The effect of different levels of fennel essential oil nanoemulsion on energy and protein efficiency ratio, litter and excreta quality and welfare related parameters of broiler chickens reared under heat stress

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate of Poultry Nutrition, Department of Animal Science, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, University of Khuzestan, Iran


The present experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of different levels of fennel essential oil nanoemulsion (FEON) on energy and protein efficiency ratio, litter and excreta quality and welfare related parameters of broiler chickens reared under heat stress. A total of 200 day-old Ross 308 broiler chicks were assigned in a completely randomized design with 5 treatments and 4 replicates. The experimental treatments were control (basal diet with no additive), basal diet and 200 mg/kg fennel essential oil (FEO) and basal diet with 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg of FEON. The results of this experiment showed that trans-anethole, fenchone and limonene with the values of 81.49, 7.16 and 4.98 percent, respectively were the main compounds of fennel essential oil. The protein and energy efficiency ratios were not affected by different experimental treatments. The excreta pH of chicks fed diet containing 200 mg/kg FEON was significantly (P≤0.05) less than those of fed diets containing 50 and 100 mg/kg of FEON and the control group. The litter moisture was decreased significantly (P≤0.05) by supplementation of diet with 50 mg/kg FEON when compared with control group. The hock burn and abdominal plumage scores were decreased significantly (P≤0.05) in chicks fed diet containing 50 mg/kg FEON when compared with other groups. According to the results of this experiment, it seems that the utilization of FEON in heat stress condition can improve broiler welfare related parameters via decreasing the litter moisture.


  1. Anderson, W. G., McKinly, R. S. & Colavecchia, M. (1997). The use of clove oil as an anaesthetic for rainbow trout and its effects on swimming performance. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 17, 301-307.
  2. AOAC. (1995). Association of Official Analytical Chemists. Official methods of AOAC International (16th Edn.). Virginia. USA, Pp, 1147.
  3. Bessei, W. (2006). Welfare of broilers: A review. World’s Poultry Science Journal, 62, 455-466.
  4. Birdane, F. M., Cemek, M., Birdane, Y. O., Gülçin, I. & Büyükokuroğlu, M. E. (2007). Beneficial effects of Foeniculum vulgare on ethanol-induced acute gastric mucosal injury in rats. World Journal Gastroenterology, 13, 607-611.
  5. Bokkers, E. A. M. & Koene, P. (2004). Motivation and ability to walk for a food reward in fast and slow-growing broilers to 12 weeks of age. Behavior Processes, 67, 121-130.
  6. Brenes, A. & Roura, E. (2010). Essential oils in poultry nutrition: Main effects and modes of action. Animal Feed Science Technology, 158, 1-14.
  7. Cabuk, M., Bozkurt, M., Alçiçek, A., Catli, A. U. & Baser, K. H. C. (2003). Effect of a dietary essential oil mixture on performance of laying hens in the summer season. South African Journal of Animal Science, 36, 215-221.
  8. Ciftci, M., Guler, T., Dalkilic, B. & Ertas, N. (2005). The effect of anise oil (Pimpinella anisum L.) on broiler performance. International Journal of Poultry Science, 4, 851-855.
  9. Dastar, B., Golian, A., DaneshMesgaran, M., EftekharShahroodi, F. & Kermanshahi, H. (2006). Effect of reducing protein level of starter diet on performance, energy and protein efficiency ratio in broiler chickens. Journal of Agricultural Science, 16, 207-217. (in Farsi)
  10. Dozier, W. A., Thaxton, J. P., Branton, S. L., Morgan, G. W., Miles, D. M., Roush, W. B., Lott, B. D. & Vizzier-Thaxton, Y. (2005). Stocking density effects on growth performance and processing yields of heavy broilers.  Poultry Science, 84, 1332-1338.
  11. Dozier, W. A., Thaxton, J. P., Purswell, J. L., Olanrewaju, H. A., Branton, S. L. & Roush, W. B. (2006). Stocking density effects on male broilers grown to 1.8 kilograms of body weight.  Poultry Science, 85,344-351.
  12. Duncan, D. B. (1955). Multiple range and multiple F tests. Biometrics, 11, 1-42.
  13. Ghazanfari, S., Adibmoradi, M. & Rahiminiat, F. (2015). Effects of different levels of Artemisia sieberi essential oil on intestinal morphology characteristics, microfora population and immune system in broiler chickens. Journal of Veterinary Research, 70, 195-202.
  14. Guler, T., Ertas, O. N., Ciftci, M. & Dalkilic, B. (2005). The Effect of coriander seed as diet ingredient on the performance of Japanese quail. South African Journal of Animal Science, 35, 261-267.
  15. Gursu, M. F., Onderci, M., Gulcu, F. & Sahin, K. (2004). Effects of vitamin C and folic acid supplementation on serum paraoxonase activity and metabolites induced by heat stress in vivoNutrition Research, 24, 157-164.
  16. Hashtjin, A. M. & Abbasi, S. (2015). Nano-emulsification of orange peel essential oil using sonication and native gums. Food Hydrocolloids, 44, 40-48.
  17. Heckert, R., Estevez, I., Russek-Cohen, E. & Pettit-Riley, R. (2002). Effects of density and perch availability on the immune status of broilers. Poultry Science, 81, 451-457.
  18. Kalantarnistanki, M., Saki, A. A., Zamani, P. & Ali Arabi, H. (2011). Effect of thyme essential oil on performance, energy efficiency and protein in broiler chickens. Animal Science Journal, 92, 60-65. (in Farsi)
  19. Kumaran, A. & Karunakaran, R. J. (2006). Antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of an aqueous extract of Coleus aromaticus. Food Chemistry, 97, 109-114.
  20. Lee, K. W., Everts, H., Kappert, H. J., Frehner, M., Losa, R. & Beynen, A. C. (2003). Effects of dietary essential oil components on growth performance, digestive enzymes and lipid metabolism in female broiler chickens. British Poultry Science, 44, 450-457.
  21. Lei, K. Y. & Slinger, S. J.  (1970). Energy utilization in the chick in relation to certain environmental stresses. Journal of Animal Science, 50, 285-292.
  22. Liang, R., Xu, S., Shoemaker, C. F., Li, Y., Zhong, F. & Huang, Q. (2012). Physical and antimicrobial properties of peppermint oil nanoemulsions. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 60, 7555-7548.
  23. Mahmoud, K. Z. & Edens, F. W.  (2003). Influence of selenium sources on age-related and mild heat stress-related changes of blood and liver glutathione redox cycle in broiler chickens (Gallus domesticus). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 136, 921-934.
  24. Mayne, R. K., Else, R. W. & Hocking, P. M. (2007). High dietary concentrations of biotin did not prevent foot pad dermatitis in growing turkeys and external scores were poor indicators of histopathological lesions. British Poultry Science, 48, 291-298.
  25. McGrath, J. M., Sims, J. T., Maguire, R. O., Saylor, W. W., Angei, C. R. & Turner, B. L. (2005). Broiler diet modification and litter storage. Journal of Environmental Quality, 34, 1896-1909.
  26. Miles, D. M., Branton, S. L. & Lott, B. D. (2004). Atmospheric ammonia is detrimental to the performance of modern commercial broilers. Poultry Science, 83, 1650-1654.
  27. Nakaue, H. S. & Koelliker, J. K. (1981). Studies with clinoptilolite in poultry. II. Effect of feeding varying levels of clinoptilolite (zeolite) of dwarf single comb white leghorn pullets and ammonia production. Poultry Science, 60, 944-949.
  28. National Research Council. (1994). Nutrient requirement of poultry. 9th revised edition. National Academy Press. Washington, D.C.
  29. Niu, Z. Y., Liu, F. Z., Yan, Q. L. & Li, W. C. (2009). Effects of different levels of vitamin E on growth performance and immune responses of broilers under heat stress. Poultry Science, 88, 2101-2107.
  30. SAS Institute. (1999). SAS User’s Guide. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC.
  31. Sohail, M. U., Ijaz, A., Yousaf, M. S., Ashraf, K., Zaneb, H., Aleem, M. & Rehman, H. (2010). Alleviation of cyclic heat stress in broilers by dietary supplementation of mannan-oligosaccharide and Lactobacillus-based probiotic: Dynamics of cortisol, thyroid hormones, cholesterol, C-reactive protein, and humoral immunity. Poultry Science, 89, 1934-1938.
  32. Sohail, M. U., Rahman, Z. U., Ijaz, A., Yousaf, M. S., Ashraf, K., Yaqub, T., Zaneb, H., Anwar, H. & Rehman, H. (2011). Single or combined effects of mannan-oligosaccharides and probiotic supplements on the total oxidants, total antioxidants, enzymatic antioxidants, liver enzymes, and serum trace minerals in cyclic heat-stressed broilers. Poultry Science, 90, 2573-2577.
  33. Sun, Z. W., Yan, L., Zhao, J. P., Lin, H. & Guo, Y. M. (2013). Increasing dietary vitamin D3 improves the walking ability and welfare status of broiler chickens reared at high stocking densities. Poultry Science, 92, 3071-3079.
  34. Tollba, A. A., Abd EL-Galyl, H. M. A. & Abd EL-Samad, M. H. (2005). The effect of using some herbal additives on physiological and productive performance of two Egyptian chicken strains during winter and summer seasons. Egypt Poultry Science, 25, 107-123.
  35. Wang, L., Piao, X. L., Kim, S. W., Piao, X. S., Shen, Y. B. & Lee, H. S.  (2008). Effects of Forsythia suspensa extract on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, and antioxidant activities in broiler chickens under high ambient temperature. Poultry Science, 87, 1287-1294.
  36. Zhang, H. Y., Piao, X. S., Zhang, Q., Li, P., Yi, J. Q., Liu, J. D., Li, Q. Y. & Wang, G. Q. (2013). The effects of Forsythia suspensa extract and berberine on growth performance, immunity, antioxidant activities, and intestinal microbiota in broilers under high stocking density. Poultry Science, 92, 1981-1988.
  37. Zulkifli, I. & Stinornzah, A. (2004). Fear and stress reactions and the performance of commercial broiler chickens subjected to regular pleasant and quail unpleasant contacts with human being. Applied Animal Behavioral Science, 88, 77-87.