THE PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSE TO BEE HONEY APPLICATION IN BROILER CHICKEN DIETS
Scientific Journal of Agricultural Sciences
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of dietary inclusion of bee honey (BH) on broiler chicken carcass characteristics, digestive tract length, immune organs weight, villi development and blood plasma parameters. A total number of 120 one-day-old Cobb broiler chicks were randomly assigned to four dietary treatments, three replicates of 10 chicks each. A basal diet (control group) was supplemented with 3 levels of BH (0.10, 0.15 and 0.20% respectively (T 1-3 ). The carcass
... 1-3 ). The carcass characteristics were measured, and blood plasma samples were collected for the determination of plasma concentrations of total protein, albumin, cholesterol, triglycerides, AST, ALT, calcium and phosphorus. The gastrointestinal length measurements were performed for total digestive tract and small intestine. The weights of bursa and spleen, and morphological dimensions of ileum were also measured. The results showed that there were no significant differences among dietary treatments in carcass %, total edible parts %, lengths of the whole digestive tract and small intestine (cm/ 100 g body weight), spleen mass %, bursa mass % or in villi width. However, broiler chickens fed the diets containing BH at levels of 0.15 or 0.20% exhibited slightly higher villi height than did those received the basal diet or the 0.10% BH-diet. Feeding the broiler chickens on the BH-diets slightly reduced the ileal muscle thickness compared with the control group while numbers of Goblet cells significantly increased when BH inclusion level reached 0.20%. Data also indicated that BH addition to broiler diets had no influence on plasma levels of albumin, cholesterol, calcium and phosphorus. However, broilers fed the 0.15 or 0.20% BH-diets displayed significantly higher levels of plasma total protein and globulin, and lower activity of ALT as compared to other experimental groups. Activity of AST in plasma was significantly decreased in response to feeding the diets containing 0.10 or 0.15% BH compared with other dietary treatments. Plasma level of triglycerides and A:G ratio were significantly lower for broilers fed the 0.10% BH-diet compared with other dietary treatments. In conclusion, BH supplementation to broiler diets had a significantly positive effects on villi development with no negative influence on chicken metabolism and immune response.