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Oregon State University

1. Nix, Kathryn. Use of Herbal Feed Additives in Poultry Feeding.

Degree: MS, Animal Science, 2016, Oregon State University

The use of an antibiotic as a growth promoter (AGP) began in the 1940’s with the discovery of growth responses from Streptomyces aureofaciens in the monogastric diet. However, resistance and residue problems have increased the negative consumer perception of growth promoting antibiotic use in animal diets. Although no direct link between antibiotic resistance in animals and succeeding antibiotic resistance in humans, there has been increased interest and push to find alternatives to AGPs. Many different types of alternatives such as pre/probiotics, phytogenic compounds (e.g. herbs, and essential oils), enzymes and organic acids are being studied as AGP alternatives. Herbs are one of the four subgroups of the phytogenic classification. Plant based products contain plant secondary metabolites or phytochemicals which are effective as feed additives. Previous studies have found positive results with inclusion of phytogenic feed additives in poultry diets. Two experiments were carried out to test the effectiveness of herbal supplements (Superliv® Concentrate Premix (broiler) and AV/HLP/16 (layer)) on production performance, hindgut bacterial proportions of microbes, liver and muscle tissue lipid composition, and nutrient efficiency in broilers and on production performance, egg quality, egg and liver fatty acid composition, lipid stability, and hen serum lipids in laying hens. In experiment one, effect of the herbal blend (Superliv® Concentrate Premix) and different levels of nutrient density in the diet of meat-type chickens was investigated. A total of 120, one day-old Cobb broiler chicks were fed diets varying in metabolizable energy (ME) (Control, 2.5% reduced ME, 5% reduced ME) with and without Superliv® Concentrate Premix herbal blend. Body weight was the lowest for birds receiving the 5.0% Low Energy diet at the prestarter, grower and finisher phase (p≤0.05). Feeding 2.5% Low Energy diet had no effect on final body weight (p>0.05). No effect of energy level of the diet on total feed conversion ratio (FCR) was observed (p>0.05). Gizzard weight was lowest in Control birds (p≤0.05). The Control diet broilers had significantly higher liver total lipid levels than the 2.5% and the 5.0% reduced energy diets (p≤0.05). The apparent total tract retention of fat was increased in birds fed 2.5% and 5.0% Low Energy diets (p≤0.05). Fecal dry matter (%) was lowest for birds fed 5.0% Low Energy (p≤0.05). Energy level in the diet did not impact total relative proportions of the Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Salmonella in the cecum (p>0.05). With respect to herbal supplementation in the diet, there was an increase in relative fat pad weight in birds receiving the supplement (p≤0.05). Total lipids was higher in the thigh muscle of birds fed the herbal supplement (p≤0.05). A significant increase in the relative proportion of Lactobacillus was observed in birds fed a diet containing the herbal supplement (p≤0.05). Fecal dry matter (%) was reduced in the birds receiving the supplement (p≤0.05). No effect of herb was found… Advisors/Committee Members: Cherian, Gita (advisor), Hermes, James (committee member).

Subjects/Keywords: herbal; Poultry  – Feeding and feeds

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APA (6th Edition):

Nix, K. (2016). Use of Herbal Feed Additives in Poultry Feeding. (Masters Thesis). Oregon State University. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Nix, Kathryn. “Use of Herbal Feed Additives in Poultry Feeding.” 2016. Masters Thesis, Oregon State University. Accessed February 19, 2017.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Nix, Kathryn. “Use of Herbal Feed Additives in Poultry Feeding.” 2016. Web. 19 Feb 2017.


Nix K. Use of Herbal Feed Additives in Poultry Feeding. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. Oregon State University; 2016. [cited 2017 Feb 19]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Nix K. Use of Herbal Feed Additives in Poultry Feeding. [Masters Thesis]. Oregon State University; 2016. Available from: