Department of Animal Science, Maragheh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Maragheh, Iran
Receive Date: 20 January 2012,
Revise Date: 17 March 2012,
Accept Date: 02 April 2012
A total of 288 broiler chickens (1 d old) were used in a 42-d growth trial to study the effects of chicory (Cichorium intybus) and nettle (Urtica dioica) with or without multi-enzyme on growth performance, carcass traits, and biochemical parameters. The corn-soybean based control diet and 8 experimental diets were fed to each of 3 pens of chickens (12 chickens/pen). Treatments were as follows: 1. Basal diet (B), no additives, 2. B + 0.05% enzyme (E), 3. B + 1% chicory (C), 4. B + 1% nettle (N); 5. B + 1% N + E (NE), 6. B + 1% C + E (CE), 7. B + 0.5% N + 0.5% C (NC), 8. B + 0.5% N + 0.5% C + E (NCE). A higher body weight gain were found at 42 d of age in chickens fed the E, CE, NE, and NCE in diet (P<0.05), whereas BW did not differ between the control and C, N, and NC diets. A lower food conversion ratio was observed at 42 d of age in birds receiving the NE, and CE. No diet effects on carcass yield, and relative weights of gizzard, and ceca were detected. In contrast, a higher breast yield was found for all treatments except to N group (P<0.05). The intestinal weight decreased with E, NE, CE, NC, and NCE (P<0.05). Serum cholesterol decreased in birds fed C, and NC (P<0.05) as compared to N. Serum total protein and triglyceride content were similar among all treatments. Serum cholesterol concentration indicated the C and NC treatment had a lower concentration than N (P<0.05). Broiler performance and carcass traits for birds given dietary NE and CE supplement were similar to other treatment containing herb or enzyme or blend of them, and these supplements appear suitable for dietary inclusion. Careful choices are necessary when selecting dietary herb supplements for broilers, but beneficial effects can be observed.
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