It is conceivable that herbal agents could serve as safe alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters due to their suitability and preference of the broiler meat consumers, reduced risk and minimal health hazards.
            But today, natural feed additives of plant origin are generally believed to be safer, healthier and less subject to hazards for humans and animals. Many herbs and plant extracts have antimicrobial activities and antioxidant properties which make them useful as natural animal feed additives (Faixova and Faix 2008).

            There is an increase interest in the use of natural antioxidants such as Rosemary (Rosenmarinus officinalies) and thymus vulgarts. Rosemary, belongs to a lamiaceae family and is known for its anitoxidative properties used for flavouring foods and beverages, several pharmaceutical applications.
            Rosemary (Rosemarinus official) is also used as a stimulating effects of digestion, ant parasitic and antibacterial on Escherichia celi and salmonella typhimurium )Cabuk et al.; 2003) and antifungal (Soliman and Badea 2002).
            Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a plant that possesses antioxidant properties (Seving et al; 2004) and belongs to family of lamaceae, with the main components of phenols, thymol (40%) and carvacrol (15%). It is used traditionally for several medicinal purposes: respiratory diseases, antimmicrobal, antinociceptive.
            Thymol and carbacrol are the main antibacterial active substances and the product of  thyme extraction are thyme oil extract which contain approximately 15% essential oil (soluble in alcohol) and the thyme water extract (Soluble in water).
            Essential oil is also extracted from fresh or partially diried flowing tops and leaves of the plant by water or steam distillation providing a yield of 1.0% (Evans et l; 2001).
            The compounds which comprise the essential oil of thymus vulgaris have been identified as phenoylie compounds such as thymol 944.4-58.1%), carvacn (2.4-4.2%) and tarpapered (6.9-18.9%) and these compounds have strong antibacterial effects (Baranauskiene et al; 2003 and are also found in the extracted water soluble fraction of thyme.
1.1       Objective of Study
1.         To determine the effects of different plant extracts (Rosemary and thyme) on the performance of broiler.
2.         To investigate the effect of Rosemary and thyme on the hematological and serum bio chemistry of finisher birds.
3.         To Evaluate economics of production of finisher broilers fed thyme and Rosemary extracts.
1.2       Justification of study
            Studies have shown that the use of antibiotics and some organic acids as growth promoters in livestock production farmers and the consumers is on the use of natural feed additives of plant origin, examples rosemary and thyme extract as predicted by World Health organization.
            Some experiments conducted on plant extract have shown that they play vital roles in maintaining human health and improving the quality of human life (Osman et al; 2005), their antimicrobial effects and stimulating effects on animal digestive system, their rapid gain, higher production and better feed efficiency (Sabra and Metha,1990).
            This, arose our interest to research on the importance of plant extracts and their effects on the performance of broilers.


Materials and method
3.0       Experimental Site
            This experiment/study was carried out at the poultry unit of animal science department, faculty of agriculture and Natural resources management, Ebonyi State University Abakaliki.
3.1       Sources and Preparation of the Extracts
            Thyme and rosemary leaves were purchased from Abakaliki main market, 200g of thyme and Rosemary leaves asch was used for the extraction.
            Thyme and rosemary aqueous extract was prepaed by soaking the ground thyme and Rosemary in water for 24 hours, then filtered. The homogenous etract wad stored in the refrigerator, from there is was served to the birds on dialy bases according to treatments.
3.2       Experimental animal and management
            A total of sixty five day old broilers chicks were used. The birds were brooded in deep litter system, where light was supplied to them (kerosene stoves, lantern) electricity to provide the necessary heat needed to maintain their body temperature. At the 5th week, sixty 660) birds were randomly assigned to four treatments in a complexly randomized design.
            Each treatment was replicated three (3) times was provided ad libitum through the experimental period of 5 weeks.
            Other routine poultry management procedures which include daily inspection of birds for symptoms of diseases, mortality, cleaning of troughs and fresh feed was maintained.
3.2       Experimental Diet
            Commercial broiler starters diet was used for the experiment. The birds were served o.4 ml thyme extract/litre of water (T2), o.4ml rosemary extract/Litre of water (T3) and a combination of 0.4 ml thyme and Rosemary extract/lire of water (T4) respectively. Treatment one (T1) was served 0.0ml extract (control). This was served daily.
1.         Weight gain
2.         Feed intake
3.         Feed conversion Ratio
4.         Hematology and serum biochemical indices economic of production.
5.         Economics of production
3.3       Weight Gain: Before the experiment starts, the birds were weighed to obtained their initial body weight. Then the birds were weighed on weekly basis subsequently. Weight Gain = Initial body weight final body weight.
3.4       Daily body weight: It was body weight gain per number of days the experiment lasted.
3.5       Feed intake: a weighed quantity feed was given to the birds per replicate in the morning. The left over was collected and weighed every morning.
Feed intake was then determined by substracting the leftover from the quantity given the pervious day.
3.6       Feed conversion Ration: Feed conversion ratio was determined by feed in take daily per weight gain.
3.7       Water intake: a measured quantity of water was given to the birds per replicated daily and same amount of water measured was left in a separate drinker to determine the rate of evaporation after which the left over was weighed and water intake was equally weighed and recorded.
Water intake was determined by adding the amount of water evaporated to the atmosphere and the left over and then substrate it from the water served.
3.7       Protein efficiency ratio:
The daily protein in takes of the birds was obtained protein efficiency ratio was determined by using the values of daily protein intakes obtained to divide the daily weight gain of the birds.
            At the end of the experiment, 2mls of blood sample was collected from two 92) birds in each treatment for the evaluation of hematological indices. The blood sample was collected through the wing veins using steriled needle and syringes.
            The blood sample was done in the morning hour to avoid too much bleeding. The collection site was seabed with alcoholeotton wool.
            The blood sample was collected into a sample bottle containing dipotassium salt of ethylene diamine tetraceitic acid (EDTA-K2+) which was then served as anticoagulant.
            The blood sample was analyzed for pakced cell volume (pcv), total erythrocyte (RBC) haemoglobin (Hb) and differential leucocytes (WBC) count according to the methods described by vein (1984). Erythrocyte (RBC) count was done in a hemocytometer chamber with natt and herdrics dilvents to obtain 1:200 dilution. The number of leucocyte was estimated as total WIBC x 200.
            Packed cell volume (PVC) was measure as micro haematocrit with 75 x 16cm capillary tubes filled with blood and centrifuge at 300 R.P.M for 5 minutes.
            The differential count of leucocytes was made from blood, stained with wrights dye and each type of cell countered with laboratory counter.
            Haemoglobin concentration (H.B.C) level was calculated according to Bush (1991) mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration was also calculated according to standard formular deduced by schalm et al (1975) and jain 91986) as shown below.
MCV               =          PCN  x 10
                                    RBC count (m106/mm3)
MCH               =          Hb (gld)  x 100
            Blood samples 2 mls for serum biochemical was collected and put in a vial bottle without an anticoagulant. The serum protein, albumin, globulin and urea were analyzed using Signma kits according (Igene and Oboh, 2004).
Economics for Production
            A case benefit analysis was carried out for the four treatment to ascertain whether thyme and rosemary in the water have some economic benefits. The cost of production included the cost of feeding, buying of the birds, labour, medicationand vaccination. The revenue is based on N950.00 per kg live weight of birds.
            The following parameters was obtained feed cost/feed consumed/bird/treatment
=          Total cost of feed (N)
            Total cost of consumed (kg)
Feed cost (Nkg) weight gain/bird treatment
=          total cost of feeding (N) total weight gain (kg) total revenue generated = final body weight x No of birds x cost per kg live weight
Net Return (N) + total revenue
Generated – total case of production.


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