Rapid growth, efficient feed conversion and low mortality rate are the prerequisite for a successful poultry enterprise. The importance of calcium and phosphorus in poultry is quite obvious, as they constitute the major part of the mineral contents of the bones. Calcium and phosphorus are very closely related to each other, and the deficiency or excess of one can interfere with the proper utilization of the other. Calcium is needed for the ossification of bones, activation of several enzymes, transmission of nerve impulses, controlling transmembrane trafficking of various proteins, permeability of membranes, etc (Coles, 1986). Likewise, phosphorus is an important constituent of bones, nucleic acids and phospholipids. Now-a-days a number of calcium supplements are available in the market to enhance the performance of broilers. Therefore the present study was undertaken to evaluate efficacy of supplementation of herbal formulation in improving performance & bone mineralisation in broilers.
Material and Methods
An experimental study was conducted in 96 commercial day old broiler chicks at College of Veterinary and Animal sciences, Bidar, KVAFSU, Karnataka, India. Day old chicks were randomly divided to two groups (One control and one treatment) comprising three replicates per treatment of 16 birds each. Group A served as control and was supplemented with basal diet without any additional source of calcium and phosphorous. Group B was administered with Ayucal Liq.@10ml/100birds/day alongwith water for duration of five weeks, respectively. Both control & treatment groups were fed with similar basal broiler starter and finisher mash comprising 2950 Kcal/kg & 3050 Kcal/kg metabolizable energy and 22.15 % and 20.20 % protein content, respectively. Parameters evaluated were growth, performance, serum biochemical after 3rd and 5th week & tibial mineralisation after 5th week. Among biochemical parameters, serum Calcium (Ca), Phosphorus (P), serum total proteins, Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) and serum cholesterol were estimated as per the analysis methods by Fiske et. al. (1925); Clark and Collip (1925); Mukharjee (1989); Zlatkis et. al. (1953) and King et. al. (1951).
Results and Discussion
The results of weekly body weights, weight gain and FCR are presented in Table 1 and 2. It can be ascertained from these figures that there is considerable increase in body weights of treated broiler from 3rd to 5th week as compared to birds of control group fed basal diet. The body weight at the end of 5th week was significantly (P=0.05) higher in treated group B (1901.93±2.01g) than control group A (1824.06±1.67g). The feed intake exhibited no significant difference in treated bird when compared with untreated broilers however, FCR of treated group (1.52) supplemented with Ayucal Liq. was significantly (P= 0.05) higher than control (1.61). This increase in body weight gain & better FCR can be correlated with the role of constituent herbal ingredients in Ayucal Liq. that might have enhanced the bioavailability of calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P), important for bone and muscle building and thereby increase in body weight. The enhanced weight gain ultimately must have led to superior FCR in treated broilers.
Table 1: Effect of supplementing Ayucal Liquid on average weekly body weight of broilers
Table 2: Effect of supplementing Ayucal Liquid on weekly body weight gain and FCR in broilers.
The results of biochemical profile at 3rd and 5th week are presented in table 3. It is observed that there is considerable increase in Ca, P, total protein and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels in the serum of birds offered Ayucal Liq. as compared to control. In contrast, the serum cholesterol of treated group was significantly (P= 0.05) lower than control. The results in present study are in corroboration with those reported by Jadhav et al., 1990 The enhanced bioavailability for Ca & P in treated birds can be well correlated to the active indvidual ingredients of Ayucal Liq. namely Cissus quadrangularis, Lepidium sativum, Terminalia arjuna, Uraria picta and many more are scientifically well known to possess Ca & P mineralization properties (Ashan et al., 1989). The findings on weight, length and width of tibia (Table-4) also recorded notable improvement indicating added benefits in herbally treated broilers when compared with untreated control group. The significant improvement in tibial mineralisation may be attributed to the absorption enhancing ability of the synergistic herbs, included in the formulation. These ingredients herbs have been documented to increase the uptake & utilization of dietary calcium and phosphorus, to optimize the serum levels of calcium and phosphorus and to regulate their mobilization from the skeletal system (Deka et al., 1994; Prasad et al., 1965), thus ensuring the better availability of the nutrients. Hence, based on the present findings, it may be concluded that Ayucal liquid can be supplemented to broilers to improve its production performance & bone mineralisation.
Table 3: Effect of supplementing Ayucal Liq. on biochemical parameters in broilers at 3rd & 5th week
Table 4: Effect of supplementation of Ayucal Liq. on tibial mineralization after 5 weeks in broilers
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