Using Okra fruit to Enhance Broiler Productivity and Meat quality
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), is a vegetable crop that is important economically, cultivated majorly for its healthy fruits and seed, found in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. It’s ability to grow in soil type varieties, make it’s cultivation easy compared to most of the vegetables found in the world. An experiment carried out by Researchers at the Zagazig University shown positive impacts of dried okra fruit powder on broiler growth and carcass.
This study consisted of the diets:
*Basal feed which was used as the control, and;
*3 diets containing 3 different inclusion levels of okra fruit as follow;
– 1 g of dry powdered okra fruit per kg of feed
– 2 g of dry powdered okra fruit/kg of feed; and
– 3 g of dry powdered okra fruit/kg of feed. Chicks(broiler) were fed in mashed form, from the 1st week to 5 weeks of age.
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Good Carcass Quality.
Regardless of the diet, it was observed that carcass weight are similar, But birds fed with 2g okra fruit/kg show the best breast meat yield.
Generally, birds fed with okra supplemented diets shown 13% less abdominal fat compared to that of basal feed, measured at 5 weeks of age. These results are attributed to okra antioxidants properties that reduce cytosolic malic enzyme activity, resulting in a suppressed abdominal fat deposition.
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Colour intensity which an imperious assessment criterion and a vital factor that attracts acceptance of meat and products by consumers, that changes during oxidative degradation of lipids and reduced water holding capacity, was shown to be lowest for 3kg/kg of okra fruit following 3 months of storage.
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Immune Strengthening and Growth.
Feeds with Okra fruit supplements are shown to have strengthened the immune system of broilers due to the high significance of lysosomes and immunoglobulin values present in the feeds supplemented with okra compared to the basal feed.
A feed with 3g/kg of okra fruit inclusion rate shows a clear growth improvement in broiler chicks and might be due to the presence of bioactive components facilitating the feed utilization and efficiency.