A Study on Effects of Different Levels of Aloe Vera Gel as an Alternative to Antibiotics on Performance and Ileum Morphology in Broilers

A Study on Effects of Different Levels of Aloe Vera Gel as an Alternative to Antibiotics on Performance and Ileum Morphology in Broilers

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According to the results obtained on feed intake in different periods, it can be seen that the Aloe vera groups have the highest level of feed intake compared to the control group and this leads to increased body weight gain in these groups in comparison to the control group. Olupona et al. (2010) reported increased feed intake in groups which were treated by Aloe vera gel solved in water (15, 20, 25, and 30 cm3/dm3) as body weight gain rose. Similarly, the present study shows increased feed intake in the 2-percent Aloe vera gel with raised level of body weight gain. Increased feed intake in Aloe vera groups can be attributed to changes in feed taste and stimulated appetite since, as reported by Windisch et al. (2008), phylogenic substances (as additives to birds’ feed) can improve taste of diet. Furthermore, Wenk (2002) argued that herbs can stimulate appetite and endogenous secretions which, in turn, improve grower performance. on the other hand, our experiments showed that Aloe vera groups consumed more feed compared to the antibiotic groups both in the grower period (days 25 to 42) and during the total experiment period (days 0 to 42). Guo et al. (2004) observed that food consumption level in chickens treated by Chinese herbs added to their diet was higher than this level in chickens fed by viriginiamycin mixed with their food.
In general, increased body weight in different periods show larger body weight gains in the antibiotic groups compared to other groups. Among the experimental groups, the 2-percent Aloe vera group had better body weight gain compared to other Aloe vera groups and the control group, showing no significant difference from the antibiotic group. On the other hand, findings obtained in studies on treatment...

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...nd viral infections (Sohn et al., 2000). Other researchers reported properties in herbal medicine which are similar to those of prebiotics (Verstegen and Schaafsma, 1999; Cummings and Macfarlane, 2002; Guo et al., 2004).
By definition, prebiotics are dietary supplements in the form of nondigestible carbohydrate that favor the grower of desirable microflora in the large bowel (Gibson and Roberfroid, 1995).
Since the main polysaccharide contained in Aloe vera gel is acemannan, the enhanced body weight gain in groups treated by Aloe vera compared to the control group may be attributed to antibacterial properties of Aloe vera gel which can improve intestinal microflora. Furthermore, the acemannan contained in Aloe vera gel can stimulate immunosystem and improves body resistance against bacteria and viruses; and this, in turn, improves grower and body weight gain.

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