An experiment was conducted with a total of one hundred and twenty one-day old Marshall broiler chicks to determine the effect of probiotics (Biovet-YC and Gro-Up) on the performance characteristics, haematology and serum biochemistry of broilers. A completely randomized design was used and the experiment lasted for eight weeks. The birds were grouped into three treatments (T1, T2 and T3 respectively). T1 served as the control, T2 contained 0.1% Biovet(R) and T3 contained 0.1% Gro-up(TM) both at starter and finisher phase respectively. Data were collected on feed intake and weight gain, while blood samples were collected for haematological indices and serum biochemical indices examination. Bird on T3 had the highest live weight (2321.10 g), while those on control had the lowest (2117.00 g); the same trend was elicited for the feed conversion ratio. The results of haematology and serum biochemistry revealed significant (P<0.05) difference in the values obtained for lymphocytes, neutrophil, and cholesterol. The highest lymphocytes value was obtained in T1 (59.00%) while the lowest value was obtained in T2 (44.75%), but for neutrophil, T2 has the highest value of (54.75%) while T1 has the lowest (40.00%). The same trend was noticed for cholesterol. It can be concluded that the inclusion of probiotics in the diets of broilers will bring about improved live weight and feed conversion ratio, but can elevate the serum cholesterol value.
Key words: Probiotics, broilers, performance, haematology, serum.
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