PERFORMANCE, EGG QUALITY CHARACTERISTICS AND SERUM BIOCHEMISTRY OF LAYING BIRDS FED DIET CONTAINING NEEM LEAF MEAL

PERFORMANCE, EGG QUALITY CHARACTERISTICS AND SERUM BIOCHEMISTRY OF LAYING BIRDS FED DIET CONTAINING NEEM LEAF MEAL

ABSTRACT

A study was conducted with 300 “Bachelor” Brown laying birds to determine the performance, egg quality characteristics and serum biochemistry of laying birds fed diets containing neem leaf meal. The birds were randomly selected at nineteenth week of age into five treatment groups with three replicates per treatment with each replicate containing twenty birds. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design (CRD). Five isocaloric and isonitrogenous diets designated as T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 containing neem leaf meal at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8% levels of diets were fed to the birds. Proximate analysis of neem leaf meal on dry matter basis was carried out. The birds’ performances were measured and calculated on daily basis in terms of average feed intake, average body weight change, feed conversion ratio, egg number, hen day egg production and economics of egg production. Twenty four eggs per treatment at eight eggs per replicate were collected and analyzed for both internal and external quality. Blood samples were collected from nine birds per treatment at three birds per replicate and used to determine the serum biochemical indices, which included serum cholesterol, creatinine, albumen, glucose, high density lipoprotein, low density lipoprotein, triglyceride and urea. Data obtained from the proximate analysis of the neem leaf meal showed that the processed neem leaf meal had a crude protein of 21.76%, crude fibre of 17.81%, ether extrract of 3.68%, ash of 7.04% and nitrogen-free extract of 49.71%, respectively. Results for average feed intake revealed that birds fed diet 1 (control) consumed significantly (p < 0.05) higher feed (149.74g) which was similar (p > 0.05) to those of birds fed diet 2 (147.95g), but differed significantly (p < 0.05) from the feed intake of birds fed diets 3 (143.50g), 4 (138.41g) and 5 (133.10g), respectively, which were themselves different from each other. Effect of diet on average egg production differed significantly (p < 0.05) with higher value of 52 for birds fed diet 5, while birds fed diets 1 (49), 3 (49) and 4 (50) had similar (p > 0.05) values which differed significantly (p < 0.05) from birds fed diet 2 (47). Dietary treatment effect on cost benefit showed that birds fed diet 1 (control) had the highest (p < 0.05) cost/kg of feed, cost/dozen egg, cost of feed consumed/bird and feed cost per kg egg produced among the treatment groups. Effect of dietary treatment on albumen weight showed that birds fed diets 2 (36.72g) and 3 (36.02g) were similar (p > 0.05) to each other but were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than those fed diets 1 (35.61g), 4 (35.59g) and 5 (35.95g), which were themselves similar (p > 0.05) to each other. Data obtained for albumen width was significantly (p < 0.05) higher for birds fed diet 4 (82.86mm) which was similar (p > 0.05) to birds fed diet 2 (82.46mm), 3 (82.39mm) and 5 (82.06mm), which were themselves similar (p > 0.05) to each other, but was different from that fed diet 1 (control) with value of 81.70mm. Birds fed diets 3 (0.38) and 2 (0.37) were similar (p > 0.05) for yolk index, but differed significantly (p < 0.05) from those fed diets 1 (0.35), 4 (0.36) and 5 (0.36), which were themselves similar (p > 0.05) to each other. Yolk colour differed significantly (p < 0.05) with eggs of birds fed diet 5 having a superior value of 9.6, while eggs of birds fed diets 1, 2, 3 and 4 had respective values of 2.1, 3.9, 4.4 and 7.8, which were significantly (p < 0.05) different from each other. Yolk cholesterol values were significantly (p < 0.05) different among the dietary groups, with birds fed diet 5 (4.96) having the least value, while birds on diets 1, 2, 3 and 4 had values of 12.23, 9.23, 7.85 and 6.32 respectively, which differed significantly (p < 0.05) from themselves. Effect of dietary treatment on egg shell thickness showed that eggs of birds fed diets1 (0.47mm) and 2 (0.46mm) were superior (p < 0.05) to those of birds fed 3 (0.41mm), 4 (0.42mm) and 5 (0.43mm) which were also similar (p > 0.05) to each other. Eggs of birds fed diet 2 had a significantly (p < 0.05) higher mean shell weight of 9.31g, which was different from the mean shell weight eggs of birds fed diets 1 (7.86g) and 5 (7.96g), which were themselves similar (p > 0.05) to each other and to those of birds fed diets 3 (8.62g) and 4 (8.60g) which were similar (p > 0.05) to each other also. Results of serum cholesterol were significantly (p < 0.05) different among the dietary groups. Birds fed diet 1 had the highest value of 184.33mg/dl, which differed significantly (p < 0.05) from those of birds fed diets 5 ro(101.21mg/dl). Birds fed diets 2, 3 and 4 had serum cholesterol values of 177.17mg/dl, 148.13mg/dl and 119.27mg/dl, respectively which were also significantly (p < 0.05) different from each other. Data obtained for albumen was highest (p < 0.05) in birds fed diet 5 (1.65g/dl), which was similar (p > 0.05) to that of birds fed diet 2 (1.60g/dl), but differed (p < 0.05) from birds fed diets 1 (1.57g/dl), 3 (1.55g/dl), and 4 (1.58g/dl), which were themselves similar (p > 0.05) to each other. It is evident from the present study that neem leaf meal can be incorporated into the diet of laying birds up to 8% without any negative or declining effect on the egg production and egg quality characteristics and eventually leads to a cheaper, better egg choice with low level of cholesterol in the eggs.