ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 94 Number 4
Research Papers
Blood biochemical parameters and bacterial load in the gastrointestinal tract of broiler chickens raised under intensive and semi-intensive management systems
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The effect of intensive and semi intensive management systems on blood biochemical parameters and bacterial load in the gastrointestinal tract of broiler chickens was investigated. One hundred and sixty eight (168) unsexed day old Marshall broilers chicks were randomly allotted to two management systems having 84 birds each. These were further divided into three replicates with 28 birds per replicate. Feed and water were supplied ad libitum for eight weeks. Packed Cell Volume (PCV), Haemoglobin (Hb), Heterophils, Lymphocytes, Heterophils/Lymphocytes (H/L) ratio, Eosinophils, Basophils, Monocytes, Creatine Kinase (CK), Aspartate Transaminase (AST) and Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) were similar (P>0.05) among the birds across both management systems at Weeks 4 and 8. The haematological parameters and serum biochemical indices obtained were within the normal range of values documented for healthy chickens. The bacterial load in the crop, small intestine, large intestine and caecum were also similar (P>0.05) among the birds across both management systems at Weeks 4 and 8. In conclusion, the management systems used in this study did not elicit any adverse effect on the blood biochemical parameters and bacterial load in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of broiler chickens.
Keywords: Blood profile, broiler chickens, microbial population, production system