Evaluation of olive leaf extract as a growth promoter on the performance, blood biochemical parameters, and caecal microflora of broiler chickens
ABSTRACT The objective of the study was to examine the effects of an alcoholic liquid olive leaf extract (OLE) obtained from fresh leaves on the growth performance, carcass weight, caecal microflora, and some plasma variables, such as triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in broiler chickens. A total of 375 one-day-old male broilers (Ross 308) were randomly divided into five treatments with five replicate pens (15 birds each) per treatment. The birds were fed either a basal diet with no supplement (control), with 75 (OLE75), 150 (OLE150), 300 (OLE300), and 600 (OLE600) mg kg−1 oleuropein, provided by 0.66, 1.33, 2.65, and 5.32 g kg−1 of the OLE. The dietary supplementation of OLE linearly increased daily body weight gain (BWG), feed intake (FI), and carcass weight and improved feed conversion ratio (FCR). Although the OLE600 broilers had the highest daily FI among the treatments, there were significant increases in their BWG and improvements in FCR compared with the control, OLE75, and OLE150 birds. The carcass weights of OLE150, OLE300, and OLE600 birds were higher than those of the control group. The OLE600 diet increased the dressing percentage compared with the OLE75, OLE150, and OLE300 diets. The abdominal fat weight and the plasma HDL concentration of the control broilers were lower than those of all OLE birds. All doses of OLE supplementation decreased the caecal E. coli content. A growth-promoting effect is obtained from the dietary supplementation of 600 mg kg−1 oleuropein due to its beneficial effect on growth performance and caecal microflora populations of broilers.