Thyme and Ginger Nano-Particles Boost Growth and Meat Quality in Chickens

Greg Howard
22nd June, 2024

Thyme and Ginger Nano-Particles Boost Growth and Meat Quality in Chickens

Image Source: Sohail Nawaz (photographer)

Key Findings

  • A study by Beni-Suef University tested thyme, ginger, and their nano-particles as alternatives to antibiotics in broiler chicken diets
  • Thyme, ginger, and their nano-forms improved body weight, weight gain, and feed conversion rates in chickens, similar to antibiotics
  • Ginger and nano-ginger had the greatest impact on body weight and weight gain, and also reduced feed costs compared to antibiotics
The use of antibiotics as growth promoters (AGPs) in animal feeds has been a common practice for decades, particularly in the European Union. However, due to concerns about antimicrobial resistance and the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes from animals to humans, the EU banned AGPs in 2006[2]. This has led to a search for alternative growth promoters in poultry production. A recent study conducted by Beni-Suef University aimed to evaluate the effects of thyme, ginger, and their nano-particles as alternatives to AGPs on the productive performance, carcass traits, meat quality, and gut health of broiler chickens[1]. In this study, 270 one-day-old broiler chicks were divided into six groups, each with three replicates of 15 chicks. The control group was fed a diet without AGPs or phytogenic feed additives (PFAs). Another group was fed a diet containing 0.05% of the antibiotic Bacitracin methylene disalicylate. The remaining groups were fed diets supplemented with 1.0% thyme, 1.0% ginger, 0.10% nano-thyme, or 0.10% nano-ginger. The experiment lasted 35 days. The results showed that both thyme and ginger, along with their nano-forms, improved body weight, weight gain, and feed conversion rates in broiler chickens, similar to the effects of the antibiotic. Notably, ginger and nano-ginger had a greater impact on body weight and weight gain compared to other treatments. Additionally, the feed cost of production was highest in the antibiotic group but lowest in the ginger and nano-ginger groups. Interestingly, there was no significant effect of the dietary treatments on carcass yield or the weight of most organs, except for the bursa of Fabricius and abdominal fat. Thyme, ginger, and their nano-composites increased the weight of the bursa and reduced the amount of abdominal fat. These additives also improved the color, water-holding capacity, and flavor of the meat. Furthermore, they reduced the total intestinal bacterial count and the total aerobic mesophilic count of the meat, similar to the antibiotic. This study suggests that thyme and ginger, along with their nano-particles, can be promising alternatives to AGPs in broiler diets. The use of nanotechnology appears to enhance the bioavailability of these herbal additives, allowing them to be effective in smaller amounts. This aligns with previous research indicating that plant-derived materials, or plant bioactives, can replicate some effects of AGPs and improve livestock production parameters[3]. Moreover, supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) of volatile oils from plants like Thymus vulgaris (thyme) has been shown to yield high concentrations of bioactive compounds such as thymol and thymoquinone, which have strong antioxidant properties[4]. These findings support the potential of thyme and ginger as effective feed additives in poultry production. In conclusion, the study conducted by Beni-Suef University demonstrates that thyme and ginger, especially in their nano-forms, can improve growth performance, gut health, and meat quality in broiler chickens. These phytogenic additives offer a viable alternative to AGPs, helping to mitigate health hazards and reduce costs associated with antibiotic use in poultry farming.

HerbsBiochemAnimal Science

References

Main Study

1) Effect of thyme, ginger, and their nano-particles on growth performance, carcass characteristics, meat quality and intestinal bacteriology of broiler chickens.

Published 22nd June, 2024

Journal: BMC veterinary research

Issue: Vol 20, Issue 1, Jun 2024


Related Studies

2) History of the use of antibiotic as growth promoters in European poultry feeds.

Journal: Poultry science, Issue: Vol 86, Issue 11, Nov 2007


3) Dietary plant bioactives for poultry health and productivity.

https://doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2010.506908


4) Composition and antioxidant activity of Thymus vulgaris volatiles: comparison between supercritical fluid extraction and hydrodistillation.

https://doi.org/10.1002/jssc.201000192



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