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Azadirachta indica (neem leaf) as phytobiotic feed supplement to the synthetic antibiotic in broiler chicken production is the focus of this study. A total of 300 Arbor-Acre day-old broiler chicks were randomly distributed to six dietary treatments of fifty birds to a treatment. Each treatment was replicated five times with ten birds to a replicate. Six isocaloric and isonitrogenous diets were formulated. The basal diets were supplemented with neem leaf meal (NLM): diet 1, (0% NLM; +ve control), diet 2 (0% NLM; -ve control), diet 3 (0.50% NLM), diet 4 (1.00% NLM), diet 5 (1.50% NLM) and diet 6 (2.00% NLM). NLM supplementation improved (P = 0.05) body weight gain at 1-3 weeks of age by 2.29-5.41% and at 1-6 weeks of age by 2.51-4.98% compared with those on diet 1 (+ve control). NLM improved (P = 0.05) the slaughter, dressed weights, white blood cell (WBC) counts, heterophil, monocytes and platelets of broiler chickens while aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alanine phosphatase (ALP), glucose, low density lipoprotein (LDL), cholesterol and triglycerides contents decreased significantly (P = 0.05). In conclusion, Azadirachta indica leaf meal proved to be an alternative to the synthetic antibiotic as it improved weight gain, immune system and overall health benefit on broiler chickens.
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