This study,EFFECT OF AFLATOXIN CONTAMINATED DIETS ON PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS AND SERUM BIOCHEMICAL VALUES OF TURKEY POULTRY study is well-researched for academic purposes and are usually provided in complete chapters with adequate References.
In poultry production, availability of good quality feed is among the prime factors considered necessary for a successful result. The fact that feed plays a vital role in poultry production requires that good quality ingredients be sourced in order to ensure maximum production. The utilization of some feed ingredients e.g. maize and groundnut is limited by the presence of mycotoxins (Ologhobo and Apata, 1990; Udedibe, 1990; D’Mello and Walker, 1991; Nakatsu et al., 1996).
The quality and quantity of each feed ingredient in a diet determine the performance of birds, that is whether a ration is balanced or not which is a function of the active ingredients of the feed.
Despite the numerous benefits of poultry keeping, the practice is being crippled by shortage of feed supplies, rising prices of ingredients, poor quality feeds due to the presence of mycotoxins or anti-nutritional factors, inadequate and unbalanced nutrition and prevalence of diseases among other factors (Fetuga, 1977).
Unfortunately, under our prevalent environmental conditions, most of the ingredients for ration formulation, like cakes or meals from grains such as maize, millet, sorghum, soybean and groundnuts provide a favourable medium for the growth of fungi producing mycotoxins. This had placed a great restriction on the growth of the livestock industry in Nigeria, the success of which depends largely on the availability of good quality and toxin-free feeds particularly for the intensive livestock enterprises (poultry, rabbits and pigs) whose performance depends on the use of concentrated balanced rations. High levels of mycotoxins have been found in market maize samples (Ikeorah and Okoye, 2004). The recent trend in grains market in Nigeria shows that two grades of grains are usually displayed for sales (damaged and undamaged) levels of mycotoxin in most damaged samples are usually high (Ikeorah and Okoye, 2004).
Mycotoxins are a diverse group of toxic secondary metabolites produced by some fungi when they grow on agricultural products (Jewers, 2004) causing pathological or physiological changes in man and animal upon ingestion (Paul et al., 1993). Some of these fungi include Fusarium, Claviceps, Aspergillus and Penicillium. They do not belong to a single class of chemical compounds, and they differ in their toxicological effects. They are widespread contaminants of foods and feeds, meat, cheese, spices fruits and grapes and also of some beverages.
The toxic manifestations of mycotoxins in humans or animals have been known for hundred of years. However, it was the outbreak of Turkey X disease in the United Kingdom in 1960 that led to the discovery of what we now refer to as Aflatoxin.
Aflatoxins are toxic metabolites produced by some species of the fungi Aspergillus, most notably Aspergillus Flavus and Aspergillus Parasiticus. At least 14 different types of aflatoxins are produced in nature (Abbas et al; 2005).
Aflatoxin B1, (AFB1) is the most prevalent form and also the most potent of these toxins. Other forms of aflatoxins that can be identified include aflatoxin B2, M1, M2, G1, and G2
There are several effects of aflatoxins on poultry and these may include:
Turkey is considered one of the most highly susceptible species of poultry to aflatoxin (Arafa et al; 1981). And this can be confirmed by the death of over 100,000 turkey poults on a poultry farms in England after consuming contaminated peanuts in their diets.
1.1 Objective of the Study
The objective of this study is to assess the effect of dietary aflatoxin on the performance characteristics of turkey poults.
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