1Department of Animal Physiology, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran
2Department of Animal Science, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran
3Department of Horticulture, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran
Receive Date: 11 February 2014,
Revise Date: 25 June 2014,
Accept Date: 15 July 2014
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary artichoke supplementation on performance, carcass traits and some blood parameters of broiler chickens. A total of 300, one day old broiler chicks (Ross-308) were randomly allocated to 1 of 4 dietary treatments including: basal diet (control), basal diet supplemented with 1.5 or 3 percent of Artichoke powder and also with 300 mg/kg diet vitamin E. Each diet was offered to 5 replicates of 15 birds each for 42 days. Supplementation of 3 percent artichoke powder significantly (P<0.05) decreased body weight compared to control. A higher (P<0.05) feed intake was observed in group fed 1.5 percent artichoke powder resulted in higher feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared to control. The blood plasma concentrations of total protein and globulin were lower (P<0.05) in 1.5 percent artichoke treated group and higher (P<0.05) in control groupon the 21st day of trial. The blood plasma albumin concentration remained non significant throughout the experiment. However, the blood plasma total protein, albumin and globulin concentrations remained non significant between experimental groups on the 42nd day of trial. Significant differences in heterophil and lymphocytes percentage and H:L ratio were observed between dietary treatments at 28 days of age, showing that the birds fed a diet supplemented with artichoke powder had higher heterophil and lower lymphocytes percentage and consequently a higher H:L ratio than control. Artichoke supplemented birds showed significantly (P<0.05) lower breast and thigh weight. Pancreases weight was higher and lower in 1.5 percent artichoke and 300 mg vitamin E treated groups, respectively. The weight of heart, abdominal fat, gizzard and proventriculus were non significant between dietary treatments. In general, this study revealed that artichoke powder as natural antioxidant may have beneficial effects on chicken growth performance and carcass traits, but further research is needed.
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