Effect of dietary Foeniculum vulgare Mill. extract on growth performance, blood metabolites, immunity and ileal microflora in male broilers

  • Ali Safaei-Cherehh
  • Behrouz Rasouli
  • Peter Adeniyi Alaba
  • Alireza Seidavi
  • Saúl Rojas Hernández
  • Abdelfattah Z. M. SalemEmail author


This study investigates the effect of different level of fennel extract addition to broiler chickens Ross 308 diet on growth performance, carcass quality and health status. To do this, an experiment was performed using 300 male Ross 308 broiler chicks at a thermo-neutral ambient temperature using 5 levels of fennel extract (0, 100, 200, 300 and 400 ppm). All through the growth period, the fennel extract level showed a significant effect on weight gain, economic index, although the influence is minimal during the starter period. However, the level of fennel extract has no significant influence on the amount of feed intake and feed conversion ratio, glucose, triglycerides, low-density lipoproteins, and alkaline phosphatase. The level of uric acid decreased (p = 0.001), while high-density of lipoproteins increased (p = 0.018) with an increase in the level of fennel extract. Increase in the level of fennel extract significantly improves Newcastle vaccination efficiency on day 35, and immunoglobulin production on day 42 to ensure better immunity against bacteria, viral infections, and new infections. Samples fed with fennel extract supplemented diet have higher resistance to infectious bronchitis virus but lower resistance to infectious bursal disease when compared with the samples fed with control diet. Furthermore, microflora parameters are not affected by the fennel extract level, although a better antibacterial activity was observed due to the use of fennel extract. In comparison, the best diet supplementation was obtained using 100 ppm of fennel extract due to the remarkable growth performance, carcass quality and health status.


Broiler Foeniculum vulgare Mill. Phytobiotics Growth performance Immunity health 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support by Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University (Grant Number 4.5830).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Acimovic M, Tesevic V, Todosijevic M, Djisalov J, Oljaca S (2015) Compositional characteristics of the essential oil of Pimpinella anisum and Foeniculum vulgare grown in Serbia. Botanica Serbica 39:09–14Google Scholar
  2. Alvarenga R, Zangeronimo M, Pereira L, Rodrigues P, Gomide E (2011) Lipoprotein metabolism in poultry. World’s Poult Sci J 67:431–440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bölükbaşi ŞC, Erhan MK (2007) Effect of dietary thyme (Thymus vulgaris) on laying hens performance and Escherichia coli (E. coli) concentration in feces. Int J Nat Eng Sci 1(2):55–58Google Scholar
  4. Bombik T, Bombik E, Frankowska A, Trawińska B, Saba L (2012) Effect of herbal extracts on some haematological parameters of calves during rearing. Bull Vet Inst Pulawy 56:655–658CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. de Souza Nakagi V, Amaral CMCD, Stech MR, De Lima ACF, Harnich FAR, Laurentiz AC, Pizauro Junior JM (2013) Acid and alkaline phosphatase activity in broiler chicks fed with different levels of phytase and non-phytate phosphorus. J Appl Anim Res 41:229–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dibaji SM, Seidavi A, Asadpour L, Moreira da Silva F (2014) Effect of a synbiotic on the intestinal microflora of chickens. J Appl Poult Res 23:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Drăgan L, Györke A, Ferreira JF, Pop IA, Dunca I, Drăgan M, Mircean V, Dan I, Cozma V (2014) Effects of Artemisia annua and Foeniculum vulgare on chickens highly infected with Eimeria tenella (Phylum Apicomplexa). Acta Vet Scand 56:22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ebrahimi A, Santini A, Alise M, Pourhossein Z, Miraalami N, Seidavi A (2015) Effect of dried Citrus sinensis peel on gastrointestinal microbiota and immune system traits of broiler chickens. Ital J Anim Sci 14:4194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Elaissi A, Salah KH, Mabrouk S, Larbi KM, Chemli R, Harzallah-Skhiri F (2011) Antibacterial activity and chemical composition of 20 Eucalyptus species’ essential oils. Food Chem 129:1427–1434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ghazalah A, Ali A (2008) Rosemary leaves as a dietary supplement for growth in broiler chickens. Int J Poult Sci 7:234–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hashemipour H, Kermanshahi H, Golian A, Khaksar V (2014) Effects of carboxy methyl cellulose and thymol + carvacrol on performance, digesta viscosity and some blood metabolites of broilers. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr 98:672–679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hernawan E, Wahyuni S, Suprapti H (2012) The levels of blood glucose, triglyceride, final body weight and abdominal fat percentage of broiler under sex-separated and straight run rearing system. Lucrări Ştiinţifice-Seria Zootehnie 57:28–33Google Scholar
  13. Imazawa T, Toyoda K, Shinoda K, Okamiya H, Furukawa F, Imaida K, Takahashi M, Hayashi Y (1988) Analysis of renal calcification and stone formation in rats treated with ethoxyquin using X-ray analytical scanning electron microscopy: ultrastructural observations and element analysis. Eisei Shikenjo hokoku Bull Natl Inst Hyg Sci 68:72Google Scholar
  14. Manson M, Green J, Driver H (1987) Ethoxyquin alone induces preneoplastic changes in rat kidney whilst preventing induction of such lesions in liver by aflatoxin B1. Carcinogenesis 8:723–728CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Manual R (2002) ROSS broiler management manual. Aviagen Ltd., NewbridgeGoogle Scholar
  16. Nahavandinejad M, Seidavi A, Asadpour L, Payan-Carreira R (2014) Blood biochemical parameters of broilers fed differently thermal processed soybean meal. Revista MVZ Córdoba 19:4301–4315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Nobakht A, Nobakht M, Safamehr AR (2012) The effect of different levels of savory medicinal plant (Satureja hortensis L.) on growth performance, carcass traits, immune cells and blood biochemical parameters of broilers. Afr J Agric Res 7:1456–1461Google Scholar
  18. Pacifico S, Galasso S, Piccolella S, Kretschmer N, Pan SP, Nocera P, Lettieri A, Bauer R, Monaco P (2015) Winter wild fennel leaves as a source of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant polyphenols. Arab J Chem 11(4):513–524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pessôa GBS, Tavernari FDC, Vieira RA, Albino LF (2012) Novos conceitos em nutrição de aves. Revista Brasileira de Saúde e Produção Animal 13(3):755–774CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ramiah SK, Zulkifli I, Rahim NAA, Ebrahimi M, Meng GY (2014) Effects of two herbal extracts and virginiamycin supplementation on growth performance, intestinal microflora population and fatty acid composition in broiler chickens. Asian-Australas J Anim Sci 27:375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rather MA, Dar BA, Sofi SN, Bhat BA, Qurishi MA (2016) Foeniculum vulgare: a comprehensive review of its traditional use, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and safety. Arab J Chem 9:S1574–S1583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ruberto G, Baratta MT, Deans SG, Dorman HD (2000) Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of Foeniculum vulgare and Crithmum maritimum essential oils. Planta Medica 66:687–693CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Saki AA, Kalantar M, Rahmatnejad E, Mirzaaghatabar F (2014) Health characteristics and performance of broiler chicks in response to Trigonella foenum graecum and Foeniculum vulgare. Iran J Appl Anim Sci 4(2):387–391Google Scholar
  24. Saleh AA, Eid YZ, Ebeid TA, Ohtsuka A, Hioki K, Yamamoto M, Hayashi K (2012) The modification of the muscle fatty acid profile by dietary supplementation with Aspergillus awamori in broiler chickens. Br J Nutr 108:1596–1602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Seidavi A, Asadpour L, Dadashbeiki M, Payan-Carreira R (2014) Effects of dietary fish oil and green tea powder supplementation on broiler chickens immunity. Acta Scientiae Veterinariae 42(1):1–13Google Scholar
  26. Shabani S, Seidavi A, Asadpour L, Corazzin M (2015) Effects of physical form of diet and intensity and duration of feed restriction on the growth performance, blood variables, microbial flora, immunity, and carcass and organ characteristics of broiler chickens. Livest Sci 180:150–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Suppakul P, Miltz J, Sonneveld K, Bigger SW (2003) Active packaging technologies with an emphasis on antimicrobial packaging and its applications. J Food Sci 68:408–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Weidhaas JL, Zigmond MJ, Dupont RR (2012) Aerobic biotransformation of N-nitrosodimethylamine and N-nitrodimethylamine by benzene-, butane-, methane-, propane-, and toluene-fed cultures. Biorem J 16:74–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Windisch W, Schedle K, Plitzner C, Kroismayr A (2008) Use of phytogenic products as feed additives for swine and poultry. J Anim Sci 86:E140–E148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yamashita Y, Katagiri T, Pirarat N, Futami K, Endo M, Maita M (2009) The synthetic antioxidant, ethoxyquin, adversely affects immunity in tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Aquac Nutr 15:144–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yoshiko Y, Candeliere GA, Maeda N, Aubin JE (2007) Osteoblast autonomous Pi regulation via Pit1 plays a role in bone mineralization. Mol Cell Biol 27:4465–4474CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal Science, Rasht BranchIslamic Azad UniversityRashtIran
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringCovenant UniversitySango-OtaNigeria
  3. 3.Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y ZootecniaUniversidad Autónoma de GuerreroChilpancingoMexico
  4. 4.Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y ZootecniaUniversidad Autónoma del Estado de MéxicoTolucaMexico

Personalised recommendations