The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of date pits (DP) to reduce the deleterious effects of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in broiler chicks. A total of 216 one-day-old male broiler chicks (Ross 308) were distributed randomly for nine treatments (with four replicates and six birds in each) for 35 days. The experiment included a 3×3 factorial arrangement of treatments involving three levels of DP (0, 2 and 4%) and three levels of AFB1 (0, 150 and 300 ppb) based on a completely randomized design. There was a significant reduction of feed intake with treatment of 300 ppb during fourth and fifth weeks. DP levels were effective in diminishing the adverse effect caused by aflatoxin on feed intake of broilers (P< 0.05). However, 4% date pits had better effect. Mean body weights were not affected weekly, but the main effect of aflatoxin was significantly (P< 0.05) low by feeding 300 ppb aflatoxin in fourth and fifth weeks. Treatments with DP levels did not show any significant change with control group in case of feed conversion ratio; however the main effect of aflatoxin diets containing 300 ppb showed significant reduction in feed conversion ratio only in fourth week (P<0.05). Carcass weight decreased significantly in the main levels of AFB1 while the relative weight of the liver, intestine, gizzard and thigh increased significantly (P≥0.05). Other carcass parts were not affected. It is suggested that DP might be used for reducing the adverse effects of aflatoxin in the broiler diets.
Key words: Aflatoxin, broiler, date pits, performance, carcass characteristic.
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