The study was planned to determine the effects of dietary incorporation of Neem (Azadirachta indica), Moringa (Moringa oleifera), and Jute (Corchorus olitorius) leaf powder on production performance, carcass traits, and blood indices of broiler chickens as a substitute for the antibiotic. A total of 200-day-old Cobb 500 broiler chicks were divided randomly into 5 experimental groups. Whereas groups T1, T2, T3, and T4 were offered basal feed supplemented with 2% Neem Leaf Powder (NLP), 2% Moringa Leaf Powder (MLP), 2% Jute Leaf Powder (JLP), and antibiotics, respectively. In this research, the total feed consumption of birds was significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the T1 and T2 group than in the T3 and T4 group. Final live weight was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in 2% MLP treated group T2 followed by T1, T3, and T0 group. Significantly (P < 0.05) better feed conversion ratio (FCR) was found in the T2 group compared to T0, T3, and T4 groups. There found no significant (P > 0.05) effect of treatments on the survivability percentage of birds. All the treatment groups showed an insignificant (P > 0.05) effect on dressing percentage and organs (liver, heart, and gizzard) weight of broiler chicken. Weight of immune organs (spleen and bursa) and blood parameters (concentration of hemoglobin, glucose, and cholesterol) were not influenced (P > 0.05) by dietary addition. Birds fed the lower amount of feed, higher body weight, and improved FCR were found in the 2% MLP treated group. In overall aspects, the effectiveness of 2% MLP addition was better than 2% NLP and 2% JLP as an antibiotic alternative.


In Bangladesh, poultry meat alone contributes 37% of the total meat production [1]. In the last few decades, for raising poultry, a large diversity of antimicrobials have been used in most countries [2]. It is now well established that the development of antibiotic resistance results from the use of Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGPs) in animal feed. Therefore, indiscriminate use of such crucial antimicrobials in animal production has been banned in some countries. Hence, phytobiotics have proven to be natural, less toxic, residue-free, and ideal feed additives in food animal production Compared with antibiotics [3]. The neem tree (Azadirachta indica) is native to the Indian sub-continent. Neem tree has some active components such as azadiractin, nimbidin, nimbin,quercetin, etc. [4] and which has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, hypolipidaemic, immunostimulant, hepatoprotective, and hypoglycemic effects [5]. Moringa (Moringa oleifera) is a miracle tree mainly distributed in tropical and subtropical zones. It is one of the most auspicious crops that have antimicrobial attributes and are rich with essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals [6] and antioxidant potentiality [7] that ultimately strengthen the immune system [8]. Jute (Corchorus olitorius) is an annual herb. It is a heightened source of protein [9], vitamins A and C, and micronutrients [10]. C. olitorius leaf has antibacterial and antifungal potentiality [11]. Based on the above facts, the present study evaluated the effect of neem, moringa, and jute leaf powder as a natural antibiotic substitute on growth performance, carcass traits, and blood indices of broiler chicken.

Materials and Methods

Experimental Site

The research work was conducted at Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University Poultry Farm, Dhaka, for 28 days from 18th September to 16th October 2018.

Experimental Materials and Design

A total of 200 one-day-old Cobb 500 broiler chicks were collected from a renowned hatchery. They were kept in the electric brooder for two days by maintaining standard brooding protocol. During the brooding time, only a basal diet was given. After two days, 200 chicks were randomly divided into five treatment groups with four replicates (10 chicks in each) until day 28. Neem and moringa leaves were harvested from the university campus, and jute leaves were from a village. The leaves were air-dried for 4 days and milled into powder, and packed separately for further use. The proximate composition of Neem leaves was 13.78% moisture, 4.0% crude protein, 3.10% ether extract, 9.12% crude fiber and 3.84% ash; Moringa leaves were 7.68% moisture, 26.60% crude protein, 3.70% ether extract, 11.8% crude fiber and 9.25% ash and Jute leaves powder were 5.10% moisture, 24.10% crude protein, 12.70% ether extract, 6.68% crude fiber and 10.65% ash.

Experimental diets were designed as follows:

T0 = Control

T1 = Control + 2% Neem leaf powder

T2 = Control + 2% of Moringa leaf powder

T3 = Control + 2% of Jute leaf powder

T4 = Control + Antibiotics (Doxivet ®-1 g/2 litre of drinking water)

Management of Chicks

The experimental shed was cleaned, washed, and disinfected. There was cross ventilation in the south-facing and open-sided shed. Rice husk was used as litter at a depth of 5 cm. The litter was stirred regularly, and sometimes fresh litter was added replacing damp. At night, there was a provision for light in the shed. Ration and fresh drinking water were offered to the birds ad libitum. Feed was supplied three times, and water two times daily. Feed ingredients and chemical analyses of the basal diet are presented in Table I. Chicks were vaccinated against Ranikhet Disease (RD), Infectious Bronchitis, and Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD).

Ingredients Starter phase day 1 to 14 Grower phase day 15 to 28
Corn, 7.4% CP 54.15 55.77
Soybean meal, 44.5% CP 37.81 36.12
Soybean oil (%) 2.3 3.28
Dicalcium phosphate (%) 2.01 1.9
Sodium bicarbonate (%) 0.20 0.17
Oyster shell (%) 1.58 1.5
Salt (NaCl) (%) 0.2 0.24
Vitamin premix* 0.25 0.24
Mineral premix** 0.25 0.25
DL-Methionine (%) 0.35 0.32
L-Lysine HCl (%) 0.3 0.16
L- Threonine (%) 0.06 0.05
Chemical composition
ME (kcal/kg) 2920 3100
CP (%) 22.5 20.70
Methionine (%) 0.64 0.9
Lysine (%) 1.27 1.24
Methionine + Cysteine (%) 0.9 0.83
Calcium (%) 0.93 0.84
Available phosphorus (%) 0.41 0.39
Table I. Feed Ingredients and Chemical Analyses of the Starter and Grower Ration

Parameters Studied

Weekly feed consumption was recorded to calculate the final feed consumption. Weekly live weight was recorded. From total feed consumption and live weight, calculate the final FCR. For calculating the survivability rate, everyday no. of dead birds was recorded. Three birds from each replication were sacrificed at the end of the experiment. After slaughtering, gizzard, liver, heart, spleen, and bursa weights were measured from each broiler chicken and calculated their average weight. To find out the dressing percentage of bird dressing yield was calculated.

Determination of Blood Indices

For determination of hemoglobin concentration, blood (2 ml) sample was collected from wing vein of the bird (2 birds per replication) and kept into sterilized glass tubes containing Ethylene Diamine-tetra-acetic acid (EDTA). For serum biochemical (glucose and cholesterol) studies, plain bottle (without anticoagulant) was used to keep the blood samples. Blood sample was centrifuged for collection of serum and using commercial kits for measuring glucose and cholesterol concentration in serum.

Results and Discussion

Production Performance

Final live weight, feed conversion ratio (FCR), and survivability percentage showed significant results in T2 group than all other treatments. However, all the treatment groups showed an insignificant effect on organs (liver, heart, and gizzard) weight, dressing percentage, weight of immune organs, and blood parameters.

Total Feed Consumption

Data presented in Table II explored that total feed consumption (g/bird) of bird significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the T1 (2289.62 g) and T2 (2288.35 g) group than in T3 and T4 groups. Insignificantly (P > 0.05), higher feed consumption was found in T0 group when compared with T1 and T2 groups. However, among the treatment groups, the lowest amount of feed consumption was found in 2% MLP treated group. On behalf of the feed consumption, a similar observation was found by [12] and [13] in case of neem leaf addition. The present study explained that feed consumption of bird decreased (P > 0.05) due to MLP supplementation compared to control, which might be as a result of nutrient allowances [14]. Noticed similar findings that decreased feed intake of birds due to Moringa leaves supplementation. The current study showed that significantly (P < 0.05) higher feed consumption was found in JLP supplemented group compared to the control group, but the previous researchers found an insignificant (P > 0.05) effect [15], [16].

Treatments Total feed consumption (g)/bird Final live weight (g)/bird FCR Survivability (%)
T0 2318.10 ± 5.7bc 1610.80 ± 3.31c 1.44 ± 0.01a 99.67.00 ± 00
T1 2289.62 ± 6.71c 1633.55 ± 4.45b 1.40 ± 0.02bc 100.00 ± 00
T2 2288.35 ± 10.14c 1664.30 ± 6.29a 1.38 ± 0.01c 100.00 ± 00
T3 2358.25 ± 22.14a 1633.55 ± 7.28b 1.44 ± 0.02a 100.00 ± 00
T4 2337.50 ± 2.39ab 1648.55 ± 9.41ab 1.42 ± 0.02ab 100.00 ± 00
Mean ± SE 2318.37 ± 7.75 1638.15 ± 4.83 1.42 ± 0.02 99.30 ± 0.07
Table II. Production Performance of Broiler Chicken Treated with NLP, MLP, JLP, and Antibiotic

Final Live Weight

Final live weight (g/bird) of bird in different treatment groups had a significant (P < 0.05) difference, which was displayed in Table II. It was presented that significantly (P < 0.05) higher live weight was found in 2% MLP treated group T2 (1664.30 g) compared to T0, T1, and T3 group. Significantly (P < 0.05) lower live weight was found in T0 group compared to other groups. The present findings were as follows [17] and [18]. They noted that higher body weight was found due to supplementation of NLP in the basal diet of broiler chicken. These findings agreed with [19], [20] they noted that the inclusion of moringa leaf meal in the diet of broiler significantly (P < 0.05) improved the weight gain as compared to the control group. The current study showed that significantly (P < 0.05) improved body weight found in JLP supplemented group compared to the control group, but other researchers found insignificant (P > 0.05) effect [15], [16].

Feed Conversion Ratio

Data displayed in Table II explored that significantly (p < 0.05) better FCR was found in 2% MLP treated group T2 (1.38) compared to control, 2% JLP, and antibiotic-treated group. However, between T1 and T2 groups had no significant difference. In tune with the present observation [17], [21] they found improved FCR due to dietary supplementation of neem leaf powder. The present study was well corroborated with [19], [22] they found identical findings that FCR was significantly (P < 0.05) better in birds fed diet supplemented with Moringa oleifera leaf meal compared to control birds. Similar results were observed by [15], [16] they noted that insignificant differences (P > 0.05) in feed conversion efficiency of broiler chicken when treated with jute leaves.


The Survivability percentage shown in Table II was higher for the NLP, MLP, JLP, and antibiotic-treated groups (100%) than the control group (99.67%), but no significant (P > 0.05) differences were found among the groups. Present findings were well corroborated with [23], who explained that mortality of broiler chicken was not affected significantly (P > 0.05) by neem leaf meal. In harmony with the present result, [24] noted that mortality of broiler chickens was not affected significantly by moringa leaf meal.

Carcass Traits

The dressing percentage of birds in different treatment groups had no significant (P > 0.05) difference which was presented in Table III. Numerically (P > 0.05) higher dressing percentage was observed in T1 (70.80%) and T2 (70.30%) group, followed by the other group. Many researchers [25], [12] also got similar findings by using neem products that had no significant (P > 0.05) influence on the dressing percentage of broiler chicken. The result of this study agreed with [6], [26] they suggested that incorporation of Moringa oleifera on broiler chickens’ diet did not observe significant (P > 0.05) differences in the dressing percentage. A similar result was reported by [15] and found no significant differences (P > 0.05) on the average final carcass weight of broiler chicken when treated with fermented jute leaves.

Treatments Dressing percentage (%) Liver weight (g) Heart weight (g) Gizzard weight (g)
T0 67.60 ± 0.29 37.33 ± 0.60 9.17 ± 0.44 37.50 ± 0.44
T1 70.80 ± 0.61 39.20 ± 0.89 9.83 ± 0.16 38.90 ± 0.67
T2 70.30 ± 1.07 40.47 ± 0.58 10.17 ± 0.44 38.33 ± 0.73
T3 69.38 ± 0.95 38.33 ± 1.02 9.67 ± 0.67 37.67 ± 0.44
T4 69.05 ± 1.11 38.33 ± 0.44 9.00 ± 0.86 37.50 ± 0.76
Mean ± SE 69.52 ± 0.43 38.73 ± 0.39 9.57 ± 0.24 37.85 ± 0.31
Table III. Effect of Supplementation of NLP, MLP, JLP, and Antibiotic to Broiler Diets on Carcass Traits of Broiler Chicken

The relative weight of giblet organs liver, gizzard, and heart (g) of broiler chicken was not significantly (P > 0.05) affected by NLP, MLP, JLP, and antibiotic in comparison with the control group (Table III). The mean liver, gizzard, and heart weight were 38.73 g, 37.85 g, and 9.57 g, respectively, but numerically (P > 0.05), the highest liver (40.47 g) and heart (10.17 g) weight were found in MLP group, and gizzard (38.90 g) weight in NLP treated group. Our results were similar to [18], [27] they found no significant differences among the dietary groups on carcass parameters (heart, gizzard, and liver) when adding the neem leaves powder. Furthermore, [28] supported present findings that the dietary supplementation of moringa leaf meal did not significantly (P > 0.05) affect the relative weights of liver, heart, and gizzard.

Immune Organs

Table IV explored that the weight (g) of immune organs (spleen and bursa) did not significantly (P > 0.05) differ among the treatment groups. The identical findings noticed by [23], [29] neem leaf did not cause any significant (P > 0.05) change in spleen weight. In tune with the present result [30] noted that due to moringa leaf meal supplementation relative weight of spleen and bursa was not significant (P < 0.05) among the dietary groups.

Treatments Spleen weight (g) Bursa weight (g)
T0 2.30 ± 0.17 1.30 ± 0.17
T1 1.83 ± 0.17 1.67 ± 0.16
T2 2.53 ± 0.14 1.97 ± 0.24
T3 2.00 ± 0.29 1.63 ± 0.23
T4 2.02 ± 0.29 1.63 ± 0.18
Mean ± SE 2.13 ± 0.12 1.64 ± 0.09
Table IV. Effect of Supplementation of NLP, MLP, JLP, and Antibiotic to Broiler Diets on the Weight of Immune Organs (Spleen and Bursa) of Broiler Chicken

Blood Parameters

Table V revealed that the concentration (g/dL) of hemoglobin was not significantly (P > 0.05) different among the different dietary groups. The mean value of hemoglobin was 8.58 g/dl. In the case of neem leaf addition same result was found by [31], [32]. Similar findings were observed by [33] who explained that the concentration of blood hemoglobin was not significantly (P > 0.05) different by moringa leaf meal addition.

Treatments Hemoglobin (g/dL) Glucose (mg/dl) Cholesterol (mg/dl)
T0 8.82 ± 0.26 182.00 ± 17.61 186.67 ± 12.31
T1 8.68 ± 0.61 227.17 ± 24.64 179.50 ± 15.05
T2 8.57 ± 0.49 254.50 ± 37.66 183.67 ± 8.21
T3 8.18 ± 0.58 268.00 ± 27.83 186.50 ± 11.85
T4 8.65 ± 0.16 244.17 ± 30.87 187.50 ± 3.02
Mean ± SE 8.58 ± 0.19 235.17 ± 13.06 184.77 ± 4.56
Table V. Effect of Supplementation of NLP, MLP, JLP, and Antibiotic to Broiler Diets on Blood Parameters

Table V also revealed that the concentration (mg/dl) of glucose and cholesterol was not significantly (P > 0.05) differed among the different dietary groups. The mean value of cholesterol and glucose was 235.17 mg/dl and 184.77 mg/dl, respectively. References [34], [23] reported identical results that the blood glucose and cholesterol of broiler chickens were not significantly affected by NLM supplementation. In line with the present result [35], [36] noted that serum cholesterol concentration was not influenced (P > 0.05) by moringa leaf meal addition. In the case of glucose concentration, [24] found similar findings.


Based on the findings of this study, 2% MLP treated birds fed the lower amount of feed achieved higher body weight and improved FCR. It could be inferred that incorporation of 2% MLP showed significantly superior results on production performance of birds as a substitute of antibiotics compared to 2% NLP and 2% JLP supplementation.


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