Effect of spearmint and eucalyptus essential oils on performance, carcass characteristics and immune system of broiler chickens under thermal stress conditions

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MSc. Graduated, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Urmia, Urmia, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Urmia, Urmia, Iran

3 Assistant professor, Division of Immunology, Department of Microbiology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Urmia, Urmia, Iran


This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of spearmint and eucalyptus essential oils on growth performance, carcass traits and immune system performance of broiler chickens under heat stress conditions. Two hundred and fifty one day-old broilers (Ross- 308) were randomly divided into five treatments in five replicates with 10 birds per replicate from 1 to 42 days of age, in a completely randomized design. Treatments included: 1. Negative control (under normal temperature conditions), 2. Positive control (under heat stress conditions), 3. Positive control+0.5 mL spearmint essential oil per liter of drinking water, 4. Positive control+0.5 mL eucalyptus essential oil per liter of drinking water, and 5. Positive control+0.5 mL spearmint essential oil+0.5 mL eucalyptus essential oil per liter of drinking water. Heat stress was applied in the grower period (26-42) at 32 ± 1 °C (9 am to 5 pm). The results showed that in the grower period and the entire trial period, heat stress reduced feed intake (P<0.05). Thermal stress increased the relative weight gain of the entire intestine and decreased the relative weight loss of the thighs (P<0.05), also reduced the lymphocyte proliferation and survival (P<0.05), and decreased the intensity of peripheral blood phagocytic respiration (P<0.01). However, the use of eucalyptus essential oil and a mixture of two essential oils (eucalyptus+ spearmint) improved the lymphocyte propagation and compensated for the reduction of heat stress (P<0.05). In addition, the combined use of spearmint and eucalyptus essential oil improved the intensity of respiratory explosion in macrophages compared with negative and positive control treatments (P<0.01). In general, the use of essential oils improved immune function but did not affect the performance of broiler chicks.


Main Subjects

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