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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 10  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 1 - 5

Evaluation of the Dietary Inclusion of Aloe Vera as an Alternative to Antibiotic Growth Promoter in Broiler Production

F.U.C. Mmereole    

Abstract: An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary inclusion of Aloe vera as an alternative to antibiotic growth promoter on the performance and the haematological characteristics of the broiler chickens. The experiment involved one hundred and twenty day-old Abor-Acre broiler chicks which were distributed to three treatment groups. The treatment groups comprised the following: T1 = control (basal feed), T2 = basal feed + Aloe vera, T3 = basal feed + Teramycin soluble powder (antibiotic growth promoter). Fourty day-old chicks were assigned to each treatment group in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) and each treatment was replicated four times with each replicate having ten birds. The experiment lasted 56 days (8 weeks) during which the following parameters were collected:- initial body weight at day old, weekly body weights and body weight gains. At the end of the experiment, 8 birds were randomly collected from each experimental group and bled to obtain blood samples to determine the blood characteristics of the birds. All the data collected were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using SAS (2002) package. Results obtained indicated that body weights and body weight gains were significantly (p>0.05) higher in the birds fed diets containing Aloe vera supplement (T2) than the birds fed control diet (T1) but there were no significant (p<0.05) differences T2 and T3. With respect to the results of the haematological analysis, it was observed that while the blood characteristics of the birds in T1 did not significantly (p>0.05) differ from those birds in T2, there were significant (p<0.05) differences between the birds in T2 and T3. Based on these results, it was concluded that while those birds in T2 compared very well with the birds placed on antibiotics growth promoter (T3) in respect of growth parameters, the birds on T2 (Aloe vera supplement) showed remarkable superiority in blood characteristics over the birds in T3 (antibiotics supplement). This is an indication that Aloe vera can be used to replace antibiotics growth promoters while avoiding the development of drug resistance associated with antibiotic growth promoters.

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