Dietary Catharanthus roseus modulates intestinal microarchitecture in broilers
The study evaluated the efficacy of ethanolic extracts of Catharanthus roseus (C. roseus) in altering growth performance, viscera development and intestinal microarchitecture in broilers. Day-old broiler chicks (n = 175) were randomly divided into seven groups (n = 25/group) with 5 replicates (n = 5). The chicks in the control groups were fed a corn-soya-based basal diet, whereas groups 2 - 4 had the same basal diets supplemented with 0.05%, 0.1%, and 0.2% ethanolic leaf extracts (ELE), respectively. Chicks in groups 5 - 7 were fed the basal diet supplemented with 0.05%, 0.1%, and 0.2% ethanolic root extracts (ERE) of C. roseus, respectively. The growth performance and feed conversion ratio remained unchanged, but feed consumption of birds supplemented with 0.1% ERE increased in weeks 1 and 3. The relative length of the small intestine was lower in the 0.05% ERE group compared with the control. Villus height, width, surface area, and lamina propria thickness were higher in the 0.1% ERE group in all three segments of the small intestine than in the control. Broilers supplemented with 0.1% ERE performed better in terms of feed consumption and improved intestinal microarchitecture of the small intestine.