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Organic Acid, Essential Oil Blend Can Improve Chicken Efficiency And Immune Function

- Aug 29, 2018 -

Organic acid, essential oil blend can improve chicken efficiency and immune function


Researchers say supplementing poultry diets with a mixture of organic acids and essential oils can improve the intestinal function of birds and provide an alternative to antibiotic use.

An international research team in Canada and China explored the use of a mixture of organic acids and essential oils in broiler diets as a potential alternative to the use of antibiotics. Panelists evaluated the effects of the mixture on growth performance, immune development and digestive function.

"The purpose of this experiment was to study the effects of sorbic acid, fumaric acid and thymol (EOA) mixture on broiler performance, immunity and digestive tract function," the researchers said.

The team found that adding a mixture of acids and oils during the growing season improved the villus height of the duodenum and jejunum, the researchers said. Addition of the mixture at the completion stage of bird development improved the crypt depth of the jejunum and ileum, and birds that obtained feed additives at any stage saw an improved spleen index.

“Current research clearly shows that adding EOA mixture during the planting phase can increase efficiency, possibly by improving intestinal morphology and increasing digestive enzyme activity in broilers,” they said. “Therefore, the addition of EOA can replace the antibiotic growth promoters in the poultry industry.”

The team members published their work in the journal Animal Nutrition.

Why are essential oils, organic acids mixed?

Researchers say that the intestines of poultry play an important role in digestion, nutrient intake and immune function. Poor intestinal health is associated with increased production challenges.

However, as many countries have restricted or terminated the use of antibiotics in feeds, there is increasing interest in finding alternatives that support gut development and bird health, including probiotics and probiotics, organic acids and essential oils.

They say organic acids can promote growth and have antibacterial activity and are associated with decreased mortality in birds attacked by E. coli, Salmonella and E. coli. Plant extracts and essential oils are also useful in the poultry industry as they may contain compounds including hydrocarbons, phenols, ketones, ethers and esters.

Researchers say alternatives based on chemical elements and processing methods may have different effects. They added: "In recent years, it has been widely believed that studying the complementary effects of alternative antibiotics in the poultry industry on growth performance and intestinal health."

However, little is known about the effects or complementary interactions found after the combination of organic acids and essential oils as feed additives for broiler antibiotics.

Method and materials

The researchers said that in the feeding trial, 640 broilers were given one of four diets for a period of 42 days.

The diet group included a corn-soybean-based control diet (CON), a 0.15% g / kg enramycin diet during the planting period (AG), and a 0.30% g / kg EOA control diet during the planting phase (they said, EG), or a control diet with 0.30% g / kg EOA added at the end of the period (EF).

They said that feed intake and body weight (BW) were recorded on days 21 and 42, and average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed conversion ratio were determined. Mortality was also noted.

The researchers said that on days 21 and 42, thymus, spleen and bursa of Fabricius were collected from the sample birds. Intestinal samples were also collected for analysis.


Overall, the researchers said that the mixture of eggs was superior to the control diet in terms of intestinal development and enzyme activity. ADFI and ADG are similar in the diet.

"The results show that EOA can be effectively applied to broiler diets, especially during the planting phase, by improving intestinal morphology and increasing digestive enzyme activity," they said.

They said that compared to the control birds, the feed conversion rate of birds that received EOA supplemental feed during growth increased, the villus height of the duodenum and jejunum increased, and the muscle layers of the ileum and duodenum improved. Birds that receive supplements during finishing improve the crypt depth of the jejunum and ileum.

Supplementation during the growth phase also increases lipase, trypsin and chymotrypsin activity in the duodenum; they say trypsin and chymotrypsin in the jejunum and pancreas in the ileum compared to the control diet Proteases and chymotrypsin. Birds supplemented during the finishing phase also have higher levels of immunoglobulin A in the duodenum and ileum mucosa.

The researchers said that birds that received mixed additives at any stage of growth also showed a higher spleen index. “The addition of an EOA diet increased SIgA levels in the duodenum and ileum mucosa on day 42 of broilers,” they added.

They said: "Adding EOA during finishing can improve the immune status of the animal, as indicated by the increase in SIgA." "However, it is necessary to study the effects of EOA on intestinal bacterial and bacterial metabolites to determine the performance of EOA on broilers. And the mechanism of action of digestive tract function."

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