Author(s): Oladele O A, Emikpe B O, Bakare H
The effect of garlic on the absorptive surface of the small intestine of broilers was investigated towards elucidating its mechanism of growth promotion. One hundred day-old Arbor acre broilers were reared in 4 separate groups of twenty-five each. Broiler diet was supplemented with graded doses of garlic meal viz: 0% - group A; 0.125% - group B; 0.25% - group C; 0.5% - group D. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) was determined at 6 week-old. At 8 week-old, five broilers/group were selected randomly, euthanized and sections of the jejunum were harvested for histological examination. Villi lengths, widths and cryptal depths were determined. Mean body weight at 8 weeks old was highest in group B (1930 ± 41g) and least in group A (1850 ± 92g). FCR was highest in group D (4.34) and least in group B (3.8). Mean villi length, villi width and cryptal depth were highest (p<0.05) in group B i.e. 39.3 ± 2.3 mm, 7.64 ± 1.6 mm and 23.0 ± 1.6 mm, respectively, indicating increased absorptive surface area. It was concluded that garlic meal supplementation at 0.125% in the diet of commercial broilers improved body weight gain and FCR by increasing villi length, villi width and cryptal depth.