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This study was carried out to assess the serum profiles of luteinizing hormone (LH), oestradiol, cholesterol and ovarian functions in layer poultry birds (Rhode Island Red; Gallus domesticus) fed a diet containing various concentrations of furazolidone (FZ). A total of 40 birds were randomly assigned to receive FZ 0, 200, 400 or 800 mg/kg feed (ppm) daily during the pre-laying age, i.e. 13–18 weeks (for 5 weeks). Blood samples were collected at weekly intervals. Concentrations of LH and oestradiol in serum were estimated at alternate weeks using radioimmunoassays. Serum cholesterol levels were analysed by an enzymatic calorimetric method. Furazolidone administration was terminated at the 18th week of age. The birds were sacrificed at 22nd week of age and ovarian tissues were processed for morphometric studies. Serum LH, oestradiol and cholesterol levels were affected by age (p < 0.001) and FZ dose (p < 0.001). Serum LH and oestradiol levels were lower (p < 0.05) in birds receiving FZ 800 mg/kg feed daily compared with the controls, whereas serum cholesterol profiles were lower (p < 0.05) in all FZ-administered groups than in the control group. The mean weight of ovaries having no yolky follicles observed in the group receiving FZ 400 or 800 mg/kg feed per day was reduced (p < 0.05) compared with the control group. Dosing FZ at 800 mg/kg feed per day reduced (p < 0.05) the mean volume of ovaries having no yolky follicles compared with the control group. In birds receiving FZ 800 mg/kg feed per day, the mean length of the oviduct was reduced (p < 0.05) as compared with the control group. Morphometric studies revealed that the mean number of oocytes with diameter in the range 401–800 μm decreased (p < 0.05) in birds fed FZ 400 or 800 mg/kg feed per day. Initial egg production was affected by age (p < 0.001) and dose (p < 0.001) of FZ. The mean number of eggs laid by different groups revealed that egg production was reduced (p < 0.05) in birds receiving FZ 800 mg/kg feed per day as compared with the controls. The present data suggest that FZ causes suppression in serum profiles of LH, oestradiol, cholesterol and ovarian functions in Rhode Island Red layer poultry birds. Therefore, great care must be taken with use of FZ in layer poultry birds (Gallus domesticus) with regard to dosage and duration of administration.