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28 November 2019 Response in carcass yield, organ weights, and gut morphology of broiler chickens to incremental levels of Vachellia tortilis leaf meal
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the carcass yield, organ weights, and gut morphology response to Vachellia tortilis inclusion in broilers. Unsexed 14-d-old Cobb500 chicks were randomly assigned to six diets containing 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 150 g kg-1 dry matter of V. tortilis leaf meal. The slaughter weight (SW), dressed carcass weight (DCW), breast weight, thigh weight (TW), drumstick weight (DW), and internal organs were measured. Villus height (VH), crypt depth (CD), epithelial, submucosa, and muscularis thickness were taken. The apparent villus surface area (AVSA) and villus to crypt ratio were calculated. There was a linear decrease in SW and DCW (P < 0.05) with the increase of V. tortilis leaf meal. The SW and DCW decreased by 0.77 and 5.25 g for each g kg-1 increase in V. tortilis, respectively. The TW and DW showed no relationship with levels of V. tortilis leaf meal. The relative weight of gizzard, intestine, stomach, heart, and kidney increased linearly (P < 0.05) as levels of V. tortilis increased. The relative weight of the liver was not related to V. tortilis inclusion. The VH, AVSA, VH to CD ratio, as well as submucosa, muscularis, and epithelial thicknesses linearly increased as the V. tortilis inclusion level increased. There was no relationship between V. tortilis leaf meal inclusion and CD (P > 0.05). The increased morphological measurements suggest that leaf meal inclusion alters gut physiology and could influence the digestion and absorption of nutrients in broilers.

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A. Miya, A.N. Sithole, N. Mthethwa, M. Khanyile, and M. Chimonyo "Response in carcass yield, organ weights, and gut morphology of broiler chickens to incremental levels of Vachellia tortilis leaf meal," Canadian Journal of Animal Science 100(2), 282-291, (28 November 2019). https://doi.org/10.1139/cjas-2019-0041
Received: 21 February 2019; Accepted: 9 September 2019; Published: 28 November 2019
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