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THE EFFECT OF BENTONITE CLAY COMBINATION AS FEED ADDITIVE ON GROWTH PERFORMANCE AND HEMATOLOGICAL PARAMETERS OF AFRICAN CATFISH Clarias gariepinus

Ayoola M.O*1,2, De Wet Lourens1, and Khalid Salie1. * ayoolamatt@gmail.com
1. Department of Animal sciences and Aquaculture, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
2. Department of Animal sciences and Aquaculture, Bowen University, Nigeria, P.M.B 284

The growth of the aquaculture industry with intensive production has created a more technical approach to feed manufacturing to meet nutrient requirements and efficient utilization. Feed binders are additives used to improve pellet quality and feed utilization. Bentonites are natural or acid activated aluminosilicates with ion exchange, adsorption, swelling and binding properties. Bentonites has been used as dietary additives to livestock such as swine, ruminants and poultry, they improve weight gain, increase feed conversion ratios and promote animal health.The present study aimed to investigate the natural and acid activated bentonite clay combination on growth performance and hematological indices of Clarias gariepinus. Clay combinations were included at (0, 100%, 75%, 50% and 25%) with two inclusion levels (low - 0.05 and High - 0.15) g/kg to a commercial feed. The experimental diets were fed ad libitum to unsexed juvenile Clarias gariepinus weighing (10 - 15g) over 84days trial period.

Final total length, final weight, average daily length gain, average daily weight gain, hepatosomatic index (HSI), hematocrit (HCT) value, and RBC were significantly (p<0.05) affected by treatment diets. Growth performance, FCR and SGR improves with increase in quantity of natural bentonite and low inclusion level. No traces of diet effect can be attributed to significant effect on HCT, HSI and RBC. Our result suggested that bentonite inclusion affects the feed retention/ viscosity in the gut. Enhancing proper breakdown and absorption of nutrient, but higher inclusion levels of activated bentonite clay is not suitable for improve growth. This study pioneer report of natural and acid activate bentonite combination as feed additives; up to 50% at low inclusion level of acid activated bentonite is considered optimum.




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