This study looked at the effects of processed kola nut husks meal (PKHM) utilization as a feed ingredient on broiler chicken in a 42-day feeding trial. Kola nut pod husks were processed into a PKHM using ash treatment and rumen liquor fermentation. Three experimental diets were developed at both the starter and finisher phases, with PKHM included at 0, 4, and 8%, and dubbed diets 1, 2, and 3, respectively. In a fully randomised design, 240 Arbor Acres broiler chicks were randomly assigned to three treatments (10 birds per replicate). Except for the significantly improved (P<0.05) feed conversion ratio of broiler chickens fed diets 2 and 3 at the grower phase (22-42 days) and overall (0-42 days), the performance indices were not significantly (P>0.05) affected by PKHM dietary inclusion. Broiler chicken carcass characteristics and relative internal organ weights remained constant (P>0.05) through diets. The serum glutathione concentration in broiler chickens fed an 8 percent PKHM inclusive diet increased significantly (P<0.05) than those on the control diet and 4 percent PKHM inclusive diet. When broiler chickens fed an 8 percent PKHM inclusive diet were compared to those fed a control diet, the serum catalase concentration was significantly higher (P<0.05). The total serum protein, creatinine, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate transferase, and cholesterol levels remained constant (P>0.05) regardless of dietary treatment. Dietary PKHM inclusion of up to 8% enhanced improved feed efficiency and increased antioxidant enzyme concentration and did not affect the serum biochemical indices concentration.
Statement of Novelty
Kola nut husk is one of the agro-wastes that contributes to environmental deterioration due to its underutilization. The kola nut husk is underutilised in broiler production due to its chemical constitution, minimal nutritional value, and poor digestion. In this research, kola nut husk meal was ash treated and rumen liquor fermented before being integrated at varying levels in the experimental diets and the performance characteristics, antioxidant status, serum protein, enzymes and biochemical were evaluated. The findings of this study could aid in the development of an agro-waste-based, low-cost functional feed for broiler chicks that incorporates the underutilised kola nut husk and other abundant agrowastes as macro-ingredients.