Anthony Christian MGBEAHURUIKE


The present study investigated the effect of aflatoxin contamination of poultry feeds from different commercial feed sources on the performance of broiler chicks. Seventy five 3 weeks old Abor acre broiler chicks were randomly divided into five groups (A – E), replicated thrice with each replicate having 5 birds. Each replicate constituted an experimental unit and the birds were separately housed in a 1 x 1 m2 sized pen. The birds in each treatment group were fed feeds from 5 companies, A – E. Feed intake and body weights were measured in all the treatment groups.  Blood samples from the birds were analyzed for different hematological parameters. Feed samples were analyzed for aflatoxin concentration using reverse phase HPLC. The total aflatoxin content (AFB1 + AFB2 + FG1 + AFG2) of the feeds ranged from 1.4 ± 0.4 - 224.2 ± 74.7 µg/kg. The total aflatoxin level in feed samples C and E were above the European community regulatory limit for poultry feeds (ECRL, 20 μg/kg). There was no statistically significant difference between the haematological values of the birds fed feeds from the different source (P ˃ 0.005). Lymphocyte count was relatively low in all the treatment groups. However, the mixed blood populations were scantly detected in all the groups. Feed intake was positively correlated with body weight in the two treatment groups, A and E (P = 0.0001, R = 1).  The high concentration of aflatoxin in some of the feeds caused reduced feed intake and poor body weight among the treated birds.

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