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Effect of Aquatic Fern, Azolla cristata in Diet on Growth, Serum Biochemistry and Laying Performance of Chicken

Effect of Aquatic Fern, Azolla cristata in Diet on Growth, Serum Biochemistry and Laying Performance of Chicken

Shoukat Ara1, Sheikh Adil2,*and Manzoor Ahmad Khan3

1Division of Environmental Sciences, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shalimar, Srinagar-190006, India
2Division of Livestock Production and Management, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shalimar, Srinagar-190006, India
3Division of Veterinary Pathology, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shalimar, Srinagar-190006, India

*      Corresponding author: aadilsheikh5@gmail.com

 

ABSTRACT

To determine the effect of dietary supplementation of aquatic fern Azolla cristata on growth, serum biochemistry and laying performance layer chicken, a study was conducted on 240 key stone golden layer chicks which were randomly assigned into five groups having three replicates of 16 each. Birds in control (T1) group were fed the basal diet, where as other groups the groundnut cake was replaced with 5 (T2), 10 (T3), 15 (T4) and 20% (T5) Azolla. The results revealed that inclusion of Azolla showed a non-significant increase (p>0.05) on the body weight gain of grower birds. Further, the SGPT and SGOT levels of birds did not differ among various treatments at 19 weeks of age. A non-significant (p>0.05) improvement was observed in the egg weight, shell thickness and weight in all the groups fed Azolla in the diet (T2, T3, T4 and T5) when compared with the control group (T1). The differences in the total number of eggs laid, % hen-day-egg production, various external and internal egg parameters under different treatments were statistically non-significant (p>0.05). In conclusion, Azolla is beneficial at lower levels in improving the performance of grower chicken but had no effect on the number of eggs laid. Further, Azolla inclusion in the diet showed an improvement in the shell quality of eggs which could prove beneficial in decreasing the incidence of egg breakage and thereby maximizing profits. The Azolla inclusion in the diet of layer chicken had no effect on SGPT and SGOT levels indicating that Azolla supplementation had no toxic effect in layer chicken even up to 20% levels.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

December

Vol. 50, Iss. 6, Pages 1999-2398

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