XTRACT 6930: A valid alternative for antibiotic growth promoters in turkey feeds
Beside probiotics, prebiotics and organic acids, plant extracts can be used as feed additives of natural origin (Wenk, 2003). Plant extracts are standardised products and are characterised by a number of activities, such as stimulation of appetite, secretion of endogenous enzymes, immuno-stimulation and antimicrobial activities.
The basic ingredients of plant extract preparations are so-called secondary plant metabolites including allylisothiocyanates, eugenol, carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, capsaicin, piperin and numerous other active substances.
Enhancements with plant extracts can be significant in laying hens (Mazuranok and Ionescu, 2005).
Improvements with plant extracts may be comparable with the results of broiler chickens fed a diet supplemented with feed antibiotic (Jamroz et al., 2003).
Organic acids appear to be potential alternatives to antimicrobial growth promoters. Fumaric acid (FA) has the advantage to be crystalline and odourless. Inclusion of FA in broiler diets at levels from 12.5 kg/t until 20.0 kg/t resulted in improvements in growth rate, feed utilisation or both (Voght et al, 1979; Patten and Waldroup, 1988).
FA also seems to be attractive in turkey feeds for its effects, while it can be easily combined with other additives. In the present study, the effect on turkey performance and litter quality was evaluated by supplementing a wheat and soybean meal-based turkey diet with a plant extract preparation which contained Capsicum oleoresin, cinnamaldehyde and carvacrol (XTRACT 6930) and a combination of the latter with FA.
In conclusion, the use of XTRACT 6930 alone or in combination with fumaric acid in turkey feeds without antibiotic growth promoters significantly improved turkey performance compared with the control.
The performance improvement is explained by a higher body weight and/or lower FCR. There is an increase in the differences between treatments after the withdrawal of coccidiostat (57th day).
Hence, XTRACT 6930 alone or in combination with fumaric acid in turkey feeds is a valid alternative to antibiotic growth promoters.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Pancosma.