Effect of black cumin seeds (Nigella sativa L.) supplementation on broilers performance

Magda Elmahdi Elbushra Ahmed


Many feed additives including antibiotics are widely used in poultry production and there is increasing concern about antibiotic residues and disease resistance. The use of antibiotics as feed additives is risky due to cross-resistance amongst pathogens and residues in tissues and most antibiotic growth promoters are banned in many countries. This made alternative natural growth promoters and aromatic plants and their essential oils more important due to their antimicrobial effects. Black cumin (BC) (Nigella sativa L.) is used to promote health,especially in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and widely used in traditional medicine .It is a digestive and appetite stimulant (Gilani et al., 2004), antidiarrheal, anthelmintic (Chowdhury et al., 1998), antibacterial (El-Kamali et al., 1998), anti-inflammatory (Al-Ghamdi, 2001), and has antioxidants properties (Mansour et al., 2002). The seeds proximate analysis was 92% DM, 9.2% CP and 73.3% EE. It contains volatile oils (0.5% -1.6%), fixed oils (35.6% - 41.6%) and amino acids (Al-Gaby, 1998). It also contains ascorbic acid, thiamine, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid (Takruri and Dameh, 1998), esters of fatty acids, free sterols and sternly esters (Menounos et al., 1986). In addition, it contains lipase, phytosterols and sitosterol (Duke, 1992). The volatile oils are carvene, an unsaturated ketone, terpene or dlimonene, (Kapoor, 1990). Pharmacologically active constituents of the volatile oil are thymoquinone, dithymoquinone, thymohydroquinone and thymol (Ghosheh et al., 1999).

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