Comparison of the effects of basil (Ocimum basilicum) essential oil, avilamycin and protexin on broiler performance, blood biochemistry and carcass characteristics
- 1Department of Animal Science, Islamic Azad University, Shabestar Branch, Shabestar, East Azerbaijan, Iran
- 2Animal Science Research Institute of Iran, Karaj, Iran
- 3Animal Biotechnology Department, National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Tehran, Iran
Abstract. The effects of a probiotic (protexin), a medicinal plant (basil essential oil) and an antibiotic growth promoter (avilamycin) as broiler feed additives on performance, carcass characteristics and some blood parameters of broilers were studied. A total of 600 Arian broilers were divided into six treatments, with four replicates of 25 birds. Treatments were a plant essential oil in three levels (200, 400 and 600 ppm), the probiotic (150 ppm), the antibiotic (150 ppm) and a control group with no additives. Birds in different treatments received the same diets during the experimental period. Growth performance, blood biochemical parameters and carcass traits were measured. There were no effects of dietary treatment on body weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio of the broilers. Internal organ weights and carcass characteristics were not influenced by treatments; however, 200 ppm basil essential oil supplementation decreased abdominal fat (P < 0.05). Biochemical parameters including serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and total cholesterol were not statistically influenced. However, addition of 400 ppm basil essential oil into diet increased serum triglyceride as compared to the control (P < 0.05). Results of this experiment demonstrated that the herbal natural feed additives such as basil may be used as alternatives to an antibiotic growth promoter without any adverse effects on broiler production.