Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 6774–6782 | Cite as

Productive performance, egg quality, blood constituents, immune functions, and antioxidant parameters in laying hens fed diets with different levels of Yucca schidigera extract

  • Mahmoud AlagawanyEmail author
  • Mohamed E. Abd El-Hack
  • Mohamed S. El-Kholy
Research Article


This study evaluated the effect of Yucca schidigera extract on productive performance, egg quality, blood metabolites, immune function, and antioxidant parameters in laying hens. A total of 96 36-week-old hens were allocated into four groups, the control diet or the diet supplemented with 50, 100, or 150 mg/kg of yucca extract, from 36 to 52 weeks of age. Hens were divided into four equal groups replicated six times with four hens per replicate. As a result of this study, there were no linearly or quadratically differences in body weight change (BWC), feed consumption (FC), feed conversion ratio (FCR), and egg weight (EW) due to yucca treatments at different ages, except FCR and EW that were improved with yucca supplementation during 36–40 weeks of age. Supplemental dietary yucca up to 100 mg/kg diet led to significant improvement in egg number (EN) and egg mass (EM). Egg qualities were not linearly or quadratically affected by yucca treatments except shell thickness was quadratically (P < 0.001) increased with increasing yucca level up to 100 mg/kg diet. Dietary supplementation of yucca exhibited a positive impact on albumin and immunoglobulin G (IgG). Comparing to the control group, yucca addition to laying hen diets resulted in a significant linear (P < 0.001) and quadratic (P = 0. 010) decrease in blood ammonia-N and urea-N, respectively. The activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and reduced glutathione (GSH) level in serum were quadratically improved in yucca groups. The malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration was decreased with yucca addition in comparison with the control group. In conclusion, yucca supplemented up to 100 mg/kg diet can be used as effective feed additive to improve productive performance, blood profile, and antioxidant enzyme activities in laying hens.


Antioxidant status Blood profile Laying hens Performance Yucca schidigera 



body weight change


feed consumption


feed conversion ratio


egg weight


egg number


egg mass




superoxide dismutase


reduced glutathione




Compliance with ethical standards

The current study was conducted at Poultry Research Farm, Poultry Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig University, Egypt. All the experimental procedures were carried out according to the Local Experimental Animal Care Committee and approved by the ethics of the institutional committee. Birds were cared for using husbandry guidelines derived from Zagazig University standard operating procedures.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahmoud Alagawany
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohamed E. Abd El-Hack
    • 1
  • Mohamed S. El-Kholy
    • 1
  1. 1.Poultry Department, Faculty of AgricultureZagazig UniversityZagazigEgypt

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