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Lime Juice As A Source Of Organic Acids For Growth And Apparent Nutrient Digestibility Of Broiler Chickens

An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of lime juice (Citrus aurentifolia) on growth and nutrient digestibility of broilers. Three hundred dayold mix-sex broiler chicks of Anak strain were used. The lime juice was assessed for its citric and ascorbic acids content. Its antibacterial action on feed was determined. A basal diet was formulated as control and designated as treatment 1 (T1). Other treatments were formed by mixing the lime juice with the basal diet at different levels. The levels were 1.0, 1.50, 2.0 and 2.50% representing T2, T3, T4 and T5 respectively. Birds were randomly allotted to the 5 treatments and each treatment was replicated thrice. Each replicate had 20 birds. The experiment was arranged in completely randomized design (CRD). Feed and water were given ad libitum. Results showed that the juice contained 1.60 and 1.20% of citric and ascorbic acids respectively with pH value of 4.5. The bacteria population in the feed was reduced by the lime juice. At the starter phase, the lime juice improved feed intake and 2.50% significantly (P<0.05) improved final live weight and weight gain. At the finisher phase, final live weight was significantly (P<0.05) improved by 2.0 and 2.50%. Feed intake, weight gain, feed: gain ratio and protein efficiency ratio were not influenced (P>0.05). Digestibility of protein, fat and oil was improved by 1.50% and above. Therefore, lime juice could be used to sanitize poultry feed and addition of 2.0% lime juice in broiler diets is recommended to be adopted.

Author(s): Ndelekwute Ek and Enyenihi GE

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