The Inclusion of Fenugreek Seeds in High and Low Protein Diets for Broilers and Their Effect on Performance Meat Quality Attributes and Blood Chemistry

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Faiza Musa, Guma
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The present study was carried out to determine the effect of fenugreek seed supplementation on broiler chicken performance, carcass quality attributes and blood chemistry (serum total lipid, cholesterol, calcium and phosphorus). Also studied were tissue and fat cholesterol, internal visceral organs percentage, carcass and carcass by products characteristics (dressing and cuts percent, meat: bone ratio and sensory evaluation of broiler carcasses). Two hundred and forty, one day old unsexed Hybro chicks were kept in 40 small cages (6 birds/cage) and adapted for 1 day on a control diet then shifted to the experimental diets. The experiment extended for 42 days divided into 2 periods; a starter period (0-4 weeks) and finisher period which extended from 5 to 6 weeks. Ten dietary treatments for 2 dietary protein levels (22% and 18% CP) each fed with graded level of fenugreek seeds (0, 1, 2, 3 and 4%), with metabolizable energy content of about 2900 kcal/kg for the starter period. Another 10 dietary treatments were formulated for the finisher period with all factors as in the starter period except for the protein levels (20% and 16% crude protein) and with 3000 kcal/kg of metabolizable energy. All diets were formulated to meet the requirements of NRC for broiler chicks. Two poultry houses were used in a randomized block design and each treatment comprised 24 birds. The birds had free access to feed and water and were allowed 24 hours of light for the whole experimental period. Fenugreek seed supplementation at both protein levels in the starter period did not have a significant effect (P>0.05) on the performance of broiler chicks (feed intake, body weight gain and feed conversion ratio). However, the results of the finisher period showed a significant effect (P<0.05) on body weight gain, but not on the other parameters. Increasing levels of fenugreek seeds at both low and high protein diets had no significant effect on live weight, weight percent, internal visceral organs (gizzard, liver, spleen and intestines). However, the fat percent of the carcass of chicks receiving progressive fenugreek seeds was significantly reduced (P < 0.05). The hot and cold carcass weights were significantly reduced in the chicks receiving graded levels of fenugreek seed. In contrast fenugreek seeds supplementation had no significant effect on dressing out percentage. The breast, thigh, drum stick and wing percentages were not significantly affected by fenugreek levels except the back percent which was significantly reduced at low protein and increased at high protein level. The breast muscle %, bone % and meat to bone ratio were not significantly affected (P>0.05). However, in the thigh the muscle % was not significantly affected but the meat: bone ratio was significantly (P<0.05) increased. With regard to the drum the muscle %, and meat: bone ratio were not significantly affected.Fenugreek seeds supplementation at both protein levels resulted in no noticeable change in colour, texture, flavour or juiciness of cooked meat. There was a significant effect (P<0.001) of fenugreek seeds on total serum, tissue and fat cholesterol, where treatment 4 (4% fenugreek seeds) gave the lowest fat and tissue cholesterols. Fenugreek seeds supplementation resulted in a significant effect (P<0.001) on serum total lipids and calcium levels, but had no significant effect (P>0.05) on serum phosphorus.
Inclusion,Fenugreek Seeds,Low Protein Diets