Effect of feeding garlic on growth performance of poultry
Authors: Mamata Joysowal, A. Aziz, Anjali khare, Gaurav Thorat, Lamella Ojha, Ramdev Yadav, Vandana k. Leitanthem

Ph.D Scholar, Dept of Animal Nutrition, NDRI, Karnal, India,
Ph.D Scholar, Dept of Fishery Economics, FFSc, WBUAFS, Kol, India


Antibacterial affects Historically it is believed that Louis Pasteur first scientist who demonstrate the antimicrobial effects of garlic ‘juices’ in 1858.Garlic as natural feed additives in poultry nutrition may be of great benefit and value especially for broiler growers.Now a days farmers are already using this specie in scavenger poultry feed due to having properties like flavoring agent in different dishes and medicament, antioxidant, antihypertensive, anti-ageing, hypo-lipidaemic, anti-platelet and detoxify the heavy metal and also having antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiparasitic and immunomodulatory property. The abundance of natural, readily available amino acids, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins make hen eggs an important part of the human diet.

Supplementation of garlic with probiotic:

Several attempts have been recently made to enhance garlic functionality and stability using fermentation with specific bacteria strains which are resistant to garlic, and are able to ferment it. The bacterial strains commonly used for garlic fermentation are Lactobacillus plantarum,Bacillus subtilis, Weissella koreensis, andLeukonostoc mesenteroides. Garlic fermented with either W. koreensis or L. mesenteroides equally produced higher sulfur-related metabolites, such as 3-vinyl-[4H]-1,2,-dithiin, allylmethyl trisulfide, diallyl disulfide diallyl trisulfide , but lower alliin compared with fresh garlic (Yan et al., 2012; Hussain et al., 2014).

Garlic contains compounds like allicin and organo sulfur compounds responsible for inhibition of pathogenic bacteria and fungi resulting in improved gut environment and higher weight gain of experimental birds.The addition of graded levels (e.g., dietary inclusion levels of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2%) of L. mesenterodes-fermented garlic in the diets of broiler chickes increased body weight and feed intake, but did not affect feed efficiency, when compared with the control-diet fed chickens (Hossain et al., 2014, 2015). Garlic and buffer mixture was sterilized by autoclaving at 121 C for 15 min and cooled to room temperature then mixture inoculated with a starter culture of 1% Leuconostoc citreum SK2556 (1× 108 cfu/mL )in a shaking incubator at 37 C for 24 h. The L. citreum SK2556 strain used in this study was originally isolated from pickled garlic food, characterized and patented due to its ability to grow and ferment in medium containing garlic (Kim et al., 2012) which affect the growth performance of broiler chickens, enhanced host immunity, retarded meat lipid oxidation, and lowered serum total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations antibacterial activity and improved the intestinal morphology of broiler chickens compared with the control chickens (Ao et al., 2011).

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a medicinal herb that has acquired an important role as a medicinal agent in many countries. Substantial evidence indicates that allicin is the main active component of garlic, consisting of up to 70% of total thiosulfinates (Rybak et al. 2004). Antibiotic growth promoters (ABGP), have been intensively used in broiler’s ration to improve productivity. Now, nutritionists are shifting from chemical growth promoter to phylogenic growth promoters. Recent research works on phytogenic feed additives have shown promising results as regards weight gain, feed efficiency, lowered mortality and increased livability in poultry birds.

Properties of garlic:

1. Antimicrobial properties:

Use of garlic and ginger as a medicine and condiment goes back to written history. It is thought that these are originated in traditions of both India and China. Egyptian medical papyrus, Codex Ebers, interpreted in 1937; has more than 800 medical formulations, of which 22 contains garlic. Recently the first evidence of its antimicrobial properties was established when four men were employed to remove the dead bodies during a plague in Marseilles in 1721 in France. None of them became infected. When research is done to identify the secret then it was known that they use garlic and wine tincture. The precursor alliin, a cysteine sulfoxide, and the corresponding alliinase enzyme are the main components of garlic. Garlic has been used for centuries in many countries to control infectious diseases. It has been used to prevent wound infection and food spoilage in India .

2. Antiviral effects :

Mostly the commercially available antibiotics are not affective against viruses. That is the reason these cannot be used to control the viral diseases of poultry. Very less research is done on antiviral properties of garlic compared to antibacterial. Allicin and allicin-derived substances are active against viruses and no activity has been indicated with alliin or S-allyl cysteine. It has been proved that garlic shows in vitro activity against influenza A and B viruses, rhinovirus, HIV, herpes simplex virus 1 and 2, cytomegalovirus, viral pneumonia and rotavirus.

3. Anti-protozoal effects:

Use of garlic in poultry feed exhibits antiprotozoal effects in poultry but the exact mechanism of action remains to be explored. Several studies have shown that it is effective against a host of protozoa including Opalina ranarum, Entamoeba histolytica, Balantidium entozoon, O. dimidicita, Trypanosomes, Leishmania, Leptomonas, Trichomonas vaginalis and Entamoeba histolytica. Allicin, ajoene and organosulfides are the main components of garlic which have antiprotozoals properties.

4. Antifungal effects:

garlic can prevent the growth of Aspergillus, Torulopsis, Trichophyton, Cryptococcus, Candida, Trichosporon and Rhodotorula. Garlic has oxygen scavenging molecules which decrease the oxygen uptake, reduce the growth of the organism, stops the synthesis of protein, lipids, and nucleic acids and denature the membranes . A sample of pure allicin was shown to be antifungal. Solvent extraction of allicin from garlic decreased the antifungal activity. Activity has also been observed with diallyl trisulfide against cryptococcal meningitis, and ajoene, against Aspergillus, Candida.

5. Effect on cholesterol and lipids:

The mechanism which involved in decreasing the cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL is that it reduces the activities of hepatic lipogenic and cholesterogenic enzymes such as fatty acid synthase, malic enzyme, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA (HMG CoA) reductase and glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase. Garlic also increased the excretion of cholesterol, as demonstrated by enhanced excretion of acidic and neutral steroids after garlic feeding . Suppressed LDL oxidation may be one of the controlling mechanisms for the benefits of garlic in atherosclerosis due to active compound like allicin. However, in vitro studies revealed that organosulfur compounds especially, diallyl-di-sulfide, present in garlic oil and water soluble S-allyl cysteine, present in aged garlic extract are also potent inhibitors of cholesterol synthesis .

6. Hematology:

Intake of garlic oil significantly increased white blood cell and reduced red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, hematocrit and mean corpuscular hemoglobin values in rats. Addition of garlic in diet of fish increase the red blood cells and mean corpuscular volume when it was used at the concentration of 20, 30 40g/Kg.

7. Immune System:

Although garlic kills viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms directly, it also excites the body’s natural defenses against these antigens. Aged garlic extracts have an immunomodulatory effect and lessens the age-related deterioration of the immune response. Garlic supplementation in chickens increases the relative weights of the spleen, bursa of Fabricius and thymus. It also enhances antibody production againstSalmonella enteritidis, Pasteurella multocida and Leptospira Pomona bacteria, which indicate that it increase the activity of B lymphocytes. Alliums at low levels in the diet improved the humoral immune response against Brucella abortus (non-replicating T-cell independent antigen) in chickens. Garlic extracts have been found to suppress pro-inflammatory cytokines like IL-2 and elevate inter lukin (IL) -10 and IL-12 in monocytes. Nidaullah et al. [1989] concluded that aqueous extract of garlic bulb and ginger (Zingiber officinale) rhizome plays a very important role as immunstimulant against Coccidiosis, Newcastle disease, Infectious bronchitis and infectious bursal disease.


Garlic is king of medicinal plants and it has wondrous effects in poultry. The garlic supplementation of poultry feed has shown better performance of birds, ultimately enhancing the production potential. Additionally, garlic reduces the number of pathogenic bacteria like Campylobacter, E. coli and Salmonella, clostridium etc. It has beneficial effects on consumer’s immunity. So, it can be effectively used to replace the antibiotic growth promoter in poultry feed. Although, there is huge pile of research literature in this area, but still there is a need to establish standards of garlic use in poultry feed. To fulfill this purpose more research is needed in this economics friendly supplement.


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