Author(s): F E Dieumou, A Teguia, J R Kuiate, J D Tamokou, N B Fonge
An experiment was conducted at the University of Dschang poultry research farm to evaluate the effect of ginger and garlic essential oils on some blood parameters, growth performance and gut microbial population of broiler chickens. Forty two male and female day old chicks of Arbor acres line were arranged in a fractional factorial experiment of an unbalanced completely randomised design and allotted to three treatments given by stomach tube except for the control in three doses 0 (Control),10mg/kg/day, 20mg/kg/day,and 40mg/kg/day. All diets were iso-nitrogenous, containing 22% and 19% crude protein in the starter and the finisher periods, respectively. The trial lasted for seven weeks and there were no differences in feed intake, body weight gain and the feed conversion ratio among the birds. All organ weights and carcass characteristics were not affected by the treatments, except for a decrease (P< 0.05) in relative liver weight of birds on garlic oil treatment compared with those given ginger oil and control. Similarly, a lower (P< 0.001) proportion of the head weight of birds given essential oils was observed compared to the control. Dosages effects showed a decrease in relative weight of organs only for the head (P<0.001) and the gizzard (P<0.05) compared to the control. Male broilers deposited less (P<0.001) than the females. There were no significant differences observed in the activities of the serum transaminases (AST & ALT) and blood creatinine level, indicating that none of the three dosages of essential oils given to birds was toxic. However, Escherichia coli, and other Enterobacteria counts in the ileo-cæcal digesta numerically decreased (P<0.05) compared to the control as the doses of essential oils given increased. The same observation was made for the Salmonella and Shigella species (P< 0.001).The colony forming units (CFU) of Staphylococci spp were statistically similar between the two oil-treated groups, but were significantly (P< 0.01) reduced compared with the control group. Yeast and mold fungi were found in the ileo-cæcal digesta of all the groups.