This study was conducted to study the effect of nigella seed oil as an alternative to the antibiotic, avilamycin, on growth, digestibility, muscle fatty acid profile and some physiological parameters in broiler chickens. Fifty four chicks at 15 d of age (average weight, 320 ± 3 g) were divided into a control group and two treatment groups (n = 18). The control group was fed a basal diet and the experimental treatment groups were fed the basal diet supplemented with avilamycin at a level of 0.001% or nigella seed oil at 1 mL/kg. Growth performance and breast muscle fatty acid profile were measured. Although feed intake was not affected, bodyweight gain was increased, and thus feed conversion ratio was improved by feeding nigella seed oil compared with the control and avilamycin groups. Plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations were higher, while, plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) acid level was lower and polyunsaturated fatty acid levels were higher in the muscle fat of birds receiving nigella seed oil than those receiving the other treatments. It is concluded that feeding nigella seed oil as alternative to avilamycin antibiotic improved growth performance, modified the fatty acids profile in muscles and enhances plasma total cholesterol, LDL and HDL concentrations, and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher