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Beneficial uses of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) seeds as a feed additive in poultry nutrition

  • P. KUMAR (a1) and A.K. PATRA (a1)


Nigella sativa L. (black cumin), an aromatic plant, is used as a natural remedy due to the presence of antimicrobial, antioxidant and other pharmacological properties. The presence of large number of essential nutrients and a variety of pharmacologically active compounds make black cumin seeds (BCS) potentially suitable for the use in poultry diets as a feed ingredient. Many studies have been conducted to investigate the possibility of introducing BCS as a natural feed additive for better productive performance under normal or stress conditions in birds. Supplementation of BCS in poultry diets increased growth performance, daily feed intake and feed efficiency in several studies. Nutrient utilisation also increased as a result of BCS inclusion in the diets. The population of some pathogenic bacteria were decreased by BCS. Antibody titres against viral diseases after vaccination increased owing to supplementation of BCS in the diets. The inclusion of BCS in poultry diets showed pronounced cholesterol lowering effect in blood. There is limited information on the chemical composition and antioxidant properties in meat and eggs from chickens fed with BCS diet. However, few studies reported that BCS may increase polyunsaturated fatty acid content and antioxidant properties in meat. The present paper reviews the effect of BCS as an alternative to growth promoters in poultry nutrition.


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