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Amaranthus Spinosus and Athyrium Esculentum as Chicken Feed Extenders

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A wide variety of commercial chicken feeds is available to poultry owners, combining a variety of seeds in a single mix. Individual types of chickens tend to pick out their favorite seeds and leave the rest uneaten, to be picked up by other birds. Farmed fowls fed commercial chicken feeds typically are given very specific scientifically designed pre-blended feed. Examples of commercial chicken feeds include chick starter medicated crumbles, chick grower crumbles, egg layer mash, egg layer pellet, egg layer crumbles, egg producer pellet, and broiler maker med crumbles. Pellet crumbles are often prepared for tiny chicks. Mash is more finely ground. Not all birds eat seeds. Suet (beef or mutton fat) is recommended for insect-eating birds like nuthatches and woodpeckers. Nectar (essentially sugar water) attracts hummingbirds. Bread and kitchen scraps are often fed to ducks and gulls. Chickens are commonly fed corn, wheat, barley, sorghum and milling by-products. These seeds and non-seed supplies are commonly obtained as by-products on farms, but can also be bought from independent retailers.

Amaranthus spinosus or simply, Amaranth is a very good source of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, and folate, and dietary minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese and Athyrium esculentum or simply Pako plant is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B. Because of its valuable nutrition, some farmers grow amaranth today. However their moderately high content of oxalic acid can inhibit the absorption of calcium and zinc, and also indicates that they should be eaten with caution under consultation with healthcare providers by people with kidney disorders, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis, concerning mineral absorption and supplementation. Chicken feeds are like grains such as oats, wheat, barley, sorghum, or the favorite, corn, as a source of calories. Vitamins and minerals are in mixes or separately. It can be used as a source of protein and fat, fish oil for vitamins A and D, yeast for B vitamins and fish meal and kelp as sources of minerals.


The purpose of this study is to develop cheaper and much effective chicken feeds which can be used by manufacturers and dealers of chicken. The purpose of the study is to answer the following questions: General Objective:

Which contents of the Amaranth and Pako plant that makes them suitable as an extender for chicken feeds? Specific Objective:
What is the right combination of Amaranth, Pako plant and growing mass for chicken feeds?


HI: “If the chicken feed with the formulation of Amaranthus spinosus and Athyrium esculentum is more effective than the commercially available chicken feed itself, the chicken will become healthier and will result to the better quality of chickens” Ho: “If the chicken feed with the formulation of Amaranthus spinosus and Athyrium esculentum is not effective than the commercially available chicken feed itself, the chicken will not become healthier and will result to the better quality of chickens”


The significance of this study is to help the chicken feeders to save their time, efforts, and most especially money. This can help them to sell chicken at a low cost price compared to the other. Because, they will use a natural additives to their chicken feeds instead of the usual feeds. It can also be a bigger help to make the chickens grow bigger and faster. There is a possibility that the manufacturers can sell the chickens with low price. Then the retailers can get them and sell them to us with also a low price. It is a safeguard to us that we save money and we get them at good condition.

This study will focus on the right combination of the Amaranth, Pako plant and growing mass. This research will observe physical appearance of the chicken such as weight in mass, height, diameter of the thigh when the chickens eat the combination of Amaranth, Pako plant and growing mass as an extender for chicken feeds. The study will take two and a half months for the experimentation and observation.

* arsenic- occurs in many minerals, usually in conjunction with sulfur and metals, and also as a pure elemental crystal. * anthocyanin- are water-soluble vacuolar pigments that may appear red, purple, or blue according to pH. * linoleic acid- unsaturated n-6 fatty acid. It is a colorless liquid at room temperature. Chemically, linoleic acid is a carboxylic acid with an 18-carbon chain and two cis double bonds; the first double bond is located at the sixth carbon from the methyl end. * coccidiosis- an intestinal disease that affects several different animal species including canines and humans. * carcinogen- any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes. * tocotrienols- members of the vitamin E family. An essential nutrient for the body, vitamin E is made up of four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta). * squalene- natural organic compound originally obtained for commercial purposes primarily from shark liver oil, though plant sources (primarily vegetable oils) are used as well, including amaranth seed, rice bran, wheat germ, and olives. * radioprotective- serving to protect or aiding in protecting against the injurious effect of radiations. * antioxidative-has the capacity to inhibit oxidation

* paniculatus- a species of flowering plant in the Malvaceae sensu lato or Tiliaceae family. It is found only in the Philippines. It is threatened by habitat loss. * monocultural- the use of land for the cultivation of only one type of crop. * perioxidation- a type of reaction in which oxygen atoms are formed leading to the production of peroxides. It is stimulated in the body by certain toxins and infections * saponins- any
of a group of glycosides widely distributed in plants, which form a durable foam when their watery solutions are shaken, and which even in high dilutions dissolve erythrocytes. * haemoptysis- a medical term for coughing up blood.

* pinnules – any of the ultimate leaflets of a bipinnately compound leaf. * methanolic-containing methanol usually as solvent
* lanceolate- having the general shape of a lance; much longer than wide, with the widest part lower than the middle and a pointed apex.

Disadvantage of conventional chicken feeds
Arsenic, considered as one of the most toxic elements, is a common ingredient in commercially-available chicken feeds. It has been found to cause illnesses such as cancer, dementia, and neurological problems. It is also found to have traces of poison in chicken meat due to the arsenic-based additive called Roxarsone.

Another disadvantage of a conventional chicken feed is that it is expensive considering that it causes health risks to domestic fowls.

Amaranthus spinosus and Athyrium esculentum
It was discovered that Amaranthus spinosus and Athyrium esculentum has essential nutrients that can also be found in common chicken feeds. With the same nutritional value and considerable cheap cost, the researchers came up with the study to make the combination of Amaranth and pako plant as an extender for chicken feeds.

There are certain advantages that the chicken industry can get if they use the mixture of Amaranthus spinosus and Athyrium esculentum as an extender for chicken feeds compaired to the commercially-available chicken feeds because Amaranth is radioprotective or protective against biochemical changes, and it also has antioxidizing properties beneficial to the chickens. Most importantly, both the Amaranth and pako plant are safe and edible, leaving no toxins and health risks to domestic chickens.

Lastly, the availability of the ingredients to be used will not be a problem to conduct this research because Amaranthus spinosus and Athyrium esculentum are readily available in our country and are easily cultivated.

Ordinary and commercial chicken feeds give enough nutrients needed by a chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus), but they do not notice its disadvantages. The commercial chicken feed may contain element arsenic, which may cause cancer, dementia and neurological problems in humans and it was proven that Arsenic is one of the most toxic elements that can be found. Chicken feeds readily available in the market are found to have traces of poison in chicken meat. This is due to the arsenic-based additive called Roxarsone. What does Roxarsone do?

* Helps control parasitic ailment to chickens called coccidiosis. * It is a growth enhancer.
* Contributes to the rosy-pink hue that consumers have come to associate with fresh chicken meat. Human Exposure to Roxarsone
* Roxarsone excreted in chicken litter spread through land and groundwater. * Large amounts of poultry litter made into fertilizer pellets for home gardens and lawns contaminate croplands and expose consumers to arsenic dust. * Some poultry consume water from wells contaminated with natural arsenic, thus humans consuming chicken meat are prone to arsenic intake. Disadvantages of Using Roxarsone in Chicken Feeds

* It accumulates poison in chicken meat that poses health risks to humans consuming poultry meat. * Chronic exposure to Roxarsone is associated with increased risk for several types of cancer, including kidney, bladder, lung, liver, and prostate, thus it is considered a carcinogen. * It is also linked with increased risk with cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as neurological, immunological, and endocrinal problems in children. The other disadvantage is that commercial feeds are more expensive. Especially if you grow your own grains and protein sources, you can make it a lot cheaper and also you will know exactly what goes into it. This requires some knowledge of how to mix a feed of balanced nutrition. Also you can be sure you mix an all organic feed if you want to go that route.

This study has been conducted to discover an extender for chicken feeds that will be more effective than of the commercial chicken feed. We have found out that Amaranthus spinosus and Athyrium esculentum has nutritional content that are needed by a domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus). Amaranthus spinosus has certain seed components with potentially high value uses. It has a relatively high fraction of squalene in its seed oil, which sells for thousands of dollars a pound; whether the squalene can be economically extracted has yet to be determined. The anthocyanin (reddish) pigments in amaranth flours and vegetation appear to have great potential for competing with sugar beets as a source of natural, non-toxic red dyes. Perhaps most intriguing is the microcrystalline starch in amaranth seed, which is about one-tenth of the size of corn starch particles.

The nutritive composition of both grain and vegetable amaranth has been extensively studied. Amaranth grain is considered to have a unique composition of protein, carbohydrates, and lipids. The unique protein composition with regard to quality and quantity has been studied and reviewed. Grain amaranth has higher protein (12 to 18%) than other cereal grains and has significantly higher lysine content. The high lysine content of amaranth grain makes it particularly attractive for use as a blending food source to increase the biological value of processed foods. The protein value of amaranth grains is highlighted when amaranth flour is mixed with other cereal grain flours. When amaranth flour is mixed 30:70 with either rice, maize, or wheat flour, the protein quality (based on casein) rises from 72 to 90, 58 to 81, and 32 to 52, respectively. Amaranth seed protein also differs from other cereal grains by the fact that 65% is found in the germ and 35% in the endosperm, as compared to an average of 15% in the germ and 85% in the endosperm for other cereals. The carbohydrates in amaranth grain consist primarily of starch made up of both glutinous and non-glutinous fractions.

The unique aspect of amaranth grain starch is that the size of the starch granules (1 to 3 um) are much smaller than found in other cereal grains. Due to the unique size and composition of amaranth starch, it has been suggested that the starch may possess unique gelatinization and freeze/thaw characteristics which could be of benefit to the food industry. Several considerations for the use of amaranth starch in food preparation of custards, pastes, and salad dressing have been published in three papers. Amaranth grain consists of approximately 5 to 9% oil which is generally higher than other cereals. The lipid fraction of amaranth grain is similar to other cereals, being approximately 77% unsaturated, with linoleic acid being the predominant fatty acid. The lipid fraction is unique however, due to the unusually high squalene content (5 to 8%) of the total oil fraction. Also present in the amaranth oil fractions were tocotrienols (forms of vitamin E) which are known to effect lower cholesterol levels in mammalian systems.

Detailed studies and a review on amaranth grain oil have been published. In addition to the unique characteristics of the major components of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids, amaranth grain also contains high levels of calcium, iron, and sodium when compared to cereal grains. In contrast to grain amaranth, vegetable amaranth has received significantly less research attention. While vegetable amaranth is used as a delicacy or a food staple in many parts of the world, use in the United States is limited to canned imports for ethnic uses, primarily in the New York City area. Vegetable amaranth has been rated equal to or superior in taste to spinach and is considerably higher in calcium, iron, and phosphorous. Agronomic practices for vegetable production have also been published. The use of amaranth leaves and grain in feedstuffs has been reviewed. Results indicate that the amaranth used for human food should be heated for maximum nutritional benefit, while gains of lambs fed amaranth fodder, were similar to alfalfa.

• Radiomodulatory / Radioprotective: (1) Study showed albino mice pretreated with leaf extract provided protection against gamma irradiation in mice. (2) Study showed mice pretreated with Amaranthus extract was protected against various biochemical changes. Results support the postulate that increased ROS induced by radiation exposure may be involved in some of the aversive effects of stress. Antioxidants in the extract are able to cope with radiation-induced oxidative stress to some extent, and may be due to the synergistic effects of some herb constituents. (3) Study showed Amaranth supplementation provides antioxidative efficacy and benefits in learning performance after ionizing radiation exposure to the brain. This proves that whenever a chicken eat an amaranth, it will receive a greater protection for its health. • Antioxidant: (1) The ability of A. paniculatus extract to act as a free radical scavenger or hydrogen donor was revealed by DPPH radical-scavenging activity assay. (2)

Amaranth seeds, in a dose-dependent manner, can act as a moderate protective agent against fructose-induced changes in rats by reducing lipid peroixidation and by enhancing the antioxidant capacity. • Saponins / Toxicity Study / Safety: Study concludes that the low content of saponins in amaranth seeds and their relatively low toxicity guarantee that amaranth-derived products create no significant hazard for the consumer. This study tells that Amaranth will give no harm to its consumer which would be the chicken and will give no worries whenever the chicken started to eat Amaranths. Amaranth grain entry into the marketing distribution arena has confronted numerous challenges. In contrast to many other established agricultural commodities, crop production challenges are even greater than marketing to the success of an amaranth industry. In regard to crop production, amaranth certainly is a specialty crop, since every aspect of production, from planting to harvest and storage requires special attention and consideration.

Twentieth century amaranth production is vastly different from that of early civilizations or even from primitive agriculture systems present today. In the case of both early civilization and present day primitive agricultural systems, amaranth crop production is grown essentially all by hand in small plots intercropped with numerous other crops or at the very most, small isolated monocultural plots. Crop production under these systems can utilize marginal soils, and disease and insect pressures are often low due to the sparse cropping practices. In contrast, modern day agronomic practices of mechanization and extensive crop monoculture require competitive economic crop returns, and special considerations to integrated plant pest control. Producer production guidelines have been published for several states including Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin, and Nebraska.

A series of comprehensive production guides has been published by the Rodale Research Institute. To initiate amaranth production, the producer should select and prepare a seed bed similar to that for small seeded vegetables or legumes, preferably on soils having a pH above 6.0 (Schulte et al. 1991). The seedbed should be well worked and firmed by a packer prior to planting. A firm moist seed bed with soil temperatures above 15°C is required to establish a good plant stand. Seeding rates of 1.2 to 3.5 kg seed/ha planted to an average depth of 1.3 cm is recommended. The most accurate commercial seeding rates have been achieved by using vegetable seeders which use seed plates of various sizes to meter the seed. Planting depth needs to be controlled. However, many producers have successfully planted amaranth with either a standard grain drill, or by using the insecticide boxes commonly found on row crop planters for beets, beans, or corn. While seeding rates are less accurate using grain drills, growers drill the seed by either shutting down the openings and seeding heavier rates, or by diluting the amaranth seed with cracked corn or vermiculite.

Row widths can be controlled on grain drills by merely taping over selected drill openings to achieve the desired row spacing. Regardless of the type of drill used it is important to firm the seed row with a press wheel which will firm the contact between the amaranth seeds and the soil. Amaranth grain yields are extremely variable dependent upon cultivar selection and the growing season, particularly with regard to available soil moisture. Grain yields have ranged from a high of over 5,000 kg/ha in irrigated cultivar trials of the Montana State University Southern Agricultural Research Center at Huntley, to below 112 kg/ha in dry land trials. Yields of 450 to 700 kg/ha dryland and 900 to 2,000 kg/ha under irrigated or high rainfall would be considered reasonable using the better cultivars available to producers. Another plant added in the formulation of our chicken feed is a plant named, Athyrium Esculentum (Local names: Pako; tagabas (Tag.)) Pako is widely distributed in the Philippines, being a characteristic plant on gravel bars and banks of treams. It is found from India to Polynesia.

The rootstocks are stout. The wiry roots are often gathered and sold in Manila as “osmunda roots” for growing orchids, particularly Cattleyas. The stipes are green and somewhat smooth, 20 to 50 centimeters long. The fronds are 2- or 3-pinnate, 50 to 80 centimeters long; the pinnules are lanceolate; 2 to 5 centimeters long, and rather coarsely toothed. The sori are superficial, arranged in pairs on the side of the veins or veinlets. The young fronds are much desired and are eaten in all parts of the Islands, either raw or cooked. They are used as a leafy vegetable, or as an ingredient of stews. They are a fair source of calcium, a very excellent source of phosphorus and a good source of iron. It is proven to be a good source of vitamin B. Medicinally the rhizomes and the young leaves are used in the Philippines, either in simple decoctions or with sugar. They are said to be good for haemoptysis and for ordinary coughs.

Studies for Pako plant:
• Antimicrobial: In a study of ethanol extracts of 19 Malaysian traditional vegetables, six extracts, including Diplazium esculentum, showed antimicrobial activity. • Antioxidant: In a study of the antioxidant activity of shoots of three selected local vegetables, results showed significant differences in the boiled and fresh samples of the vegetables. D. esculentum rated 2nd (fresh) and 5th (boiled). • Antifungal: In a study of the methanolic extracts of leaves, stems and roots of four ferns for activity against A. niger, R stolonifer and Candida albicans, results showed a broad spectrum of antifungal activity for D. esculentum leaves.


Commercially available chicken feeds| Chicken feed with the formulation| No. of chicks| 5| 5| 5| 5| 5|
Duration of observation| 2 months| 2 months| 2 months| 2 months| 2 months| Amount of chicken feeds | 1cup| 1cup| 1cup| 1cup| 1cup|

Materials Amount Amaranth (Amaranthus spinosus) 4,900 g Pako plant (Athyrium esculentum) 4,900 g Growing Mass 4,900 g Water Mortar and Pestel

General Procedure

In conducting this experiment, we will just use a clean mortar and pestel and follow these simple steps to obtain the efficiency of this experiment.

1. First, collect the Amaranthus spinosus and Athyrium esculentum. Get only the leaves. 2. Then, wash the leaves of Amaranthus spinosus and Athyrium esculentum and dry them up until its crispy enough to be pounded. 3. Next, pound the dried Amaranthus spinosus and Athyrium esculentum using mortar and pestel until its semi-powderize and mix the growing mass of the same amount. (100g of semi-powderized leaves of Amaranthus spinosus, 100g of semi-powderized leaves of Athyrium esculentum and 100g of growing mass) 4. After that, prepare chicken feeds. 1 cup (300g) of commercial chicken feed for the 1st cage (control group) and 1 cup (100g of semi-powderized leaves of Amaranthus spinosus, 100g of semi-powderized leaves of Athyrium esculentum and 100g of growing mass) of the formulated chicken feed for the second cage (experimental group). 5. Be sure to have enough water for the chicks.

6. Prepare the chicks that the researchers will feed (chicks of the same weight, age and health condition). 7. Feed the chicks. Monitor the food and water supply of the chicks. 8. Observe the behavior, condition, physical growth and appearance of the chicks. 9. Observe and collect data every week for seven weeks.













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