Growth performance of 150 broiler chicks Arbor Acre breed were evaluated for four weeks of their starter phase when fed diets, in which Tithonia diversifolia leaf protein concentrate (TDLPC) replaced soybean meal at graded levels of 0% (T1), 5% (T2), 10% (T3), 15% (T4) and 20% (T5). The average daily feed intake (ADFI), average daily weight gain (ADWG), feed conversion ratio (FCR) and protein efficiency ratio (PER) were monitored in the course of the study. Some haematology indices namely, packed cell volume (PCV), red blood cell count (RBC), white blood cell count (WBC) and two serum enzyme activities â€“ aspartate amino transaminase (EC. 22.214.171.124) and alanine amino transaminase (EC. 126.96.36.199) were also measured. The values of the final live weight (FLW) was 860.50Â±2.1 g, ADWG (27.80Â±1.3 g), FCR (2.31Â± 1.2 g) and PER (1.81Â± 0.2 g) were all significantly higher (p<0.05) for the birds on the control group (T1) while birds on the other treatments showed similar but significantly (p>0.05) lower values in all the growth performance indices. The ADFI were not significantly (p>0.05) affected by the treatment. The PCV values were similar and significantly (p<0.05) highest in birds fed T3 (29.70Â±2.5%) and T4 (29.70Â±0.58%) than the others while the Hbc concentration and WBC almost followed the same pattern. Mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) of birds fed diets T4 (31.50Â±2.1%) and T5 (32.50Â±1.72%) were similar and significantly (p<0.05) higher than other groups while Mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) almost followed the same trend but with a significantly lower value of 32.40Â±2.9 pg in birds fed T2. Aspartate amino transaminase (AST) and alanine amino transaminase (ALT) showed significantly (p<0.05) higher activities in birds fed the T2 with values 19.00Â±0.02 ÂµL and 6.0Â±3.0 ÂµL, respectively. Conclusively, TDLPC could replace soybean meal in the diets of broiler chicken at an optimum dietary level of 20% without adverse effect on the birds.
Keywords: growth performance, haematology, serum enzymes, Tithonia diversifolia leaf protein concentrate (TDLPC).