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Research Journal of Agronomy
Year: 2019  |  Volume: 13  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 1 - 11

Haematological Parameters, Serum Biochemical Indices and Weight of Internal Organs in Three Chicken Strains in Response to Incremental Levels of Moringa oleifera Leaf Meal

N.A. Sebola, V. Mlambo, H.K. Mokoboki and V. Muchenje    

Abstract: Continuous supplementation of chicken diets with plant-based alternative feed resources such as Moringa oleifera has the potential to modify the bird’s anatomy and physiology. A 90 days feeding trial was conducted to determine the effect of M. oleifera leaf meal supplementation on weight of internal organs, haematological parameters and serum biochemical indicesinthree chicken strains that are normally reared extensively in South Africa. Moringa leaves were harvested by hand, air-dried and milled into M. Oleifera Leaf Meal (MOLM). The leaf meal was chemically analysed and used to dilute a commercial broiler finisher diet at 0 (MOLM0), 25 (MOLM25), 50 (MOLM50) and 100 (MOLM100) g kg–1 DM, producing four isoenergetic and isonitrogenousdietary treatments. The 216 Potchefstroom Koekoek (PK), Ovambo (OV) and Black Australorp (BA) chickens were raised on a commercial starter mash for 3 weeks. On the 4th week, experimental diets were offered until 13 weeks of age. At 13 weeks of age blood samples were taken from 6 chickens (3 males and 3 females) per treatment and used for biochemical and haematological analysis. Higher inclusion levels of MOLM resulted in longer small intestines and larger gizzards in both male and female chickens. Male BA chickens on MOLM0 diet had the least Red Blood Cell (RBC) and haematocrit counts compared to other diets. When offered MOLM50, female OV chicken strain had lower Aspartate Transaminase (AST) and alkaline phosphate (ALKP) (156.9 U L–1) compared to BA and PK chicken strains. Incremental levels of MOLM resulted in higher Total Protein (TP) in female chickens. In male chickens low levels of Alanine Transaminase (ALT) were observed when offered MOLM50 (10.0 U L–1) and MOLM100 (11.0 U L–1). It was concluded that inclusion of MOLM at levels up to 10 g kg–1 had no adverse effect on the health and nutritional status of the three chicken strains.

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