The effects of Nigella sativa powder (black seed) and Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench extract on performance, some blood biochemical and hematological parameters in broiler chickens
This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of Nigella sativa (NS) powder and Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench extract (EP) on performance and some blood biochemical and haematological parameters in broiler chickens. A total of 144, one day-old broiler chickens (Ross 308) were divided into three treatment groups, with four replicates per treatment and 12 chicks per replicate. Chicks in control groups were fed basal diets and received water without any supplementation. Birds in treatment groups two were fed on feeds supplemented with 1% NS. For birds in treatment groups three, drinking water was supplemented with EP at the rate of 0.25 ml/kg body weight (BW). Body weights of broilers were measured at one, 21 and 42 days, feed intake was measured at the same periods and feed conversion was calculated, accordingly. Blood samples were taken weekly until 6th weeks, for biochemical and hematological analysis. Result of this experiment show that, supplementing 1% NS improved body weight gain (BWG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) of broilers at starter and grower periods (P<0.05), and also increased serum albumin levels (P<0.05). Supplementation of EP increased globulin levels and white blood count (WBC) count significantly (P<0.05). Total protein and glucose concentrations were not statistically (P>0.05) influenced. Supplementing 1% N. sativa decreased serum triglyceride and total cholesterol of broilers in overall (P<0.05). In conclusion, results of this study show that addition of 1% NS powder seem to have a positive influence on growth performance and it could be considered as a antibiotic growth promoter substitution for broiler chicks.
Key words: Nigella sativa, Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench, performance, serum biochemistry, blood hematology, broiler.