The effect of supplementation of clove and agrimony or clove and lemon balm on growth performance, antioxidant status and selected indices of lipid profile of broiler chickens


V. Petrovic, Clinic for Ruminants, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Komenskeho 73, 041 81 Kosice, The Slovak Republic. Tel: +421 917 637 800; Fax: +421 55 298 10 11; E-mail:


The study investigated the effects of diet supplementation with 1% clove flower buds powder combined with either 0.2% lemon balm extract or 0.2% agrimony extract (each of the two pulverized extracts supplied through drinking water) on body weight of broilers, total feed intake, feed conversion ratio and the carcass yield, activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD, EC and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px, EC in blood, concentration of sulfhydryl (−SH) groups, malondialdehyde (MDA), vitamin A and E, low-density lipoproteins in the blood plasma, serum cholesterol, total lipids, triglycerides and high-density lipoproteins in broiler chickens at 42 days of age. On the day of hatching, 120 male and female broilers of Cobb 500 were randomly divided into three groups. The control group (1st group) of broilers received a basal diet (BD) without any feed and water additive. Both experimental groups of chicks were fed BD enriched with clove (Syzygium aromaticum L.) powder at a dose of 10 g/kg DM for 42 days. Moreover, either lemon balm (Mellisa officinalis L.) extract or agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria L.) extract diluted with drinking water (2:1000) was given to broilers in the 2nd and 3rd group respectively. The results indicated that feeding the diets enriched with selected herbal supplements failed to affect the growth performance of broiler chickens at 42 days of age. In addition, this supplementation had no influence on the activities of SOD and GSH-Px, concentration of vitamin A and selected lipid metabolism indices. On the other hand, we observed beneficial effects on some indices of the antioxidant status (increased concentration of −SH groups and vitamin E, decreased concentration of MDA) in the blood of broilers in both experimental groups in comparison with the control group of chickens (p < 0.05). Furthermore, a slightly better antioxidant capacity was found in the blood of broilers supplied the combination of clove and lemon balm compared to clove and agrimony (vitamin E, 11.26 ± 0.73 vs. 9.73 ± 0.64 μmol/L, p < 0.05 respectively). It could be concluded that supplementation of the diet with clove flower buds powder combined with lemon balm extract or agrimony extract dissolved in drinking water has a potential to increase the antioxidant status but fails to influence either the growth performance or the selected lipid metabolism indices of broilers at the age of 42 days.