1Graduated from Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran
2Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran
3Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran
The effects of methanolic extract and leaf powder of Artemisia annua were studiedon performance, cellular and humoral immunity in 240 Cobb broiler chicks in a completely randomized design. Control group did not receive any treatment. The chicks in the second and third groups were fed with feed which contained 2000 and 4000 ppm plant extract in diet and in the groups 4, 5 and 6 chicks received 0.5, 1 and 1.5% of dietary Artemisia annua leaf powder, respectively. Daily feed intake, daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio (performance) were measured. Skin response to phytohemagglutinin-P (PHA-P) injected intradermally on day 16 was measured 24 and 48 h after injection. The birds were immunized with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) on days 8 and 22 of age and serum antibody levels produced in response to SRBC were measured on days 21, 28, 35 and 42. The weights of thymus and bursa of fabricius were also measured after slaughter. The results indicated that plant extract and leaf powder increased daily weight gain and reduced daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio (P<0.05). Plant extract and leaf powder increased cellular immunity on PHA-P injection after 24 and 48 h (P<0.05). Artemisia annua extract and leaf powder increased total anti-SRBC and IgG titer in experimental groups compared to control group (P<0.05). Thymus and bursa of fabricius weights were increased in treatment groups (P<0.05). It is concluded that Artemisia annua extract and leaf powder increases performance, cellular and humoral immunity of broilers.