observed between T1 (24.73%) and others (T2 (28.18%), T3 (28.97%)and T4 (27.14%)) while similar trend (p<0.05) was seen in the RBC count when T4 (9.72x106/ul) was compared with T1 (10.21 x106/ul), T2 (10.81x106/ul) and T3 (11.43x106/ul) and no significant difference (p>0.05) among all the treatments with respect to WBC (T1 (21.23x103/ul), T2 (19.18x103/ul), T3 (21.26x103/ul) and T4 (22.63x103/ul)). Although the haematological parameters fell within normal physiological ranges, there was a gradual increase in these values as the inclusion levels progressed till T3 (10% inclusion) and then a decrease. It is therefore recommended that inclusion of SPL up to 5% in the diet of broilers is good for enhanced body weight gain, FCR and PER and up to 10% for enhanced haematological parameters.
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