II. Alfalfa Leaf Meal as a Vitamin a Supplement For Ground Wheat

II. Alfalfa Leaf Meal as a Vitamin a Supplement For Ground Wheat

334 W . E . POLEY II. ALFALFA LEAF MEAL AS A V I T A M I N A S U P P L E M E N T FOR GROUND W H E A T cCOLLUM and Davis (1914) fed a larger amount w...

901KB Sizes 0 Downloads 12 Views



II. ALFALFA LEAF MEAL AS A V I T A M I N A S U P P L E M E N T FOR GROUND W H E A T cCOLLUM and Davis (1914) fed a larger amount would improve the other the wheat kernel with several sup- growth-promoting properties of the ration. plementary combinations. These experiEXPERIMENTAL ments with rats indicated conclusively that Three trials were conducted with a basal normal growth required protein, mineral, and vitamin supplements with wheat. Wheat ration of 20 percent meat and bone scraps, contained qualitatively most of the essential S dried skimmilk, 1 salt (NaCl), and 67 food elements, but it was dificient quantita- ground wheat. Levels of 1 to 7 percent of tively. These workers secured normal de- alfalfa leaf meal were given with the basal velopment only when wheat was supple- ration, replacing the same amount of ground mented with a salt mixture, protein, and wheat, so that the ingredients totaled 100 butterfat. Moreover, these investigators percent. No salt was added in the last two (1915) found that a ration containing 64 trials, because meat scraps appeared to conpercent of wheat, supplemented with casein tain sufficient salt. The chicks were exposed and suitable inorganic salts, failed to pro- daily at a distance of 30 inches from a mote growth and normal reproduction of Hanovia Sun Lamp to provide vitamin D. rats unless butterfat was also added. They In the third trial the chicks had access to concluded that the wheat kernel contained direct sunshine. RESULTS little vitamin A value. Hart et al (1917) clearly demonstrated this vitamin A deTrial 1. Three lots of SO chicks each were ficiency when chicks were fed rations com- used for the first eight weeks. At about posed largely of wheat. four weeks of age several chicks shewed Aware of these results, we proceeded to symptoms of perosis ("slipped tendons"). determine, first, the amount of alfalfa leaf as described by Titus (1932). To eliminate meal necessary to supplement the vitamin the further danger of perosis a sample of A deficiency in wheat, and second whether meat and bone scraps containing somewhat


Downloaded from http://ps.oxfordjournals.org/ at D H Hill Library - Acquis S on May 2, 2015

FIG. 1. Chicks 10 days of age; the chick (left) which shows a malformed beak received finely ground wheat, while the other chick (right) received medium ground wheat in the ration.

upper mandible, forcing either mandible out of its normal position (Fig. 1). Six of the afflicted chicks died, presumably from this cause. When the chicks were three weeks of age, the finely ground ration was replaced by a ration containing more coarsely ground wheat; the chicks were observed for eight weeks. In most instances these beak malformations never became normal, and usually the condition grew worse, causing a sloughing off of the dead tissue and a loss of part of either mandible. Obviously, the consumption of feed became more difficult and the surviving chicks gained only slowly.



Lot Trial No.

Alfalfa leaf meal in ration**

leaf meal as a vitamin A supplement for ground wheat in chick rations during the first eight weeks No. of chicks


Average weights of survivors Initial


4 weeks

8 weeks

6 weeks


Started Mf








per gm. of gain

gm. gm. 32 195 30 175 32 154

gm. 192 172 148

gm. 355 327 290

gm. 348 322 282

gm. 523 + 15 485 + 14 431 + 16

gm. 536+ 7 490+ 8 451 ±12

3.1 3.1 3.2



Percent 3 5 7

50 50 50

17 19 21

26 30 26

gm. 33 32 32


4 5 6

1 3 5

44 44 44

15 14 15

20 18 20

32 32 32

33 32 32

160 152 165

154 158 138

285 304 329

265 296 271

438 + 15 479 ±18 533 ±12

427+10 450 + 15 445± 9

3.2 3.2 3.2


7 8 9 10

It 3 5 7

75 75 75 75

30 31 28 39

25 37 44 33

39 39 39 39

38 38 38 38

194 193 157 172

178 176 162 170

324 334 268 312

284 307 280 310

374+ 8 430 + 12 372 + 13 419 + 10

328+11 392 + 11 392+ 8 420+ 7

3.9 3.5 3.6 3.6

* Refer to Table 3 for 8- to 16-week weights of chicks which were selected as representative of each of the original rations. ** Basal ration—67 percent or more of ground wheat (adjuster), 20 percent meat and bone scraps, 5 percent dried skimmilk; 1 percent salt (NaCl) in Trial 1 only. t M = Males, F=Females. t Thirty chicks in this lot were definitely ophthalmic, 16 of which died from this cause.

less bone (as indicated by the P 2 0 5 content) was used to replace the original meat and bone scraps. Ultra-violet irradiation was increased from IS to 20 minutes daily. All except a few of the chicks recovered. To eliminate those which had not recovered at eight weeks, one-half the number of chicks started on each ration were selected. After their individual weights at eight weeks were arrayed, 25 normal chicks on each side of the median were distributed equally and continued on the original rations for TABLE 3.—Alfalfa

eight weeks longer. At nine weeks of age the chicks were given larger pens provided with wooden floors and shavings for litter. Their weights are given in Table 3. The results indicated that this basal ration, supplemented with only 3 percent of alfalfa leaf meal, provided ample vitamin A. The weights of both males and females at eight weeks varied inversely with the percentage of alfalfa supplied. The shanks and beaks of the chicks showed much more yellow coloring with the higher

leaf meal as a vitamin A supplement for ground wheat in rations for chicks during 16 weeks*

Alfalfa No. of chicks Average weights of chicks that lived through 16 weeks Lot leaf Trial No. meal 16 weeks Finished 8 weeks 10 weeks 12 weeks 14 weeks in ra- Started tion** F F M F M F M M F Mt Ft M


1 2 3

3 5 7

25 25 25

8 6 9

16 18 14

gm. 543 494 466

gm. 522 488 415

gm. 706 710 594

gm. gm. 675 1024 628 1047 515 904

gm. 919 879 786

gm. 1213 1266 1118

gm. gm. gm. 1053 1276 + 41 1147 + 18 998 1381+39 1049 + 18 955 1195 + 38 1053 + 20

Av. feed consumed per gm. of gain 8 to 16 weeks 5.0 5.1 4.9

* Twenty-five representative chicks selected from each lot shown in Table 1 for the continuation of the experiment. ** Basal ration under Table 2. t M = Males, F=Females.

Downloaded from http://ps.oxfordjournals.org/ at D H Hill Library - Acquis S on May 2, 2015


1 2 3



the deficient ration. According to Hauge and Aitkenhead (1931), the vitamin A value of alfalfa leaf meal is lowered by conditions such as exposure, moisture, and slow drying which favor enzyme activity, thus, in turn, reducing the vitamin A value or carotene in alfalfa. It should be noted that the alfalfa leaf meal used in these trials was produced under conditions not conducive to the production of uniform quality.6 CONCLUSIONS

Wheat, which is too finely ground (modulus number 1.74) and used to the amount of 75 percent in certain types of rations, results in pressure necrosis, beak malformation, retarded development or death. At least 3 percent of a good grade of alfalfa leaf meal was necessary to supplement the vitamin A deficiency of a basal ration containing ground wheat, meat and bone scraps, and dried skimmilk. Definite vitamin A deficiency disease symptoms resulted when 1 percent of alfalfa leaf meal was used to supplement a ration composed of 67 percent of ground wheat. REFERENCES

Carrick, C. W., 1925. A brooder for indoor use in nutrition experiments with young chicks. Poul. Sci. 5:98-101. Conklin, R. L., and W. A. Maw, 1929. Pressure necrosis a battery brooder problem. Proceedings of 21st Annual Meeting Poultry Science Assn., Auburn, Ala., Bui. 25:35-37. , 1930. Pressure necrosis of the beak. Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting Poultry Science Assn., Macdonald College, Que., Canada, pp. 90-91. Hart, E. B., J. G. Halpin, and H. Steenbock, 1917. 6

According to the manufacturer, this product was grown in western Kansas or Colorado. In curing, the alfalfa hay is exposed to the sunlight, the length of time for complete curing varying with the temperature and climatic conditions at the time of cutting. It is then taken to the mill where it is ground and screened, thereby separating the leaves from the stems.

Downloaded from http://ps.oxfordjournals.org/ at D H Hill Library - Acquis S on May 2, 2015

levels of alfalfa leaf meal. All the chicks were well feathered at eight weeks. Those chicks which were continued for 16 weeks showed no deficiency symptoms of vitamin A and were approximately equal in weight at the end of the test. Trial 2. This trial was conducted to determine whether less than 3 percent of alfalfa leaf meal would supply sufficient vitamin A. Levels of 1, 3, and 5 percent of alfalfa leaf meal were fed. Even on the 1 percent level there were no indications of vitamin A deficiency. There seemed to be no significant difference between the average weights of the males fed the 3 percent level and those fed 1 percent (Table 2). There was a slight increase in weight when more alfalfa leaf meal was used. None of the chicks grew very rapidly and the results of this test were not exactly in agreement with those of the previous trial; consequently a third trial was conducted with larger numbers of chicks. Trial 3. This was essentially a repetition of trial 2, except that a 7 percent level of alfalfa was included, and the chicks were reared in a permanent brooder house with access to outside concrete platforms to obtain vitamin D. Ground corn cobs were used for litter. Seventy-five chicks were fed each of four rations for eight weeks. As shown in Table 2, nearly half of the chicks fed upon the 1 percent level showed symptoms of ophthalmia at four and onehalf weeks of age and 16 chicks died from this cause. The 3, 5, and 7 percent levels of alfalfa were equally satisfactory in preventing ophthalmia and in promoting growth. A variation in the vitamin A potency of the two different samples of alfalfa leaf meal used is suggested by the fact that in trial 2 no deficiency symptoms were observed on the 1 percent level of this supplement. There was considerable variation in the response of chicks fed on


The behavior of chickens restricted to the wheat and maize kernel. Jour. Biol. Chem. 31:415-420. Hauge, S. M., and W. Aitkenhead, 1931. The effect of artificial drying upon the vitamin A content of alfalfa. Jour. Biol. Chem., 93:657-665. McCollum, E. V., and M. Davis, 1914. Observations on the isolation of the substance in butterfat which exerts a stimulating influence on growth. Jour. Biol. Chem. 19:245. , 1915. The influence of the composition and amount of the mineral content of the ration on growth and reproduction. Jour. Biol. Chem. 21:615.


Prange, R. W., C. W. Carrick, S. M. Hauge, 1928. Growth values of protein from commercial animal products. Poul. Sci., 7 :99. Roberts, R. E., 1930. Stearin from cod liver oil as a source of vitamin D. Poul. Sci. 9:102-106. Silver, E. A., 1931. Feed grinder investigations. Ohio Agr. Exp. Sta. Bui. 490. Titus, H. W., 1932. Perosis, or deforming leg weakness, in the chicken. Poul. Sci. 11:117125. Zucker, T. F., 1922. Further observations on the chemistry of cod liver oil. Proc. Soc, Exp. Biol, and Med. 20:136.

Downloaded from http://ps.oxfordjournals.org/ at D H Hill Library - Acquis S on May 2, 2015