Effect of addition of herbs on body weight and assessment of physical and chemical alterations in the tibia bones of broiler chickens
Kwiecień M., Winiarska-Mieczan A.
Bones, even after their growth has been completed, react to both external and internal factors which include feeding. The process of bone mineralization, including limb bones, is a very important index of the effectiveness and quality of feeding procedures, aswell as a measure of the organism’s health status. Antibiotics, which used to be very popular growth stimulators in feeding, have recently been replaced with natural feed additives, namely herbs. Although the usefulness of herbs has been known for a long time, little information has been found so far concerning their use in animal feeding and effect on the physical parameters and the chemical composition of the bones chickens. The aim of the present work was to determine a potential influence of herbs added to chickens’ diets on the body weight, chosen physical parameters of tibia bones: their weight, length and the content of the basic mineral components of the bone. The experiment was conducted on 210 broiler chickens of the Ross 308 line, divided into seven feeding groups: the control group (I – a mixture containing an antibiotic) and six experimental ones (II – hops, III – lime, IV – lemon balm, V – pansy, VI – peppermint, VII – nettle). In the bone samples, their weight, length, and the chemical composition of ash: Ca, Mg and P were determined. The results obtained in the present study reveal that an addition of nettle or lemon balm to the mixtures led to an increase in the body weight of broiler chickens. An addition of hops (II) to the mixtures led to a decrease in the length of the bones. An addition of lemon balm, pansy, peppermint or nettle to the mixtures had a negative effect on the level of Mg in the bones.
Kwiecień M., Winiarska-Mieczan A. 2009. Effect of addition of herbs on body weight and assessment of physical and chemical alterations in the tibia bones of broiler chickens. J. Elem. 14(4): 705-715.
broiler chicken, herb, tibia bones, physical and chemical parameters