Intestinal Morphology and Microbiology of Broiler Chicken Fed Diets Containing Myrtle (Myrtus communis) Essential Oil Supplementation

Document Type: Research Article


1 Department of Animal Science, College of Abouraihan, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Basic Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


This experiment was conducted to determine the effects of dietary myrtle essential oil on small intestinal morphology and microbiology of broiler chickens. Two hundred day-old broiler chickens (Ross 308) were allocated to 5 treatments, 4 replications with a completely randomized design. The diets were supplemented with: no myrtle essential oil (control), each of myrtle essential oil at levels of 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg and 600 mg/kg flavophospholipol antibiotic of diet. On day 42 days of age, one bird from each replicate was selected and then slaughtered and the intestinal microflora contents as well as morphology were analyzed. Dietary myrtle essential oil and antibiotic supplementations consistently resulted in significantly longer villus height, lower epithelial thickness and lower goblet cell number of the small intestinal at 42 day of age compared with the control treatment (P<0.05).Also, lower Escherichia coli count and higher Lactobacillus count of the caecum was found by inclusion of myrtle essential oil in the diet (P<0.001). The results of this study suggested that myrtle essential oil may be considered as an alternative to antibiotic growth promoter may improve poultry performance.


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