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Inclusion of Water Hyacinth Meal in Broiler Chicken Diets: Potential on the Production Performance and Cell-mediated Immunity

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is popular for both water gardeners and aquarists because it is one of only a few floating aquatic plants. However, it is also considered invasive aquatic weed plants in tropical and subtropical regions, and many attempts have been made to eradicate or control these plants. A feeding trial was conducted to explore the potential of water hyacinth meal (WHM) on growth performance, economic viability, and cell-mediated immunity of broiler chickens in a 42-day feeding trial. Sixty-one-day-old broiler chickens were randomly allotted to 4 treatment groups: (T1) 0 WHM, (T2) 2.5 WHM, (T3) 5.0 WHM and (T4) 7.5 WHM, replicated thrice with five birds each replication arranged in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) experimental set-up. Results revealed no significant difference (P>0.05) on the bi-weekly body weight gain (BWG), average daily gain (ADG), and feed conversion ratio. Numerically, Treatment 2 showed the highest final body weight (1545.33± 36.37 g bird), while the control showed the lowest value (1076.00±109.23g bird). A significant effect (P<0.05) was observed on the voluntary feed intake (VFI), and cell-mediated immunity of broiler chicken fed diets containing WHM. Moreover, the highest gross return results in T2 leads to the highest overall return input cost per chicken, and experimental birds without WHM had the lowest income generated. In conclusion, a noxious water weed could be incorporated into the diet with no adverse effect on broiler production performance.

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