Evaluation of Antimicrobial and Immune Modulatory Effect of Phytogenic Herbs in Broiler Chicken

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Phytogenic feed additives have gained attention in livestock feeding following the ban of antibiotic growth promoters because, they are natural, less toxic, residue free and ideal feed additives in animal production. However, they are not scientifically well investigated and studies conducted so far, only forwarded their traditional use. This study was conducted in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture poultry farm of Addis Ababa University, Bishoftu campus from November 2019 up to April 2020 to determine the antimicrobial and an immune stimulatory effect of five herbs, at 1% inclusion on the basal broiler ration. For this study 378, a day-old broiler chicken were randomly assigned to six feeding trials (five treatments and one Control) each with three replicates containing 20 chicks based on a completely random design (CRD). The treatment groups were given basal diet mixed with 1% of one of the five herbs Thyme, Mint, Basil, Rosemary and Lemongrass. Representative chickens from each feeding trials were slaughtered at 21st and 42nd day so that cecal bacterial load and lymphoid organ weights were investigated. Serology was conducted to check for the antibody titer developed against NCD and IBD vaccine administered as challenge. As of the finding of this study, the lowest E. coli counts were seen on groups fed with Rosemary (5.3294+ 0.0717) followed by Lemon Grass (6.1269+ 0.0160). The highest Lacto bacilli counts were recorded in groups fed with Rosemary (10.375+0.0902) and Lemon grass (9.977+ 0.0161). Lemon grass, Rosemary and Thyme has shown the highest percentage mean Thymus index of (63.65%), (63.27%) and (63.25%) respectively. These findings suggest that herbs produced in Ethiopia could be used as PFA to minimize risks of infections with pathogenic bacteria. However, detail scientific investigation on their medicinal use and their combined formulation as feed additive is lacking. Therefore further studies which combine both in-vitro and in-vivo investigation should be conducted for better discovery of their medicinal effect beyond solely reporting their traditional use.



Antimicrobial activity, Broiler chicks, Immune enhancing activity, Phytogenic herbs