Can phytogenic additives improve the performance of broilers and replace growth-promoting antibiotics? A meta-analytic approach

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Polycarpo, Gustavo Do Valle [UNESP]
de Lima, Gabrieli Andressa [UNESP]
Ávida, Thaís de Souza [UNESP]
Rosas, Fábio Sampaio [UNESP]
Cruz-Polycarpo, Valquíria Cação [UNESP]
Biller, Jaqueline Dalbello [UNESP]
Barbosa, Bárbara Fernanda da Silva [UNESP]
Burbarelli, Maria Fernanda de Castro

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Phytogenic additives have been studied intensively in broiler chicken production to substitute growth-promoting antibiotics. However, the comprehensive literature on this topic makes it difficult to understand overall results because there are a noticeable number of studies with conflicting conclusions. While several research studies have shown that phytogenic additives may increment broiler chicken’s performance, others make the opposite evident. This study aimed to organize and understand information through meta-analysis considering a great number of publications and the factors that may interfere in the results of phytogenic additives, evaluating whether phytogenic additives can be used as a performance-enhancing additive for broilers, when compared with the effectiveness of growth-promoting antibiotics. The main factor that interferes in the evaluation of phytogenic additives is the microbiological challenge. Phytogenic additives improved average daily gain (ADG) (P < 0.001) and feed conversion (P < 0.001) regardless of microbiological challenge; however, they were worse compared with antibiotics under higher challenge (P < 0.020). A meta-regression of ADG in function of average daily feed intake confirmed that phytogenic additives increased the feed efficiency of broilers, but with less effectiveness than antibiotics. The blends of phytogenic additives increased the ADG in relation to the isolated use of only one phytogenic additive.



aqueous plant extract, chicken, essential oil, growth promoter, plant extract

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Canadian Journal of Animal Science, v. 102, n. 2, p. 289-300, 2022.