Document Type : Research Paper


1 Former Graduate Student, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Guilan, Iran

2 Associated Professor, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Guilan, Iran


Effect of adding Melissa officinalis aqueous extract was studied on immune response and performance in 200 Ross 308 broiler chicks in a completely randomized design with five treatments and four replicates and 10 observations per replicate. The amounts of 0 (control), 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2 ml/L Lemon balm extract were added in drinking water for 42 days. Humoral immunity was evaluated by injection of 0.1 ml sheep red blood cell (SRBC) 25 percent on days eight and 22 of age and measurement of serum antibody levels produced in response to SRBC on days 21, 28, 35 and 42. Cellular immunity was assessed by injection of phytohemagglutinin intradermally on day 16. The consumption of Lemon balm extract had no effect on daily feed intake and daily body weight gain (P>0.05). The birds that received 1.5 and 2 ml Lemon balm extract in drinking water had lower feed conversion ratio in grower and whole period (P<0.05). The birds that received Lemon balm aqueous extract in drinking water had  higher  total Anti-SRBC titer than control birds on days 28, 35 and 42 (P<0.05). IgG titer of birds that received Lemon balm extract was higher than control group on day 28 (P<0.05). IgM titer of birds that received 1, 1.5 and 2 ml of Lemon balm extract was higher on days 28 and 35 (P<0.05). It is concluded that inclusion of 1.5 ml Lemon balm extract in drinking water decreased feed conversion ratio and improved humoral immunity in broilers.


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