Sixty (60), four (4) weeks old Hubbard broiler birds were used in a 28 days feeding trial to evaluate the response of broiler birds given graded levels of Moringa oleifera leaf water (MOLW) in place of normal water. Carcass characteristics, haematological and serum biochemistical profiles of finisher broilers were also investigated. The birds were divided into four treatments groups of fifteen birds each, which were further replicated 3 times of 5 birds per replicate in a completely randomised design (CRD). Four experimental water containing 0g, 50g, 150g, and 250g per 20litres of Moringa oleifera leaf water for T1, T2, T3, and T4 respectively, were formulated and supplied to the birds at equal volumes. Each of the treatment groups were assigned to one of the Moringa oleifera leaf water. At the end of the experiment, results obtained showed that an inclusion level up to 150g/20L of Moringa oleifera leaf water is recommended for an improve feed conversion because of the statistical increase in average weight change and average daily weight gain.
1.1 BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Drinking water is double the feed consumption of birds even when they are sick they continue to drinking although feeding cessation. Substances absorption through drinking water is faster and higher than food (Lynch, R., 2004). Moreover, addition of materials to water is easier than to food however; application of growth promoters through drinking water is rare. Broiler producers resort to a lot of methods to increase broiler growth rate mainly with using synthetic antibiotics in sub-therapeutic doses as antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs). However, this will increase the cost of production to the high prices of these antibiotics and cause adverse effects both on birds and consumer’s health due to drugs toxicity, residual effects and development of microbial resistance (Nisha, A.R., 2008). Phytobiotics or phytogenics including herbs, spices and plant extracts are the safe and available substitutes to synthetic antibiotics; they are well known for their pharmacological effects and used as feed supplements or medicines in chickens (Guo, F.C., H.F.J. Sacelkoul, R.P. Kwakkel, B.A. Williams and M.W.A. Verstegen, 2003).
Moringa oleifera is one of the most studied phytogenics as a natural alternative to AGPs as it is the most widely cultivated species of the family Moringaceae and now become naturalized in many locations in the tropics. Leaves of the Moringa tree are the preferred part for use in animal diets as leaf meal. Researchers studied the effect of dietary M. oleifera leaf meal on the growth performance of layer chick (Melesse, A., W. Tiruneh and T. Negesse, 2011), productive performance of laying hens (Abou-Elezz, F.M35, the genotype of broiler has a significant effect on live weight (Ojedapo, L.O., O. Akinokun, T.A. Adedeji, T.B. Olayeni, S.A. Ameen and S.R. Amao, 2008), carcass composition (Havenstein, G.B., P.R. Ferket and M.A. Qureshi, 2003), carcass weight (Portugaliza, H.P. and T.J. Fernandez Jr., 2012) and abdominal fat (Barbato, G.F., 1992). However the response of different broiler breeds to water M. oleifera leaves extract supplementation is unknown.
1.2 RESEARCH PROBLEMS
Poultry production generally has been accepted as a means of bridging the gap of animal protein intake in Nigeria. There is need to select poultry with using certain feed formulations and water alteration, under certain environmental condition. The aim of this research work is to access the performance of broiler finisher birds given different levels of Moringa water under the same environmental conditions.
The objective of the study was to determine the:
- Proximate analysis of oleifera leaf water.
- The performance of broiler finishers given different dietary levels of oleifera leaf water.
- The carcass characteristics of broiler finishers fed different dietary levels of oleifera leaf water.
- The haematological and blood biochemical indices of broiler finishers given oleifera leaf water.
A positive result of this research will help farmers and animal nutritionist to know how to reduce high cost of poultry production making poultry meat affordable to consumers.