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Comparison of Dietary Kudzu Leaf Meal (Pueraria montana Var. lobata) and Alfalfa Meal Supplementation Effect on Broiler (Gallus gallus domesticus) Performance, Carcass Characteristics, and Organ Parameters

School of Agriculture, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, USA
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Animals 2020, 10(1), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010147
Received: 3 December 2019 / Revised: 6 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
The increase in demand for poultry products has directly influenced an increase in poultry production. This increase has placed a strain on the accessibility of high protein feed resources (e.g., soybean meal). High demands for these protein resources from large poultry production industries have left small-scale poultry producers with minimal access to these feed ingredients. In response to this demand, many small-scale poultry producers are utilizing plant leaf based ingredients (i.e., leaf meals) as a protein substitute. Leaf meals offer poultry producers a feed resource that is inexpensive and high in protein. Kudzu is a rapid growing invasive plant species that can engulf and destroy many environments. Kudzu contains a high concentration of nutrients, making it a potentially viable protein substitute in poultry production. In the present study, meat chickens (broilers) were fed a diet containing kudzu leaf meal to assess effects on broiler performance, carcass characteristics, and organ parameters during a 3 week growing period. The results indicated that broilers fed kudzu performed at a relatively high level. Utilizing kudzu leaf meal as a protein substitute could benefit poultry producers in tropical countries/regions where kudzu is highly accessible and other protein sources are not.
This research study was conducted to determine the effects of dietary supplementation of kudzu leaf meal (KLM) and alfalfa meal (AM) on broiler performance, carcass characteristics, and organ parameters. Kudzu leaf meal and AM were added at rates of 6% and 7.3%, respectively, to a complete broiler starter diet. Three treatments (control (complete broiler starter diet), KLM supplementation; and AM supplementation) with four replicates were fed to 217 male broilers over a 21 d battery cage grow out. Data were analyzed as a completely randomized design with battery cage representing the experimental unit. Birds on KLM and AM had a lower average body weight, lower cumulative feed consumption, and a higher adjusted feed conversion than control (p < 0.05). Additionally, there were observed treatment effects on whole breast weight (p = 0.0010), with control being higher than both treated diets. Minimal treatment effects were observed for organ parameters. Furthermore, there were no observed treatment differences for mortality (p > 0.05). Although broilers on KLM did not perform as well as those in the control group, these results are indicative that kudzu is safe to use in poultry production and has a high potential as a protein supplement in tropical regions with a low availability of commercial protein feedstuffs. View Full-Text
Keywords: kudzu; alfalfa meal; leaf meal; broilers; protein supplementation kudzu; alfalfa meal; leaf meal; broilers; protein supplementation
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Gulizia, J.P.; Downs, K.M. Comparison of Dietary Kudzu Leaf Meal (Pueraria montana Var. lobata) and Alfalfa Meal Supplementation Effect on Broiler (Gallus gallus domesticus) Performance, Carcass Characteristics, and Organ Parameters. Animals 2020, 10, 147.

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