Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 1011–1023 | Cite as

Influence of Nigella sativa seeds, Rosmarinus officinalis leaves and their combination on growth performance, immune response and rumen metabolism in Dorper lambs

  • Kifah Jumaah Odhaib
  • Kazeem Dauda Adeyemi
  • Muideen Adewale Ahmed
  • Muhammad Faseleh Jahromi
  • Shokri Jusoh
  • Anjas Asmara Samsudin
  • Abdul Razak Alimon
  • Halimatun Yaakub
  • Awis Qurni SaziliEmail author
Regular Articles


The objective of this study was to determine the effects of dietary supplementation of Nigella sativa L. seeds, Rosmarinus officinalis L. leaves and their combination on rumen metabolism, nutrient intake and digestibility, growth performance, immune response and blood metabolites in Dorper lambs. Twenty-four entire male Dorper lambs (18.68 ± 0.6 kg, 4–5 months old) were randomly assigned to a concentrate mixture containing on a dry matter basis either, no supplement (control, T1), 1% R. officinalis leaves (T2), 1% N. sativa seeds (T3) or 1% R. officinalis leaves +1% N. sativa seeds (T4). The lambs had ad libitum access to urea-treated rice straw (UTRS) and were raised for 90 days. Supplemented lambs had greater (P < 0.05) intake of DM and UTRS than the control lambs. The T4 lambs had lower (P < 0.05) nutrient digestibility than those fed other treatments. Total and daily weight gain was greater (P < 0.05) in T2 lambs than those fed other diets. The T3 and T4 lambs had greater (P < 0.05) ruminal pH than the T1 and T2 lambs. Supplemented lambs had lower (P < 0.05) ruminal total volatile fatty acids, acetate, propionate, NH3-N and C18:0 than the control lambs. The T4 lambs had lower (P < 0.05) population of Fibrobacter succinogenes, Ruminococcus albus, methanogens and total protozoa compared with those fed other diets. Supplemented lambs had lower (P < 0.05) neutrophils, basophils and serum urea and greater (P < 0.05) serum IgA and IgG compared with the control lambs. The current results emphasised the variation in the efficacy of medicinal plants in ruminant nutrition.


Basophil Fibrobacter succinogenes IgA IgG Methanogens Neutrophils Ruminococcus albus 


Funding information

This research was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education, Malaysia, through Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (project code 07-01-14-1436FR). The funder had no role in carrying out the experiment, writing of the manuscript and the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was conducted following the guidelines of the Research Policy of Universiti Putra Malaysia on Animal welfare and ethics. The experimental protocol was approved by the Universiti Putra Malaysia Animal use and care committee. The care of the experimental goats was in accordance to Malaysian standards.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Aarestrup, F.M., Bager, F., Jensen, N.E., Madsen, M., Meyling, A. and Wegener, H.C., 1998. Surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria isolated from food animals to antimicrobial growth promoters and related therapeutic agents in Denmark, APMIS 106: 606–622.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Abarghuei, M.J., Rouzbehan, Y. and Alipour, D., 2011. Effect of oak (Quercus libani Oliv.) leave tannin on ruminal fermentation of sheep, Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology, 3, 1021–32.Google Scholar
  3. Adeyemi, K.D., Ebrahimi, M., Samsudin, A.A., Alimon, A.R., Karim, R., Karsani, S.A. and Sazili, A.Q., 2015. Influence of Carotino oil on in vitro rumen fermentation, metabolism and apparent biohydrogenation of fatty acids, Animal Science Journal, 86, 270–278.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Adeyemi, K.D., Ahmed, M.A., Jotham, S., Roslan, N.A., Jahromi, M.F., Samsudin, A.A. and Sazili A.Q., 2016a. Rumen microbial community and nitrogen metabolism in goats fed blend of palm oil and canola oil, Italian Journal Animal Science, 15, 666–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Adeyemi, K.D., Sabow, A.B., Aghwan, Z.A., Ebrahimi, M., Samsudin, A.A., Alimon, A.R. and Sazili, A.Q., 2016b. Serum fatty acids, biochemical indices and antioxidant status in goats fed canola oil and palm oil blend, Journal of Animal Science Technology, 58:1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Adeyemi, K.D., Sazili, A.Q., Ebrahimi, M., Samsudin, A.A., Alimon, A.R., Karim, R., Karsani, S.A. and Sabow, A.B., 2016c. Effects of blend of canola oil and palm oil on nutrient digestibility, growth performance, rumen fermentation and fatty acids in goats. Animal Science Journal, 87, 1137–1147.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Agarwal, N., Shekhar, C., Kumar, R., Chaudhary, L.C. and Kamra, D.N., 2009. Effect of peppermint (Mentha piperita) oil on in vitro methanogenesis and fermentation of feed with buffalo rumen liquor, Animal Feed Science and Technology, 48:321–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ahmed, M.A., Adeyemi, K.D., Jahromi, F.J., Jusoh S., Alimon, A., & Samsudin, A. A., 2017. Effects of Kleinhovi hospital and Leucaena lecocephhala leaves on rumen fermentation and microbial population in goats fed treated rice straw. Tropical Animal Health and Production.
  9. Al-Sheyab, F.M., 2012. The effect of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis. L) plant extracts on the immune response and lipid profile in mice, Journal of Biology and Life Sciences, 3, 37–58.Google Scholar
  10. Ando, S., Nishida, T., Ishida, M., Hosoda, K. and Bayaru, E., 2003. Effect of peppermint feeding on the digestibility, ruminal fermentation and protozoa, Livestock Production Science, 82, 245–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. AOAC. 1990. Official methods of analysis, 15th ed. Arlington: Association of Official Analytical Chemists, 931–932.Google Scholar
  12. Bombik, T., Bombik, E., Frankowska, A., Trawińska, B. and Saba L., 2012. Effect of herbal extracts on some haematological parameters of calves during rearing, Bulletin of the Veterinary Institute in Pulawy, 56, 655–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Boskabady, M. H., Keyhanmanesh, R., Khameneh, S., Doostdar, Y. and Khakzad, M. R., 2011. Potential immunomodulation effect of the extract of Nigella sativa on ovalbumin sensitized guinea pigs, Journal of Zhejiang University Science B, 12, 201–209.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Calsamiglia, S., Castillejos, L.O., Busquet, M., Garnsworthy, P.C. and Wiseman, J., 2005. Alternatives to antimicrobial growth promoters in cattle: In 39th University of Nottingham Feed Conference, Sutton Bonington, UK, 13–15 September 2005. 129–167. Nottingham University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Chaturvedi, I., Singh, P.K. and Dutta, T.K., 2013. Effect of herbal feed on goat haematological and biochemical profile, International Journal of Biotechnology and Bioengineering Research, 4, 257–262.Google Scholar
  16. Darul, K., and Kruczyńska, H., 2005. Changes in some blood constituents of dairy cows: association with pregnant and lactation, Acta Science Polonorum-Medicinia Veterinaria, 4, 73–86.Google Scholar
  17. Department of standards, Malaysia. 2009. MS1500:2009: Halal food production, preparation, handling and storage-General guidelines (second revision), Malaysia.Google Scholar
  18. Ebrahimi, M., Rajion, M.A., Adeyemi, K.D., Jafari, S., Jahromi, M.F., Oskoeian, E, Goh, Y.M. and Ghaffari, H., 2017. Dietary n-6:n-3 fatty acid ratios alter rumen fermentation parameters and microbial populations in goats, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 65, 737–744.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Elmowalid, G., Amar, A. M., and Ahmad, A. A. M. (2013). Nigella sativa seed extract : 1. Enhancement of sheep macrophage immune functions in vitro. Research in Veterinary Science, 95, 437–443.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Frutos, P., Hervas, G., Giráldez, F.J. and Mantecón, A.R., 2004. A review. Tannins and ruminant nutrition. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 2, 191–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Getachew, G., Pittroff, W., Putnam, D.H., Dandekar, A., Goyal, S. and DePeters, E.J, 2008. The influence of addition of gallic acid, tannin acid, or quebracho tannins to alfalfa hay on in vitro rumen fermentation and microbial protein synthesis, Animal Feed Science and Technology, 140, 444–461.Google Scholar
  22. Górski, K. and Saba, L., 2012. Changes in the level of selected haematological and biochemical parameters in the blood of dairy cows in central-eastern Poland, Acta Veterinaria, 62, 421–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Greathead, H., 2003. Plants and plant extracts for improving animal productivity. Proceeding of Nutrition Society, 62, 279–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gupta, A.K., Sannat, C., Agrawal, R. and Hirpurkar, S.D., 2016. Effect of Feeding of Tinospora cordifolia on Immune Response in Cattle, Journal of Animal Research, 6, 579–584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hassan, A.S., Hassan, M.K. and Al-Rubeii, A, 2013. Carcass yield and characteristics of Karadi lambs as affected by dietary supplement of rumen undegradable nitrogen fed with Nigella sativa, African Journal of Biotechnology, 10, 1491–1495.Google Scholar
  26. Hou, F. X., Yang, H. F., Yu, T. and Chen, W., 2007. The immunosuppressive effects of 10 mg / kg cyclophosphamide in Wistar rats. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, 24, 30–36.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Jayanegara, A., Kreuzer, M., Wina, E. and Leiber, F., 2011. Significance of phenolic compounds in tropical forages for the ruminal bypass of polyunsaturated fatty acids and the appearance of biohydrogenation intermediates as examined in vitro, Animal Production Science, 51,1127–1136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jordán M.J., Moñino, M.I., Martínez, C., Lafuente, A. and Sotomayor, J.A., 2010. Introduction of distillate rosemary leaves into the diet of the Murciano-Granadina goat: Transfer of polyphenolic compounds to goats' milk and the plasma of suckling goat kids. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58, 8265–8270.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Khiaosa-Ard, R., Bryner, S.F., Scheeder, M.R.L., Wettstein, H.R., Kreuzer, M. and Soliva, C.R, 2009. Evidence for the inhibition of the terminal step of ruminal α -linolenic acid biohydrogenation by condensed tannins. Journal of Dairy Science, 92, 177–188.Google Scholar
  30. Kim, D.H., Kim, K.H., Nam, I.S., Lee, S.S., Choi, C.W., Kim, W.Y., Kwon, E.G., Lee, K.Y., Lee, M.J. and Oh, Y.K., 2013. Effect of indigenous herbs on growth, blood metabolites and carcass characteristics in the late fattening period of Hanwoo steers. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Science, 26, 1562–1568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Koike, S., and Kobayashi, Y., 2001. Development and use of competitive PCR assays for the rumen cellulolytic bacteria: Fibrobacter succinogenes, Ruminococcus albus and Ruminococcus flavefaciens. FEMS Microbiology Letter, 204, 361–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kongmun, P., Wanapat, M., Pakdee, P., Navanukraw C. and Yu, Z., 2011. Manipulation of rumen fermentation and ecology of swamp buffalo by coconut oil and garlic powder supplementation, Livestock Science, 135, 84–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kudke, R.J., Kalaskar, S.R. and Nimbalkar, R.V., 1999. Neem leaves as feed supplement for livestock. Pushudhn, 14, 12.Google Scholar
  34. Kumar, R. and Singh, M., 1984. Tannins: Their adverse role in ruminant nutrition, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 32, 447–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kupczyński, R., and Chudoba-Drozdowska, B., 2003. Values of selected biochemical parameters of cows blood during their drying-off and the beginning of lactation, Electronic Journal of Polish Agricultural Universities, 5:1–10.Google Scholar
  36. Lane, D.J., 1991. 16S/23S RRNA Sequencing. In: Nucleic Acid Techniques in Bacterial Systematics. Ed: Stackebrandt E, & Goodfellow M, John Wiley & Sons, New York 115–175.Google Scholar
  37. Makkar, H.P., Blümmel, M., Borowy, N.K. and Becker, K., 1993. Gravimetric determination of tannins and their correlations with chemical and protein precipitation methods, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 61, 161–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McSweeney, C., Palmer, B., McNeill, D. and Krause, D., 2001. Microbial interactions with tannins: Nutritional consequences for ruminants, Animal Feed Science Technology, 91, 83–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Min, B.R., Solaiman, S., Terrill, T., Ramsay, A. and Mueller-Harvey I., 2015. The effects of tannins-containing ground pine bark diet upon nutrient digestion, nitrogen balance, and mineral retention in meat goats, Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, 6, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Moskwa, B., Cabaj, W. and Wojdan, J., 2001. Estimation of some biochemical parameters in sera as potential clinical signs of Neospora caninum infection in dairy cattle in Polish, Folia Universitatis Agriculturae Stetinensis, 224:121–126.Google Scholar
  41. Muhammad, N., Tukur, H.M., Magandi, S.A., Abdulqadir, H., Ifesinachi U., Abubakar M., Ezimuo, C.U., Garba, M.G., Saulawa, L.A. and Yusuf A., 2016. Nutrient intake and digestibility of growing and fattening Uda sheep fed graded levels of ginger in semi-arid Nigeria, Journal of Animal Science, 5, 268–275.Google Scholar
  42. Nagalakshmi, D. and Dhanalakshmi, K. 2008. Effect of Dietary Supplementation of Tinospora cordifolia on Metabolic Profile, Antioxidant Status and Immune Response in Lambs under Semi-Intensive System. Poster presentation in 25th World Buiatrics Congress held on Budapest, Hungary on July 6–11, 2008.Google Scholar
  43. Nieto, G., Díaz, P., Bañón, S. and Garrido, M.D. 2010. Dietary administration of ewe diets with a distillate from rosemary leaves (Rosmarinus officinalis L.): Influence on lamb meat quality, Meat Science, 8:23–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. NRC. 2007. Nutrient Requirements of Small Ruminants. National Academic Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  45. Parker, D.S., 1990. Manipulation of the functional activity of the gut by dietary and other means (antibiotics/probiotics) in ruminants, Journal of Nutrition, 120, 639–48.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Parsons, R.T., Yoshiaki, M. and Lalli, G.M., 1984. A manual of chemical and biological methods for seawater analysis. 1st Ed., Pergamon Press, Oxford. Pp. 173.Google Scholar
  47. Pilajun, R. and Wanapat, M., 2011. Effect of coconut oil and mangosteen peel supplementation on ruminal fermentation, microbial population, and microbial protein synthesis in swamp buffaloes, Livestock Science, 141, 148–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ramin, A.G., Asl, H.M., Asri-Rezaie, S., Batebi, E., Tamadon, A. and Ramin, S., 2011. Prediction of traumatic pericarditis in cows using some serum biochemical and enzyme parameters, Acta Veterinaria, 61:383–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Reed, J.D., Soller, H. and Woodward, A., 1990. Fodder tree and straw diets for sheep: intake, growth, digestibility and the effects of phenolics on nitrogen utilization, Animal Feed Science and Technology, 30, 39–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Salem, M. L., 2005. Immunomodulatory and therapeutic properties of the Nigella sativa L . seed. International Immunopharmacology, 5, 1749–1770.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Salem, A., López, S., Ranilla, M.J. and González, J.S., (2013). Short-to medium-term effects of consumption of quebracho tannins on saliva production and composition in sheep and goats, Journal of Animal Science, 91, 1341–1349.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Samsudin, A.A., Evans, P.N., Wright, A.D. and Al Jassim, R., 2011. Molecular diversity of the foregut bacteria community in the dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius), Environmental Microbiology, 3, 3024–3035.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. SAS. 2003. Statistical Analysis System package (SAS) Version 9.2 software. SAS Institute Inc, Cary.Google Scholar
  54. Shaker, A.H. and Khasraw, M.H., 2009. Effects of medicinal plants and probiotic supplementation on some nutrients and blood parameters of Karadi lambs, Euphrates Journal of Agricultural Science, 1, 1–13.Google Scholar
  55. Sylvester, J.T., Karnati, S.K.R., Yu, Z., Morrison, M. and Firkins, J.L., 2004. Development of an assay to quantify rumen ciliate protozoal biomass in cows using real-time PCR, Journal of Nutrition, 134, 3378–3384.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Taranu, I., Marin, D.E., Unteal, A., Janczyk, P., Motiu, M., Cristel, R.D. and Souffrant, W.B., 2012. Effect of dietary natural supplements on immune response and mineral bioavailability in piglets after weaning, Czech Journal of Animal Science, 57, 332–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Ultee, A., Kets, E.P. and Smid, E.J., 1999. Mechanisms of action of carvacrol on the food-borne pathogen Bacillus cereus, Applied Environmental Microbiology, 65, 4606–4610.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  58. Van Soest, P.J., Robertson, J. and Lewis, B 1991. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber, and nonstarch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition, Journal of Dairy Science, 74, 3583–3597.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Vasta, V. and Luciano, G., 2011. The effects of dietary consumption of plants secondary compounds on small ruminants’ products quality, Small Ruminant Research, 30, 150–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Vasta, V., Makkar, H.P.S., Mele, M. and Priolo, A., 2009. Ruminal biohydrogenation as affected by tannins in vitro. British Journal of Nutrition, 102, 82–92.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Wallace, R.J., Chaudhary, L.C., McKain, N., McEwan, N.R., Richardson, A.J., Vercoe, P.E., et al. 2006. Clostridium proteoclasticum: a ruminal bacterium that forms stearic acid from linoleic acid. FEMS Microbiology Letter, 265, 195–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wanapat, M., Cherdthong, A., Pakdee, P. and Wanapat, S., 2008. Manipulation of rumen ecology by dietary lemongrass (Stapf.) powder supplementation, Journal of Animal Science. 86:3497–503.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Wanapat, M., Kang, S., Khejornsart, P. and Wanapat, S., 2013. Effects of plant herb combination supplementation on rumen fermentation and nutrient digestibility in beef cattle, Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Science, 26, 1127–1136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Wright, D. J., Chapman, P. A. and Siddons, C.A., 1994. Immunomagnetic separation as a sensitive method for isolating Escherichia coli O157 from food samples. Epidemiology and Infection, 113, 31–39.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  65. Yang, W.Z., Benchaar, C., Ametaj, B. N., Chaves, A.V., He, M.L. and McAllister, T.A., 2007. Effects of garlic and juniper berry essential oils on ruminal fermentation and on the site and extent of digestion in lactating cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 90, 5671–5681.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Yu, Y., Lee, C., Kim, J. and Hwang, S., 2005. Group-specific primer and probe sets to detect methanogenic communities using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 89, 670–679.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Yusuf, A.L., Adeyemi, K.D., Samsudin, A.A., Goh, Y.M., Alimon, A.R. and Sazili, A.Q., 2017. Effects of dietary supplementation of leaves and whole plant of Andrographis paniculata on rumen fermentation, fatty acid composition and microbiota in goats. BMC Veterinary Research, 13, 349.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kifah Jumaah Odhaib
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kazeem Dauda Adeyemi
    • 1
    • 3
  • Muideen Adewale Ahmed
    • 1
  • Muhammad Faseleh Jahromi
    • 2
  • Shokri Jusoh
    • 1
  • Anjas Asmara Samsudin
    • 1
  • Abdul Razak Alimon
    • 1
  • Halimatun Yaakub
    • 1
  • Awis Qurni Sazili
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Animal Science, Faculty of AgricultureUniversiti Putra MalaysiaUPM SerdangMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, College of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of BasrahBasraIraq
  3. 3.Department of Animal ProductionUniversity of IlorinIlorinNigeria
  4. 4.Laboratory of Sustainable Animal Production and Biodiversity, Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Food SecurityUniversiti Putra MalaysiaUPM SerdangMalaysia
  5. 5.Halal Products Research InstituteUniversiti Putra MalaysiaUPM SerdangMalaysia

Personalised recommendations