Assessment of the mycoflora of commercial poultry feeds sold in the humid tropical environment of Imo State, Nigeria
Abstract: This study was carried out to identify the common moulds growing in selected commercial poultry feed sold in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. Forty-eight bulk samples derived from192 bags of feeds were collected from broiler starter (BS), broiler finishers (BF), grower mash (GM) and layer mash (LM) across 4 different brands of commercial poultry feeds, which included Livestock (LF), Top (TF) Guinea (GF) and Vital (VF) feeds. The feed samples were collected during the rainy season months of June, July and August. The common moulds isolated from these feeds were Aspergillus sp., Penicillium sp., Mucor sp., Yeast sp., Rhizopus sp., Epicoecum sp., Gymnoaseus sp., Cladosporium sp., Mortierella sp. as well as Bacteria. Generally, more organisms were isolated in June than the other months with Mortierella sp. being the only one not isolated in that month. Vital feed with 8 different isolates had the highest diversity of fungal species while the others had between 4 and 5 species. Prevalence rates across the feed types, generally ranged from 18.76% in layer mash to 30.03% in broiler finisher. The four Aspergillus sp. isolated came from GM and BF. This study highlights the need for constant monitoring of moulds in commercial feedstuff produced in the humid tropical environments such as Imo state, Nigeria. There is also the need to routinely include fungal growth inhibitors in commercial feeds since moulds are capable of reducing the nutritional values of feedstuff as well as elaborating pathogenic toxins.