Dietary Silymarin (silybum marianum) to Improve The Health Status of Layer Chickens


Mushtaq Talib Abdulwahid
University of Baghdad Department of Veterinary Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine

Huda Hameed K. Alabbody
University of Baghdad, 2 Market Research Center and Consumer Protection

Hussein Ali Rashid
Ministry of Agriculture/Veterinary Directorate/Diyala/Iraq


The study aimed to evaluate silymarin material (SM) in reducing the damage in the body caused by residual aflatoxin as well as to improve the health status and quality of the produced eggs in laying hens which were fed on a contaminated diet with aflatoxin. The experiment was conducted on 120 layer chickens (ISA Brown” strain) aged 240-day were randomly divided into three equal groups (40 hens). The first group was fed a basal diet free of aflatoxin. The 2nd group fed on contaminated diet with aflatoxin (14.6 ppb) while the 3rd group fed on the same diet (in 2nd group) with 0.5% of silymarin/kg feed. Ten hens from each group were slaughtered at the end of the experiment for the histopathological examination to evaluate the harmful effect of aflatoxin in tissues (liver, spleen and intestine) as well as, estimated the production and quality of the produced eggs during experiment study. Abnormal visible symptoms observed on 2nd group include decreased in feed intake and body weight, as well as, in some there was abnormal pigmentation (comb and wattles). The most frequent effects on eggs were poor egg quality as decreased egg production, reduced egg size, thin or rough egg shell. The most common pathological lesions associated with aflatoxin residue in chickens were found in liver, spleen and intestine organs. In advanced cases, these organs become enlarged, swollen and changed colour into yellowish. While in the 3rd group, the macroscopic examination of the same organs was less pronounced and almost invisible. We conclude that silymarin has a significant effect and is highly effective in repairing the damage caused by aflatoxin to the body tissues of laying hens. The production in terms of the quantity and quality of eggs was not affected as well as, improving the health status.