e-ISSN : 2347-2677, p-ISSN : 2394-0522
Mahmoud Ahmed Abo Mhara
A total of 180 aged hens (58 weeks of age) were divided into 5 treatment groups of 36 each to evaluate the effect of Salix safsaf (SS) or Milk Thistle (MTH). Groups 2 and 3 were fed the basal diet supplemented with 1.5 or 3 g SS/kg, respectively. Groups 4 and 5 were given the basal diet plus 1.5 or 3 g MTH/kg, respectively. Group 1 was used as a control group. The experimental period lasted two months. SS or MTH in hen diets resulted in a substantial (p<.001) rise in EP and EM percentages compared to the control group; Furthermore, the large dosage of MTH alone significantly increased EW. Although SS or MTH had no effect on daily FI, FCR values improved significantly. The high levels of both SS and MTH increased eggshell weight (p<.001) compared to the control group. The egg albumin weight (percent) decreased somewhat after SS or MTH treatment, however the egg yolk weight increased dramatically (p<.001). Blood total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentrations were dramatically reduced (p<.001) in the SS or MTH groups, while HDL cholesterol was significantly elevated (p<.001). Blood total antioxidant capacity and concentration in the SS and MTH groups were significantly higher (p<.001) than in the control group. Adding SS or MTH to the hen diet increased blood estradiol-17b hormone secretion (p<.001) compared to the control group.
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