The effect of partial replacement of dietary maize with seeds of the African Pear (Dacryodes edulis G. Don, H.J. Lam) in the diets of broiler chickens on the haematological and serological indices of broilers was investigated. Two hundred and twenty-five (225) day-old Anak broilers were randomly assigned to five dietary treatments with 45 birds per treatment made up of three replicates of 15 bids each in which Dacryodes edulis Seed Meal (DESM) replaced maize at 0% (control), 15%, 30%, 45% and 60% levels at the starter (0-28 days) and finisher (29-56 days) phases of production. The birds in each treatment were provided feed and water ad libitum. Variations in the experimental diets (treatments) had no significant effect (p>0.05) on all the haematological and serological indices measured except blood cholesterol, which showed highly significant (p<0.01) differences with changes in the levels of dietary DESM. Weekly variations were, however, significant (p<0.05) for mean Packed Cell Volume (PCV), Haemoglobin (Hb) and urea and highly significant (p<0.01) for mean Red Blood Cell (RBC) count, Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin (MCH), Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) and mean blood cholesterol, glucose, creatinine, albumins, globulins and total proteins. Significant (p<0.05) Treatment x Time (Weeks) interaction effects occurred in mean PCV, WBC, Hb and in blood cholesterol. It was concluded, on basis of the similarity in the haematological and serological indices between the control diet and the other dietary treatments, that Dacryodes edulis Seed Meal could safely replace as much as 60% of the maize in conventional broiler diets without deleterious effects on broilers.
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L. Bratte, 2011. Effect of Feeding Graded Levels of Dacryodes edulis Seed Meal on the Haematological and Serological Indices of Broiler Chickens in the Tropics. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 10: 254-259.
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