STUDIES ON THE PHYTOCHEMICAL, MEDICINAL AND NUTRITIONAL VALUES OF CONGRONEMA LATIFOLIA (UTAZI) IN RABBIT AND POULTRY PRODUCTION

AUTHOR: UKOREBI, BASSEY ASUQUO (PhD)

DEPARTMENT: ANIMAL SCIENCE

AFFILIATION: FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Experiments were conducted to evaluate the phytochemical medicinal and nutritional values of Congronema latifolia (utazi) leaf meal (CLLM) in rabbit and poultry production. The proximate analysis of the leaf meal (CLLM) yielded 8.04%, 14.25%, 60.39%, 6.26%, 2.84% and 2.84% moisture, crude protein, NFE, ash, ether extract and crude fibre respectively on dry matter bases. The methanolic extract of CLLM exhibited a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 15.62 mg/ml against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and E. Coli while Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella spp and Salmonella spp were all inhibited at a concentration of 250mg/ml. The minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC) of the above five organisms tested were 31.25, 31.25, 250, 250 and 250 mg/ml, respectively, while the diameters of the zone of inhibition measured at 250mg/ml of the leaf meal extract in centimeters were 1.4, 1.5, 0.0, 0.0 and 0.3 for Ps. aeruginosa, E. Coli, S. aureus, Klebsiella spp, and Salmonella spp, respectively. This result suggests that the methanolic extracts of CLLM are very effective against Ps. aeruginosa and E. coli.

In the rabbit experiment, 4 experimental diets were formulated such that diet 1 (control) contained 0% CLLM, while diets 2, 3 and 4 contained 10%, 20% and 30% CLLM, respectively. Each diet was fed to a group of 9 grower rabbits for 49 days. There were no significant differences (P>0.05) among the treatment groups for average final body weight, average body weight gain and average daily feed intake. The feed conversion ratio was also not affected by the treatments (P>0.05). The dressing percentage and internal organs (percentage hearts, lungs and pancreas weights) were not significantly affected (P>0.05) by the treatments. Dietary levels of 20% and 30% CLLM significantly (P<0.05) increased the percentage weight of liver and kidneys. Haematological parameter which showed significant increase (P<0.05) was the mean cell haemoglobin (MCH), at 20% and 30% levels of CLLM, while the white blood cell concentration decreased significantly (P<0.05) at 10%, 20% and 30% levels. Other indices (Hb, RBC, ESR, PCV, MCV and MCHC) were similar (P>0.05). Dietary levels of 10%, 20% and 30% CLLM, signficantly (P<0.05) increased total serum protein, but other serum bio-chemical parameters were not affected by the treatments (P>0.05). There were no lesions of pathologic significance in the tissues (liver, kidney and pancreas) examined.

In the broiler experiment, 5 experimental diets were formulated such that diet 1 (control) contained 0% CLLM while diets 2, 3, 4 and 5 contained  2.5%, 5.0% 7.5 and 10.0% CLLM respectively. Each diet was fed to a group of 30 broilers (one week old) for 49 days. The

average final body weight, average body weight gain and feed conversion ratio indicated no significant (P>0.05) treatment effect. There was significant depression in average daily feed intake (P<0.05) at 10% dietary level.  Ten percent dietary level also significantly (P<0.05) depressed RBC concentration but other haematological indices indicated no significant (P>0.05) treatment effect. Serum glucose was significantly (P<0.05) reduced at 7.5% and 10%; AST dropped significantly (P<0.05) at 5%, 7.5% and 10%; bilirubin increased significantly (P<0.05) at 5%, 7.5%, 10% and 2.5% dietary levels of CLLM. Others serum parameters were not affected (P>0.05) by the treatments. Dietary levels of 2.5%, 5.0% and 7.5% CLLM (P<0.05) increased dressing percentage of the experimental birds. Percentage weights of necks, wings, thighs, drum sticks, breasts, hearts, liver, spleen, lungs and pancreas (expressed as percentage of live weights) were similar (P>0.05). However, dietary levels of 2.5% – 10.0% CLLM yielded significantly higher (P<0.05) percentage weights of proventriculus than the control diet. There were no lesions of pathologic significance in the liver, kidney, proventriculus and pancreas. It would therefore seem that rabbits can tolerate dietary levels of up to 30% CLLM while 7.5% inclusion level of the leaf meal can support normal broiler production.

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