Effect of a Chinese herb medicine formulation, as an alternative for antibiotics, on performance of broilers

F.C. Guo, R.P. Kwakkel, J. Soede, B.A. Williams, M.W.A. Verstegen

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1. A total of 720 female broiler chicks was used to test the effects of 4 dietary concentrations of a Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) formulation (0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 g/kg), as an alternative for virginiamycin (VRG), on growth performance in broilers. 2. A total of 72 birds from non-supplemented, VRG and 0.5 g/kg CHM groups was selected and killed and the relative weights of the intestinal segments were assessed. 3. The CHM dietary treatments produced increased body weight gain at 7 to 21 d of age but not at 21 to 28 d of age compared with the non-supplemented and VRG groups. The CHM groups had a higher feed intake and a higher feed conversion ratio (FCR) than the VRG group between 21 and 28 d. 4. The dissection results showed that the liver colour of the birds in the CHM group varied less between animals than that of the VRG and the non-supplemented groups. Neither CHM nor VRG had any significant effects on either liver or intestinal tract weights. 5. It was concluded that the birds of the CHM group had better growth performance from d 7 to 21 but not thereafter. Further experiments are needed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying enhanced growth performance by CHM in broilers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-797
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004



  • virginiamycin
  • growth
  • diets

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