Efficiency of Centella asiatica (Gotu kola) leaf meal as feed additive in broiler chicken diet
Keywords:Centella asiatica, Performance, Carcass, Broilers, Additives
The use of conventional supplements as feed additives has been criticized for their potential negative impact on the food chain hence, the need for viable organic alternatives. Centella asiatica has been found to contain essential phytochemicals. This study was therefore carried out to evaluate the utilization of dried Centella asiatica leaf meal (CALM) as phytogenic feed additive in broiler chicken diet. A total of 180, one-day-old Arbor acre broiler chicks were randomly allocated to six dietary treatment groups with thirty birds, at three replicates of ten chicks per replicate. Experimental diets included control basal diet + 0% CALM (T1), basal diet + antibiotics (T2). T3, T4, T5 and T6 were basal diet + 3%, 4%, 5% and 6% CALM respectively. Experiment was designed using completely randomized design. Feeding trial was carried out for 49 days. Parameters measured included growth nperformance and carcass characteristics. All data were subjected to analysis of variance using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (version 21) while treatments means were nseparated using Duncan's multiple range test at P≥0.05 level of significance. There wer significant differences in final live weight, body weight gain and feed conversion ratio. Birds fed with 4% CALM had the highest weight gain (1,683.30g) and feed intakes (3,295.30g), while T3 had the lowest weight gain (1,446.70.30g) and feed intake (3,107.80g). The breast cut showed significant (P<0.05) variation across the treatment with treatment T2 having the largest value of 31.9% and lowest value of 26.0% was in T3, thigh showed highest value in T5 and lowest value in T4. Gizzard values obtained in this finding showed significant (P<0.05) value ranged from 1.8-2.6% the highest value was obtained in T3 and lowest value in control diet. It can be concluded that the inclusion of Centella asiatica in the diets of broiler chicken has no detrimental effect on the performance characteristics of the experimental birds but improved the average body weight, feed conversion ratio and livability of the birds at 4% level of inclusion.