Department of Animal Science, Islamic Azad University, Maragheh Branch, Maragheh, Iran
Receive Date: 20 November 2010,
Revise Date: 19 February 2011,
Accept Date: 25 February 2011
This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of different levels of nettle (Urtica dioica) a medicinal plant in starter and grower feeds on performance, carcass traits, blood biochemical and immunity parameters of broilers. A completely randomized design was used with 324 broilers (Ross-308) divided in nine treatments and three replicates (with 12 birds in each replicate) 1 to 42 days. The treatment groups consisted of: (1) control group with no nettle supplementation, in other treatments the level of nettle in starter and grower feeds were, (2) 0.75% in both starter and grower, (3) 0 instarter and 0.75% in grower, (4) 0.75% in starter and 0 ingrower, (5) 1.5% in starter and 0.75% in grower, (6) 0.75% in starter and 1.5% in grower, (7) 0 instarter and 1.5% in grower, (8) 1.5% in starter and 0 ingrower, and (9) 1.5% in both starter and grower. The results showed that the use of different levels of nettle in starter and grower feeds had significant effects on carcass traits of broilers (P<0.05). The highest percent of breast and thigh (35.04), (26.29) were observed in groups 9 and 3, the highest percent of gizzard (3.76) was observed in group 6 and finally the highest percentage of liver (3.63) was observed in group 7. The overall results showed that the use of 1.5% of nettle medicinal plant in starter and grower feeds without having any significant effects on performance and blood biochemical and immunity parameters, showed positive effects on carcass traits of broilers.
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