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PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECT OF INCLUSION OF GONGRONEMA LATIFOLIUM LEAF EXTRACT AS A SUPPLEMENTARY SOURCE OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS ON THE GROWTH PERFORMANCE, CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS AND HAEMATOLOGY OF BROILER FINISHERS

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECT OF INCLUSION OF GONGRONEMA LATIFOLIUM LEAF EXTRACT AS A SUPPLEMENTARY SOURCE OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS ON THE GROWTH PERFORMANCE, CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS AND HAEMATOLOGY OF BROILER FINISHERS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of study.          

Broilers production is one of the fastest growing segments of the poultry industry in Nigerian. Broiler chickens play an important role in human nutrition because of the protein it contains. It is a type of poultry raised specially for meat production. Animal production, in particular poultry production has contributed considerably to the economic development of Nigeria. It is one of the profitable agro-industries which can effectively tackle the problems of unemployment in the rural areas (Sign, 2010).

Livestock farmers are generally faced with the challenges of improving livestock performance in order to ensure more net return (Peeves, 1992). A lot of research and production strategies hence been employed, including the use of antibiotics to achieve this aim (Kehinde et al., 2010). At this time of global concern over antibiotic resistance in human and animals due to residual effects from animal products (meat/egg) there arises the need for alternative economically viable feed additives.

Vegetables and other leafy plants are known to be rich in protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and also posses anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial effects and as such they can be used in the feeding of poultry to enhance production. (Alabi et al., 2008; Antai et al., 2009; Ikpeme et al., 2012). Adebayo et al. (2004) reported that Nigeria is endowed with many indigenous species of leafy vegetables, which are cultivated on an estimated 71.2 million hectares of agricultural land.

The potential of the Nigeria flora as a valuable source of pharmacenticals and therapeutic materials has been emphasized (Abile and Adesina 1998). Some of these useful vegetables have been reported to influence nutrient utilized by broilers (Denli et al., 2003, Odoemelam et al., 2012). One of such useful vegetable is Gongronema latifolium. Gongronema latifolium commonly referred to as “Utazi” in the south east and “arokeke” in the south west geopolitical zones of Nigeria is a perennial edible shrub of the family Aselepiadaceae widely employed in Nigeria for various medicinal and nutrition purposes (Ugochukwu et al., 2003; Morebise et al., 2002).

Scientific studies have established the hypoglycemic, cardio-protective, hypolipidaemic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Gongronema latifolium leaf (Edet et al., 2007, Ugochukwu et al., 2003; Ogundipe et al., 2003; Morebise et al., 2002). Some bioactive phytochemicals found in Gongronema latifolium which may contribute to its anti-diabetic property include B-sistosterol, lupenyl esters, pregame ester, glycosides essential oils and saponins (Ekundayo 1989, Morebise et al., 2002).

The crop also has been identified to be nutritionally high in iron, zinc, vitamins, protein and amino acids (Agbo et al, 2009). Gamaniel and Akah (1996) reported that the leaf extracts of Gongronema latifolium contain five photochemical compounds including alkacoids, saponins, tannins, flavonoids and glycosides and suggested possible varied pharmacological effects similarly.

The leaf extracts have been shown to possess anti-oxidative properties and are being utilized in management of diabetes mellitus and other tropical diseases (Agbo et al, 2005; Ugochukwu et al., 2003). Gongronema latifolium contains appreciable vitamins and micro-minerals that could be harnessed for vitamin/mineral premix production in poultry nutrition. The high cost of supplementary sources of vitamins in broiler feed, motivated this research. This study was aimed at determining the effect of inclusion of Gongronema latifolium leaf extract as a supplementary source of vitamins and minerals on the growth performance, carcass characteristics and haematology of broiler finishers.

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECT OF INCLUSION OF GONGRONEMA LATIFOLIUM LEAF EXTRACT AS A SUPPLEMENTARY SOURCE OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS ON THE GROWTH PERFORMANCE, CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS AND HAEMATOLOGY OF BROILER FINISHERS

1.2       Objectives of the Study

            The objectives of this study were to:

  • Evaluate the effect of gongronema latifolium loaf extract on the growth performance of broiler finishers.
  • Assess the effect of gongronema latifolium leaf extract on the carcass characteristics of broiler finishers.
  • Investigate the effect of gongronema latifolium leaf extract on hematological indices of broiler finishers.

1.3 Justification

           Gongronema latifolium is a valuable medicinal plant that is widely consumed in some part of West Africa especially Nigeria and Ghana on account of its nutritional and medicinal properties (Negbenobor et al., 1999). Gongronema latifolium contains ackaloids, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, glycosides and peptides (Ekundayo, 1980). It is also high in iron, zinc, vitamins, protein and amino acids (Agbo et al., 2009).

     Green vegetables leaves are the cheapest and most abundant source of proteins because of their ability to synthesize amino acids from a wide range of available primary materials such as carbon dioxide and atmospheric nitrogen.

           However, available information on the use of Gongroema latifolium as feed additive in a poultry diets is still scarce. Hence there is need to study, the efficiency of the use of Gongronema latifolium on growth, haematological parameters and carcass characteristics of finisher broiler birds.

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECT OF INCLUSION OF GONGRONEMA LATIFOLIUM LEAF EXTRACT AS A SUPPLEMENTARY SOURCE OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS ON THE GROWTH PERFORMANCE, CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS AND HAEMATOLOGY OF BROILER FINISHERS

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