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The Role of Minerals and Vitamins in Poultry Production

  • Narayan Consultancy on Veterinary Public Health and Microbiology Anand India


I already added the Abstract in paper.
Prof. Dr.Mahendra Pal
Founder of Narayan Consultancy onVeterinary Public Health and Microbiology,4
Aangan, Jagnath Ganesh Dairy Road,Anand-388001,India
Poultry is one of the fastest growing
segments of the agricultural sector in
many countries of the world includ-
ing India. Currently, India is the
second largest egg producer and third largest
producer of broilers in the world. Adequate
supply of minerals and vitamins in diet is the
key for good poultry production. The feeding
of vitamins and minerals deficient diet can
produce numerous health problems for chicks
including death in some cases. The poultry
farmer should keep a watch on the health of
The Role of
in Poultry Production
poultry farming
chicks every day.Hence,it is emphasized to
develop the practice for feeding a balanced
diet with required minerals and vitamins so
that deficiency diseases can be prevented in
Poultry is defined as live or dressed domestic
birds, which are bred and reared for edible
purpose and it includes chicken, duck, turkey
and also quail, pheasant, geese, ostrich,
guinea fowl, pigeon and dove. The domestic
chicken (Gallus domesticus) has assumed a
greater importance worldwide and accounts
for more than 90% of the world’s poultry
flocks. Ducks and turkeys constitute 5% and
2%, respectively. The remaining species share
about 3 % of the total poultry flocks of the
world. Poultry is one of the most widely
accepted meat foods, which is not subjected
to any restriction like that of beef and pork
. There is a worldwide growth of poultry
industries. Poultry rearing is classified into
intensive and extensive systems. In developed
nations of the world, 95 % of poultry are
reared under intensive conditions. However,
in developing countries, extensive system
of rearing are commonly practiced. Poultry
meat also called as white meat, is easily
digestible, has higher nutritive value, higher
protein, less fat, good source of vitamin B
complex, iron and phosphorus. Like oth-
er food animals such as cattle, buffaloes,
sheep, goat, pig, the poultry also require well
balanced diet to keep good health. The poor
feeding is commonly observed in backyard
poultry.This can result in deficiencies of
numerous vitamins and minerals, which
are essential for the maintenance of poultry
Minerals can be classified as macro-minerals
(calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium,
and magnesium), micro-minerals (copper,
zinc, iron, iodine and manganese) and trace
minerals (cobalt and selenium).The functions
and deficiency of each mineral is presented
in brief.
1. Calcium: This is essential for formation
of bones, clotting of blood, heart func-
tion and egg production.The deficiency
of this mineral can result poor growth,-
soft bones, poor egg shell quality, poor
egg production, poor hatchability and
2. Phosphorus: It is required for utilization
of carbohydrates, bone development and
egg production. The inadequate level of
phosphorus in ration causes rickets, poor
growth, soft bones, poor hatchability and
poor egg shell quality.
3. Magnesium: This macro-mineral is nec-
essary for several vital metabolic func-
Adequate supply of minerals and vitamins in diet
is the key for good poultry production. Poultry meat
is easily digestible, has higher nutritive value, higher
protein, less fat, good source of vitamin B complex,
iron and phosphorus
tions.Its deficiency in birds can lead to
loss of appetite, lethargies, spasms, slow
growth, and sudden death.
4. Sodium and Potassium: Both minerals
are constituents of blood, bile and body
fluids, and needed for growth, digestion
and acid base balance.
5. Iron and Cooper: These are needed for
blood pigment formation. Their deficien-
cy can cause anemia.
6. Cobalt: This trace mineral is a constit-
uent of vitamin B 12 and its deficiency
may result slow growth, reduced hatch-
ability and mortality.
7. Zinc: This is imperative for the activation
of several body enzymes. The deficiency
of zinc results in improper growth, poor
feathering, and shortening of leg bones.
8. Selenium: It is required for muscular
functions,and immunity development
and the deficiency can lead to muscular
dystrophy and poor immune response.
9. Manganese: This micro-mineral is essen-
tial for bone formation and also for utili-
zation of phosphorus. The deficiency is
responsible for poor hatchability, perosis,
enlargement of joints and staggering gait.
10. Iodine: It is a constituent of thyroid and
is necessary for body activity. Its defi-
ciency cause impaired body response,and
lowered activity of body.
The vitamins are of two types, one is fat
soluble (vitamin A,D,E and K) and other is
water soluble (vitamin B complex group).
The functions and deficiency symptoms of
various vitamins are elaborated as follow:
1. Vitamin A: This vitamin is very import-
ant and is needed for growth, health
of eyes and moist surfaces of the body.
The deficiency of this fat soluble vita-
min causes poor growth, weakness and
decrease egg production.
2. Vitamin D:This fat soluble vitamin is
essential for the utilization of calcium
and phosphorus in bone development
and egg shell formation. The deficiency
can lead to retarded growth, thin shelled
eggs, leg weakness, curved legs, rickets
and lowered egg production.
3. Vitamin E: It is required to maintain
brain structure and also act as an anti-
oxidant. Its deficiency is responsible for
enlarged hocks, muscular weakness and
crazy chick disease.
4. Vitamin K: This vitamin is necessary
for blood clotting mechanism and its
absence can result in prolonged blood
clotting and intramuscular bleeding.
5. Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): It is needed to
Balanced diet with essential minerals and vitamins are
imperative for good health of poultry birds.
It is recommended that well balanced feed with
essential vitamins and minerals should be given to
birds to run the poultry farm in profit
poultry farming
maintain appetite and also helps in diges-
tion and preserves the health of nerves.
The deficiency of this water soluble vita-
min is responsible for poor body growth,
loss of appetite and in certain cases lead
to death.
6. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Its import-
ant function is to promote growth and
its deficiency in feed leads to reduced
growth, poor egg production and curled
toe paralysis.
7. Vitamin B 12: This water soluble
vitamin is required for maintaining
normal growth and good feathering. The
shortage of this can cause anaemia, poor
growth and embryonic mortality.
8. Folic acid: It is essential to promote
good growth and feathering. Howev-
er,the deficiency of this may result in
reduced growth,poor feather develop-
ment, decreased egg production, perosis
and paralysis.
9. Pantothenic acid: This is necessary
to keep skin healthy and also for good
growth. Its shortage in diet is responsible
to cause lesions in mouth and feet, der-
matitis besides fatty liver and kidneys.
10. Pyridoxine: It helps to maintain good
growth. The deficiency can lead to poor
growth and convulsions.
11. Choline: It is needed to maintain good
growth and its shortage in feed can cause
reduced growth, decreased egg produc-
tion and fatty liver.
Balanced diet with essential minerals and
vitamins are imperative for good health of
poultry birds. The deficiency of these nutri-
ents in feed can lead to several health prob-
lems, which can severely affect the poultry
production, causing economic losses to the
farmers. Therefore, farmers should provide
properly formulated diet so that chicks do not
suffer from nutrient deficiency diseases.It is
recommended that well balanced feed with
essential vitamins and minerals should be giv-
en to birds to run the poultry farm in profit.
... Minerals are significant and responsible for the proper biological activities of a chicken to sustain the ideal growth and productivity. According to Mahendra (2017), the mineral needs of chicken are categorised as macro, micro and trace minerals. The ash content observed in this study revealed that phosphorus and potassium are the highest minerals in S. cerevisiae; however, their concentration is low. ...
... Phosphorus and calcium are minerals that coexist in several biological functions, but their dietary needs are interdependent (Rama Rao et al., 2006). They are critical for the development and maintenance of bones, eggshell creation, egg production, blood clotting, physiological functions and enzyme cofactors (Li et al., 2016;Mahendra, 2017). The calcium to phosphorus ratio of 0.1:1 noted for S. cerevisiae in this investigation is lower than the ratio of 2:1 needed for chickens (Kiani and Taheri, 2020). ...
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This investigation was designed to determine the effect of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) supplementation on production variables, carcass characteristics, internal organ weights, gut linear measurements, digesta pH values, haematology and serum biochemical indices of Boschveld chickens. The biochemical composition, mineral and amino acid profiles of S. cerevisiae were analysed. A total of six hundred (n = 600) day-old, unsexed, healthy Boschveld chicks were distributed randomly to six (n = 6) dietary treatments. Each group (treatment) consisted of five (n = 5) replicates of 20 chicks each in a complete randomised design. The feeding programme consisted of commercial broiler starter (1 to 49 days) and grower (50 to 91 days) mash feeds. During each feeding phase, dietary treatments had the same caloric density and the same protein level, but with different levels of S. cerevisiae – as follows: Y0 (0.0), Y1 (2.5), Y2 (5.0), Y3 (7.5), Y4 (10.0) and Y5 (12.5) g kg-1 feed. A quadratic function was deployed to estimate the ideal levels of S. cerevisiae for optimal response of different variables. A linear function was used to establish the relationship between response variables and dietary S. cerevisiae. Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) was used to establish the association among production variables. Proximate results revealed that S. cerevisiae had high crude protein (49.6 %) content, moderate carbohydrate (36.15%) and low crude fibre (2.90 %) content. The mineral analysis showed that phosphorus (1.20) and potassium (0.85) g 100g-1 were the highest minerals in S. cerevisiae. Glutamic acid and aspartic acid were the main amino acids in S. cerevisiae and accounted for 52.33 % of the total dispensable amino acids. Results also showed that S. cerevisiae is dominated by hydrophilic and acidic amino acids. Dietary probiotic S. cerevisiae did not influence (p>0.05) feed intake (FI) and metabolisable energy (ME), but boosted (p<0.05) average daily gain (ADG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), live weight (LW) and nitrogen retention (NR) of Boschveld chickens. Dietary probiotic S. cerevisiae influenced (p<0.05) some carcass characteristics, internal organ weights, linear measurements and digesta pH values of the gastrointestinal tract of Boschveld chickens. Dietary probiotic S. cerevisiae had a significant effect (p<0.05) on packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin (Hb), mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH), total protein, cholesterol and triglyceride. However, it did not influence (p>0.05) red blood cells (RBCs) count, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular Hb concentration (MCHC), platelets, white blood cells (WBCs) count, heterophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, albumen, glucose and uric acid. Strong positive relationships were observed between S. cerevisiae levels and PCV, Hb and MCV values. Production variables, carcass and internal organ parameters were optimised at different S. cerevisiae supplementation levels. The S. cerevisiae supplementation level for optimal productivity decreased as Boschveld chickens grew older. Based on the results reported here, S. cerevisiae inclusion in the diet of Boschveld chickens had no adverse effects and can be used as a natural growth promoter.
... Occupational exposure of human to cobalt have reported primarily respiratory effects, including decreased pulmonary function, asthma, pneumonia, interstitial lung disease, wheezing and dyspnea. Deficiency of cobalt in birds, results in slow growth, mortality, reduced hatchability [23]. Manganese is a trace mineral that is both nutritionally essential and potentially toxic [24]. ...
... Manganese deficiency in man has been associated weak bones (osteoporosis), anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome and low immunity. Deficiency in chickens can result in perosis, poor hatchability, enlargement of joints and staggering gait [23]. Zinc is an essential micro-nutrient that performs important biochemical functions and it is necessary for maintaining health throughout life [25]. ...
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The concentrations of heavy metals in some commercial poultry feeds available in Abuja, Nigeria was investigated. Poultry feed rations (starter, grower, finisher and layer) of seven different feed brands available in Abuja were purchased from their various distribution outlets. The nitric acid digestion method followed by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry technique were used for metal content quantification. Analytical method validation was performed using IAEA-V-8 Rye flour certified reference material and good recoveries were obtained in all the metals indicating the accuracy of the applied analytical procedure. The mean of heavy metal concentrations (μg/g dry weight) in the poultry feeds were 2.31 ± 1.23, 0.43 ± 0.20, 1.66 ± 0.82, 23.35 ± 5.26, 238.09 ± 45.80, 0.61 ± 0.26, 99.57 ± 15.63 and 68.21 ± 11.92 for Pb, Cd, Ni, Cu, Fe, Co, Mn and Zn respectively. Generally, the levels of iron, manganese, zinc and copper in the poultry feeds were higher than FAO/WHO, National Research Council (NRC) and Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) maximum recommended limits in feeds. Pearson correlation analysis on the metals in poultry feeds showed a significant (p < 0.01) positive strong correlations between Co/Ni (0.658), Mn/Cu (r = 0.566), Zn/Cu (r = 0.683) and Zn/Mn (r = 0.758) suggesting that these metals could have had the same pathway into the feeds.
... This element is a component of antioxidant enzymatic compounds, including glutathione peroxidase. In addition, selenium is essential for the production of antibodies, protein metabolism, digestion, synthesis of thyroid hormones, normal pancreatic function, strengthening the immune system, maintaining muscle function, and reducing ascites (Lagana et al. 2007;Blair 2008;da Silva et al. 2010;Pal 2017). Selenium is also effective in improving the internal and external quality of meat and eggs (Hossein Zadeh et al. 2018;Jamnongtoi et al. 2018, Shabani et al. 2019. ...
... Selenium is also effective in improving the internal and external quality of meat and eggs (Hossein Zadeh et al. 2018;Jamnongtoi et al. 2018, Shabani et al. 2019. Selenium is generally absorbed through the small intestine (da Silva et al. 2010) (Leeson and Summers 2009;Pal 2017) in poultry. It was estimated that broiler breeder hens need 0.2-0.3 ...
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Micro-elements are essential for the optimal feeding of broiler hens. Since the chelated micro-elements negatively affect the content of micro- and macro-minerals, there has been a tendency to apply them as an alternative to common mineral forms of micro-elements in poultry diets. This paper reviews the effects of chelates of micro-elements (iron, copper, zinc, manganese, and selenium) on broiler breeder hens’ internal and external egg quality and their egg products. The use of chelated micro-elements compared to the mineral forms does not have a significant effect on the performance of broiler breeder flocks, but they have significantly positive effects on the internal and external egg quality of broiler breeder flocks. The chelated micro-elements were also better than mineral resources of micro-elements in improving fertility (0.59%), hatchability (0.81%), and reducing mortality of progeny (2.25%). Chelated micro-elements have no negative impact on blood biochemistry or the immune system of broiler breeder hens and decrease cholesterol (0.84 mmol/l) and triglycerides (0.04 mmol/l) in most cases in comparison with the other mineral forms. Therefore, chelated forms of micro-elements instead of the inorganic mineral forms in diets of broiler breeder hens provide better protection for birds and the environment and also improve egg quality.
... However, the vitamin E amounts present in the main ingredients utilized in poultry diets are su cient for the poultry need (Pompeu et al., 2015) thereby nullifying any negative effect that the low vitamin E content of the extracts could have posed if used as growth promoter. The contribution of this study is obvious as the outcomes show that the plants can help to increase the vitamin E available for broiler intake and subsequently improve growth performance, carcass yield, maintain bone structure and meat quality of the birds (Pal, 2017). ...
... , show that these plants contain water soluble vitamins (C and B-complex) and fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, and D) in different proportions. The vitamin A content of the plants are above the minimum requirement of 54µg/100g in broiler diets(Ogunmodede, 1981) implying that the extracts are good sources of vitamin A. This vitamin is important in broiler production as it serves as a free radical scavenger, as well as promotes growth and healthy eyes(Pal, 2017). ...
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Aqueous and ethanol leaf-extracts of Justicia secunda , were investigated for possible application as poultry growth promoters. Vitamins, minerals and phytochemical compositions of the leaves were investigated using standard methods. Seventy-two broilers were grouped into nine with eight birds per treatment through random selection and bred for period of eight weeks. Growth and meat quality evaluations, biochemical and hematological assessment of the blood were done using standard methods. Results revealed that the plant contained water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, macro-elements, trace-elements, alkaloids and polyphenols necessary for improving poultry performances. It was observed that the extracts improved meat quality of the broilers more than control groups, as the drip and cooking losses of the broilers were lower. Also, there were improved blood proteins (total protein, albumin, globulin) and hematological indices of the broilers. Consequently, leaf-extracts of J. secunda could serve as replacements for chemical growth promoters with aqueous extracts as the better choice having produced better effects than ethanol extracts.
... The high levels of iron, zinc and copper in the chicken samples are not unexpected for they are essential elements in metabolic activities. For instance, a deficiency of iron, causes anaemia in man and animal whilst zinc is also known to function in many biochemical pathways for its deficiency could result in immunological abnormalities, growth retardation and it is relatively non -toxic (Pal, 2017). Copper levels in the chicken could be affected by access to the foodstuffs through processing, agricultural inputs as well as contamination of the soil on which the crops have grown (Onianwa et al., 2001). ...
The content of heavy metals in poultry and local (free range) chickens raised within Gwagwalada Area Council of Abuja, Nigeria was investigated. The poultry chickens were obtained from poultry farms while the local (free range) chickens were bought from the natives within the study area. Samples were prepared by wet digestion method using nitric acid and the heavy metals determined by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry (FAAS). The mean concentration (μg/g dry weight) of heavy metals in the Poultry chickens were 3.68 ± 0.86, 0.58 ± 0.36, 0.78 ± 0.02, 4.79 ± 1.27, 77.40 ± 66.44, 2.09 ± 0.54, 1.44 ± 0.82 and 68.99 ± 23.90 for Pb, Cd, Ni, Cu, Fe, Co, Mn and Zn respectively. Also the heavy metal contents in the local chickens were 2.01 ± 1.25, ND, 1.07 ± 0.30, 3.00 ± 1.24, 108.88 ± 73.41, 1.36 ± 0.46, 13.44 ± 6.14 and 75.49 ± 24.02 μg/g dry weight for Pb, Cd, Ni, Cu, Fe, Co, Mn and Zn respectively. A Pearson correlation analysis on the heavy metals in the chicken meat revealed positive strong correlations between Zn/Fe (r = 0.867), Zn/Mn (0.764), Zn/Cu (r = 0.591), Mn/Cu (r = 0.657) and Fe/Cu (r = 0.598) at p < 0.01 significant level. This is not unusual as Fe, Cu, Mn and Zn are essential elements and constitute part of expected components of the chicken. The human risk assessment conducted on the chicken samples revealed that Estimated Daily Intake (EDI) and Target Hazard Quotient (THQ) were in the safe levels, indicating that the exposure of adult population to individual heavy metals through consumption of poultry and local (free range) chickens will not pose adverse health effects. However, the Hazard Index (HI) value for the poultry chicken is suggestive of potential adverse health effect on the consumers. Also, the HI value of local (free range) chickens cannot be ignored because the accumulation of heavy metals in the human body over time can cause serious health effects.
... Vitamin E is necessary for the functions of immune, reproductive, nervous, respiratory, muscular and circulatory systems.Moreover, dietary supplementation of this vitamin is a common in poultry practice to improve both cell-mediated and humoral immunity (Konieczka et al., 2017;Pompeu et al., 2018) as well ascounteract the deteriorative effects of oxidative stress Pirgozliev et al., 2020). It has been recorded that vitamin E plays an important role for broilers production (Pal, 2017;Pitargue et al., 2019) as well as for layers and breeders production and reproduction (Asl et al., 2018;Nawab et al., 2018;Aamir et al., 2019). The carcass trait and meat quality are also positively affected by inoculation of vitamin E in broiler diet during rearing (Fellenberg and Speisky, 2006;Rey et al., 2015;Pitargue et al., 2019). ...
Full-text available
The main goals of recent poultry production sectors are to enhance the immune response of the birds, improve the performance, reduce mortalities and reduce stressors. These goals can be easily achieved through dietary supplementation with vitamins. Vitamin E is one of the fat-soluble vitamin that has been used from last decades for different poultry production types. The inoculation level of vitamin E in the diet of poultry depends on several factors. Low or high level of vitamin E can induce severe adverse economic losses in poultry industry. Vitamin E has been regarded as a potent chain-breaking antioxidant as well as immuno-stimulator for both cell-mediated and humoral immunity. Vitamin E is added to the diet of broilers, layers and breeders especially those under heat stress conditions. In broilers, vitamin E can improve the health conditions, feed efficiency and immunity. However, in layers and breeders, it enhances the egg’s quantity and quality as well as the fertility; respectively. Moreover, vitamin E proves its efficacy in modifying the carcass trait or meat quality of broilers. Therefore, this review article aimed to investigate the forms and inoculation levels vitamin E, the role of this vitamin in the biological process as well as its effect on different poultry production types and carcass quality.
... Vitamin E: It is required to maintain brain structure and also act as an antioxidant. Its deficiency is responsible for enlarged hocks, muscular weakness and crazy chick disease (Mahendra Pal, 2017). ...
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The present study evaluated the effects of adding black seed, garlic and lettuce leave in dietary of Kurdish local hen on fertility, hatchability and blood physiological characteristics. A total of 64 local layers hen and four Cocks, 35 wks old, were randomly divided into four treatment groups. Each treatment group included 16 hens and one cock. Chickens in T1 group were fed on commercial layer diet without any additive and used as control group. Chickens in T2 were fed on diet supplemented with 5% of Nigella sativa seed. Chickens in T3 and T4 were fed on diet supplemented with 5% of garlic and grinding Lettuce leave respectively. Result observed the best value was in T4 for live body weight, weight access and F.C.R. respectively for performance characterizes same for main parts of carcass performance and chemical compassion proprieties, for secondary parts of carcass proprieties best treatment was in T1.
... Vitamin E deficiency causes various types of disorders in avian species including nutritional muscular dystrophy, erythrocyte hemolysis, and exudative diathesis (affects capillary walls) ( Figure 1). Moreover, vitamin E deficiency results in lipid membrane peroxidation, affecting hepatic mitochondria and microsomes, as well as cerebellar encephalomalacia (brain disorder) in the birds [12,13]. Furthermore, vitamin E deficiency impairs feather development in the chickens [13]. ...
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Vitamin E plays a significant role in growth, tissue integrity, reproduction, nervous system and disease resistance. Fertility plays a vital role in human, animals and avian species. But, several factor such as climatic variation, diet, minerals, and vitamins can affect fertility. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and increases disease resistance against infectious agents in animals which, in response, increases fertility in animals and poultry birds. Vitamin E performs an excellent role in birds including egg production, egg fertility, hatchability, sperm motility, conception rate, and postnatal growth. Its main function is to inhibit the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the cells and tissues. In addition, Vitamin E provides biological stability to spermatozoal plasma membranes in male birds and maintains the egg quality in female birds by preventing the generation of ROS. Numerous studies have described that vitamin E deficiency reduced fertility in humans and avian species. However, very less data is available on vitamin E supplementation and its deficiency on the fertility of poultry birds. Therefore, this paper aim was to explore the effects of the supplementation of vitamin E on the fertility of poultry birds in order to understand the beneficial role of vitamin E in the maintenance of sperm and egg qualities. This review may provide important scientific information to better understand the mechanism of vitamin E and its possible effects on fertility functions in the poultry species.
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The possible application of aqueous and ethanol leaf-extracts of Alternanthera brasiliana as poultry growth promoters were investigated. Standard methods were used to study the vitamin, mineral and phytochemical contents of the leaves. Seventy-two broilers were grouped into nine of eight birds per treatment. Carcass yield, meat qualities and blood components evaluations were done using standard methods. Results revealed the presence of water-soluble vitamins (B 1 , B 2, B 3, B 6, B 12, C), fat soluble vitamins (A, E, D), minerals and phytochemicals necessary for improving broiler performance. The carcass yield and meat qualities of the test broilers were better than the negative control group. Also, the blood proteins and hematological conditions of the chickens were improved by the extracts better than the negative control group. Communality studies showed that all the blood parameters evaluated were affected by the extracts administered to the broilers. It can therefore, be inferred from the results that leaf-extracts of A. brasiliana could replace chemical growth promoters in poultry production, with the aqueous extracts as a preferred choice, having produced better effects than the ethanol counterpart.
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