The word "poultry" comes from the French/Norman word poule, itself derived from the Latin word pullus, which means small animal. "Poultry" can be defined as domestic fowls, including chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks, raised for the production of meat or eggs and the word is also used for the flesh of these birds used as food. Poultry contributes to improved human nutrition and food security by being the leading source of high-quality protein in form of eggs and meat (Sonaiya, 2005). It acts as a key supplement to revenue from crops and other livestock enterprises, thus avoiding over-dependency on traditional commodities with inconsistent prices. It has a high potential to generate foreign exchange earnings through export of poultry products to neighbouring countries. Poultry is highly prized in many social-cultural functions such as dowry and festivities.
Antibiotics have played unparalleled roles in the prevention, control, and treatment of infectious diseases for human and animal. It is also proven that the use of antibiotics in animal feeds is an important way to enhance efficiency, to promote animal growth, and to improve the quality of the animal products. Recent studies showed that the growth-promoting effect of antibiotics was correlated with the decreased activity of bile salt hydrolyse, an intestinal bacterium produced enzyme that exerts negative impact on host fat digestion and utilization (Yasuyuki et al., 2005). Therefore, antibiotic are effective tools for ensuring the development of intensive and large-scale farming industry. However, the unreasonable use of antibiotics has given rise to a fear of development of resistance bacteria that may lead to the transfer of resistant bacteria and its resistant factors from animals to human (Stanton, 2013).
Lagenaria breviflora, which is traditionally known as “Tagiri” in south West of Nigeria belongs to the family Curcubitaceae and is one of the numerous plants with antibacterial and antiviral herbal remedy in local communities. It is widely used in folklore medicine in West Africa for treatment of measles, digestive disorder, while livestock farmer uses it for Newcastle disease and coccidiosis treatment in various animal species especially poultry. The purpose of this study is to contribute to the new information on this plant extract beneficial influence on the carcass characteristics of meat type broiler chickens. Broiler chickens are raised for their detectable meat which has a higher biological value than plant proteins. Broiler production aside from providing high quality animal protein also generates quick returns on investment and employment opportunities due to its short generation interval and general acceptability as there is no taboo against its production and consumption (Adedapo et al., 2008).
The major causes of losses in family poultry are ascribable to diseases, predation and parasites, and a combination of these. Other factors are theft and uncleanliness etc. and it has also been discovered that the rate at which pest and diseases kill animals is at increasing rate and as shown the need for farmers to know about diseases and their control and how to treat and prevent animals from getting infected as it can lead to losses in animal production. It has also been revealed by scientist that diseases and parasites can be controlled by using traditional methods and remedies and Lagenaria breviflora a common wild Christmas melon has been discovered to contain certain properties and element in it, capable of treating certain diseases and ailment both in humans and animals particularly poultry birds.
1.2 Broad Objective
To determine the dietary effect of aqueous extract of unpeeled Wild Christmas Melon (WCM) as a substitute for antibiotics on carcass characteristics, organ weight and intestinal morphometry of broiler chicken.
1.3 Specific Objectives
- To determine the effect of aqueous extract of WCM on carcass quality.
- To determine the effect of aqueous extract of WCM on organ weight of broiler chicken
- To evaluate the intestinal morphometry of broiler chicken fed aqueous extract of WCM.