Growth and Heamatological Profile Of Broiler Chickens Fed Raw And Processed Cowpea Based Diets



A study was carried out  to look at the utilization of cowpea – based  diets on performance characteristics and  haematology of broiler chickens.  Raw cowpea ( Vigna unguigulata L.Walp), dehulled – cowpea, dehulled – cooked cowpea and dehulled – roasted cowpea  grains  were fed to broiler chickens in an eight week feeding trial. A total of  two hundred (200) day old unsexed broiler chicks of Marshall strain were allotted into five dietary treatments .Feed intake  and growth were significantly (P<0.05) reduced in birds fed raw cowpea and dehulled – cowpea respectively. The feed conversion efficiency (FCE)  and protein efficiency ratio (PER)  also followed a similar pattern. Non – significant (P>0.05) differences were however obtained in  weight gain ,FCE and  PER of birds fed the control diet and those fed dehulled – cooked cowpea in this study. Birds fed dehulled – roasted cowpea also had marginal reductions the weight gain , FCE and PER when compared to those fed dehulled – cooked cowpea based diet. The haematological studies showed lower (P<0.05) values of haemoglobin, red blood cells, packed cell volume and white blood cells of birds fed raw cowpea and dehulled cowpea respectively. The best significant indices in this study were however obtained in birds fed dehulled – cooked cowpea.

Key words: Cowpea, processing, broilers, performance, haematology

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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