Evaluation of biochemical and production parameters of broiler chicks fed ammonia treated aflatoxin contaminated maize grains
Aflatoxicosis is one of the major causes of mortality and low productivity in broiler chickens, which is induced by aflatoxin contaminated grains. Elimination of aflatoxins by treatment with ammonia is one of the approaches to reduce aflatoxicosis. This study was conducted to assess the production parameters with respect to biochemical and histopathological changes in chicks fed ammonia treated maize. Detoxification of aflatoxin contaminated maize grains was done in a pilot plant with aqueous ammonia (1%, v/w). One-day-old broiler chicks (Ross 308) were fed on different dietary treatments designed dividing 480 chicks into six groups. Various dietary treatments included: group A (control), basal diet containing uncontaminated maize; group B, basal diet containing ammonia treated uncontaminated maize; group C, basal diet containing aflatoxin B1 (AFB, 1 ppm); group D, basal diet having ammonia treated aflatoxin contaminated (1 ppm) maize; group E, basal diet containing AFB (2 ppm) contaminated maize; group F, basal diet containing ammonia treated AFB (2 ppm) contaminated maize. Chickens were monitored daily and then body weight and feed consumption were recorded. At the end of rearing period (6 weeks), aflatoxin treated groups resulted in significant (P < 0.05) increase in mortality rate as compared to the dietary treatments having either uncontaminated and/or ammonia treated grains. Plasma enzymatic and non-enzymatic parameters showed progressive changes in birds examined 21 or 42 days after dietary aflatoxin treatments. In contrast to non-enzymatic parameters, marker enzymes particularly lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and aspartate amino transferase (AST) showed more dependency on the concentration and duration of the exposure to aflatoxins. There was no significant change in dietary intake, body weight gain, and feed conversion ratio in chickens fed ammonia treated aflatoxin contaminated maize, whereas these parameters were suppressed in birds fed aflatoxin-containing diet. These data suggest that replacement of aflatoxin-containing maize with ammoniated grains can significantly suppress aflatoxicosis, leading to improvement in production parameters in broilers. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.