Effect of supplemental fermentedGinkgo bilobaleaves at different levels on growth performance, meat quality, and antioxidant status of breast and thigh muscles in broiler chickens

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The present study was conducted to investigate the influence of dietary supplementation with different levels of fermented Ginkgo biloba leaves (FGBL) on growth performance, slaughter performance, meat quality, antioxidant enzyme capacity, and free radical scavenging activities of muscles in broiler chickens. A total of 648 one-d-old broiler chickens were randomly allocated into six dietary treatments, including control group (CON group: basal diet), FGBL1, FGBL2, FGBL3, FGBL4, and FGBL5 groups (basal diet containing 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5 g/kg FGBL, respectively). Body weight gain and feed intake were recorded at 1, 21, and 42 d. At 42 d, 2 birds from each replicate were slaughtered. The results indicated that 3.5 g/kg FGBL diet significantly increased (P < 0.05) ADFI and ADG in 1 to 42 d and ADFI in 22 to 42 d compared with the CON group. In 1 to 21 d, 4.5 g/kg FGBL diet improved (P < 0.05) ADFI and ADG. With dietary FGBL increasing, the feed: gain ratio (F/G) in 1 to 21 d was significantly decreased (P < 0.05). However, birds fed with 5.5 g/kg FGBL had a higher (P < 0.05) F/G compared with other groups in 22 to 42 d and 1 to 42 d. In addition, FGBL3 and FGBL4 showed lower (P < 0.05) L* value in breast muscle, cooking loss in thigh muscle and lower 24 h and 48 h drip loss in both breast and thigh muscles than those of other groups. Furthermore, birds in the FGBL3 and FGBL4 groups increased (P < 0.05) the activity of total superoxide dismutase and total antioxidant capability in muscles, and the scavenging activities of 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic) acid radical, OH•, and O2•− in thigh muscle, decreased (P < 0.05) malondialdehyde concentration in thigh muscle, as compared to the CON group. In conclusion, FGBL had the potential to improve the growth performance, meat quality and antioxidant status of broiler chickens. The optimal dose in the present study of FGBL in broiler diets was from 3.5 to 4.5 g/kg.

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