Effect of Dietary Inclusion of Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) on Performance of Broilers and Laying Chickens.
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Medicinal spices like ginger contain chemical substances that could be used to enhance the value of food of animal origin and these substances are responsible for some other health benefits . This study investigated the effect of ginger on the performance, carcass yield, organoleptic quality, egg quality, muscle ether extract content , yolk cholesterol and serum lipid profile of broilers and layers using one hundred and eight (108) day old broilers and seventy two (72) laying hens in a 56 and 49 day feeding trials , respectively. Three experimental diets for starting, finishing broilers and laying chickens were formulated such that the diets contained 0%, 0.5% and 1% of ai r dry and milled ginger. The diets were randomly assigned to three groups of 36 and 24 birds each replicated 3 times to give 12 broilers and 8 layers respectively , in a complete randomized design. Result showed no significant difference s in feed intake and FCR among the treatment groups (P > 0.05) in both broiler and layer studies. There were significant reductions in final live weights of starter broiler s and layers (P < 0.05). Diet related differences in final live weight of finisher broiler s were not sig nificant (P > 0.05). Dietary treatments had no effect (P > 0.05) on meat organoleptic quality, carcass and organ weights with the exception of the neck and heart. Result showed that dietary inclusion of ginger led to significant decrease in serum high dens ity lipoprotein (HDL) in layers, but increased percentage albumen content in eggs (P < 0.05). Generally egg weight slightly increased with dietary ginger inclusion, whereas egg laying rate was similar across the various dietary treatm ents. Results indicate d that in c lusion of air - d r i ed ginger at 0.5% and 1.0% levels depressed live weight gain in starter broiler s and layers , but not in finisher broiler s . Inclusion of ginger in layer diets apparently resulted to increased egg size and percentage albumen conten t, but reduced yolk size. Keywords: Ginger, broiler, layer, egg quality, cholesterol, lipid profile.