Effect of increasing doses of neem (Azadirachta indica) seed oil on feed intake, nutrients digestibility, ruminal fermentation and nitrogen utilization of Omani sheep

Hani M. El-Zaiat*, Othman Alqaisi, Sobhy M. Sallam, Waleed S. Al-Marzooqi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study was conducted to examine the effects of neem (Azadirachta indica) seed oil (NSO) on feed intake, ruminal fermentability, feed digestibility, nitrogen balance, and blood parameters in Omani sheep. Nine Omani male sheep (BW; 54.44 ± 8 kg/sheep) were used in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin Square design with three dietary treatments and three periods, with each period lasting 21 days. The animals were randomly assigned into three treatment groups: basal diet without NSO (control); 20 mL/sheep per day NSO (low dose) or 40 mL/sheep per day NSO (high dose). Sheep fed with high dose presented lower (p < 0.05) intake, fiber digestibility, and excreted N in urine. However, diet supplemented with high NSO dose had a lower (p < 0.05) ruminal acetate proportion, while increased (p < 0.05) ruminal propionate compared to the control group. Moreover, sheep offered with NSO showed a linear decrease (p = 0.052) in ruminal ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) concentration. The high dose increased (p < 0.05) blood glucose and cholesterol, while decreased urea nitrogen concentrations. Emission of predicted methane (CH4) reduced (p = 0.007) by 13% for high dose compared to the control group. In conclusion, these results suggested that NSO is a potential feed additive with up to 20 ml/kg of DM alters rumen fermentation profile, decreased CH4 production, feed digestibility, and nitrogen metabolism for sheep.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnimal Biotechnology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • feed digestibility
  • Neem seed oil
  • nitrogen balance
  • Omani sheep
  • rumen fermentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this