Livestock Research for Rural Development 31 (4) 2019 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD Newsletter

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Effect of garlic powder (Allium sativum) on performance of broiler chicken

Melaku Mulugeta, Zemene Worku1, Ahmad Seid1 and Lemessa Debela2

Office of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia
1 Department of Animal Sciences, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Jimma University, PO Box 307, Ethiopia
2 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Jimma University, Ethiopia


The aim of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of different levels of garlic powder supplementation on production performances of broiler chicken. A total of 180 unsexed day old chicks were randomly allocated to four dietary treatments with three replicates in a completely randomised design for 42 days. The dietary treatments consisted of GP-0= basal diet +0% of garlic powder), GP-1: basal diet +1% of garlic powder, GP-3= basal diet +3% of garlic powder, GP-5= basal diet+5% of garlic powder.

All performance traits showed curvilinear trends according to level of garlic powder added to the diet with optimum responses when the garlic powder was included at the 3% level.

Key words: body weight, feed intake, feed conversion, growth


In poultry the main cost of production is for feed which is due to a problem of feed-food competition, particularly for those non grain self-sufficient countries. Therefore, alternative feed resources of low cost should be properly utilized and the poor feeds also be improved by technologies for better utilization (Mammo 2012). One of the effective and promising approaches to increase feed efficiency in poultry is by utilization of additives ( Chen et al 1997 as cited in Mammo 2012).

Additives are substances that are added to a nutritionally balanced diet which provoke response towards the exploitation of maximum genetic potential of the host in terms of growth and feed conversion efficiency. In this regard, antibiotics have ruled the poultry industry since several decades as a growth promoter. However, their over usage in livestock feeds threatens the human community with the emergence of drug resistant pathogens (Casewell et al 2003; Yadav et al 2016). This has made it necessary to look for alternatives to antibiotics to maintain good production and health of poultry (Dhama et al 2014). Among the currently available feed additives, natural herbs and plants have been widely advocated due to their reported beneficial effects.

This research was conducted to evaluate garlic powder supplementation on production performance of broiler chickens.

Materials and methods

The experiment was conducted at Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (JUCAVM) poultry farm from December 2017 to June 2018. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures of the study area are 26.8 and 11.4 0C, respectively with mean maximum and minimum humidities of 91.4% and 39.92%, respectively (BPEDORS 2000).

Design and treatments

Unsexed day-old broiler chicks (Cobb500) were used for the current research. The chicks (n=180) were randomly assigned into 12 experimental pens (4 dietary treatments with 3 replications). The treatments were GP-0: basal diet without garlic powder, GP-1 basal diet with 1% garlic powder, GP-3: basal diet with 3% garlic powder/, and GP-5: basal diet with 5% garlic powder.


A commercial broiler feed was purchased from Alema Koudijs Feed plc which is located in Bishoftu town. Garlic bulbs were purchased from Jimma market (Table 1) after which they were peeled, coarsely chopped and dried under the sun for three days until constant weight was recorded. The dried garlic pieces were then coarsely ground.

Table 1. Chemical composition of garlic




Crude protein


Crude fat




Vitamin C



Temperature, lighting, feeding, sanitation and other routine management practices were implemented based on standard practice in the University.

Data collection

Weights of the chickens were recorded at 0, 10, 21, and 42 days. Feed offered and refused was measured daily. Mortality recorded.

Statistical analysis

The data were analyzed by the General linear model procedure of SAS version 9.3 (2011). The model used was: yij = μ + Ti+ eij, where: Yij=the observation taken for the i th feed levels, μ = overall mean, Ti = the effect due to ith treatment eij = random residual error.


All performance traits showed curvilinear trends according to level of garlic powder added to the diet with optimum responses when the garlic powder was included at the 3% level (Table 2; Figures 1-3).

Table 2. Performance of broiler chicks at 42 days







Initial wt, g







Final wt, kg





0. 044


Daily gain, g







Feed intake, g/d







Feed conversion







Mortality, %





a,b,c, Means in the same row without common letters differ at p<0.05

Figure 1. Curvilinear relationship between feed intake
and percent garlic powder in the diet
Figure 2. Curvilinear relationship between live weight gain
and percent garlic powder in the diet

Figure 3. Curvilinear relationship between feed conversion
and percent garlic powder in the diet
Figure 4. Linear relationship between live
weight gain and feed intake


It appears that the major benefit from the garlic powder in improving growth rate and feed conversion was derived from its stimulatory effect on feed intake (Figure 4), up to a level of 3% in the diet beyond which both growth rate and feed conversion deteriorated. Depressive effects on feed intake of too high a level of garlic in the diet were ascribed to the presence of anti-nutritional substances and repulsive odour and taste (Milosevic et al 2013; Otunola et al 2010; Pourali et al 2010).

Tatara et al (2005) reported that garlic-derived products showed broad antibiotic properties against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and were effective against many common pathogenic intestinal bacteria. In the current study, lowest mortality was recorded with 3% garlic powder in the diet. According to Kyo et al (2001) such improved health benefits could be due to the immuno-modulating effect of garlic.



BPEDORS 2000 Bureau of Plan and Economic development of Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia: Physical and socio economic profile of 180 district of Oromia Regional State.

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Chen J, Lu T and Han Z 1997 Poultry production in China and the potential for using enzyme preparations. Proceedings of the 1st Chinese Symposium on Feed Enzymes, May 6-8, 1996, Nanjing Agriculture University, Nanjing, China, pp: 1-5.

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Yadav A S, Kolluri G, Gopi M, Karthik K, Malik Y S and Dhama K 2016 Exploring alternatives to antibiotics as health promoting agents in poultry- a review: Journal of Experimental Biology and Agricultural Sciences Volume – 4(3S), DOI:

Received 8 March 2019; Accepted 16 March 2019; Published 1 April 2019

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