The African leaf known as Bitter Leaf with botanical name Vernonia amygdalina is a shrub that is grown throughout Africa. It is used as a protective food, and it is essential for the maintenance of health and in the treatment of various poultry infections.
In poultry rearing, there is a disease that affects poultry birds and causes them to have bloods in their droppings, weight loss in birds, loss of appetite, wanes of skin, comb, and weakness.
That disease is known as Coccidiosis, and it spreads faster in the intensive rearing system of poultry farming. The birds are usually infected with Coccidiosis after picking up oocysts which are usually passed by infected birds that have recovered from their litter.
It is almost difficult to eradicate oocysts from the poultry farm, especially if the chickens are raised in a deep liter system. Therefore, it will be very easy for other uninfected birds to get infected with Coccidiosis as long as they have contact with oocysts.
Coccidiosis has become a major threat to farmer’s profitability and adding the bitter extract to the water that the chicken drinks will go a long way to prevent and cure Coccidiosis.
The industrial approach to curing Coccidiosis include administering drugs like sulfa drugs, Amprolium, Quinolones, and Ionophores, etc. Although, some drugs have been noted to be more effective for certain species of Coccidiosis.
However, traditionally, the bitter leaf has been found to be very effective in the treatment of Coccidiosis. Therefore, farmers whose system of rearing chicken is the intensive system ought to make good use of these natural herbs for the benefits of his birds.
How to extract bitter leaf for treatment
You can use your hands to squeeze the juice from the plant using the following process;
- Gather some good amount of bitter leaf
- Remove the leaves from the stem
- Rinse them properly in a bowl
- Squeeze the leaves with your hand until the juice is extracted
- Finally separate the juice away from the tiny leave particles by sieving.
Also, you can use a kitchen blender by following this process;
- Gather your leaves, depending on the quantity you need and the number of chickens to be treated.
- Remove the bitter leaf from the stem
- Place the bitter leaf on the kitchen blender, add enough water to blend the leaves
- Blend the bitter leaf until they are left in tiny particles.
- Finally, separate it with a sieve
If the process was followed intensively, the bitter leaf extract will be as thick as wine.
Recommended dosage of extract for treatment
- for prevention, add a ratio of 20ml of the extract to 1 liter of clean water
- for treatment, add a ratio of 40ml of bitter leaf extract to 11 liters of clean water
Remember, that adding bitter leaf extract to the chicken’s drinking water will reduce their intake of water, but they will get used to after a while.