Do broilers still need antibiotic growth promoters for profitable performance?

2 June 2016

A university study in China showed that feed additives can achieve same or better growth performance than AGP.


The study investigated the efficacy of a feed additive in an AGP-free environment. The research proved better growth performance for broilers consuming the tested additive. The birds had better feed conversion ratio than the control group, equivalent to the results achieved previous with AGP. This trial is framed in the worldwide trend to reduce the use of AGP while keeping high performance and production standards.

The study

The trial was performed at the Animal Research Farm of Sichuan Agricultural University in China. The study involved 1,500 Ross 308 broilers. The main aim was to test how efficient a specific feed additive was when replacing AGP in broiler chickens.

Three diets were tested. The feed additive was compared with a control diet and a diet with AGP.

During the six weeks the study lasted, animal growth performance was measured. The tested parameters were body weight, feed conversion ratio, average daily feed intake, and mortality. Also microbial diversity was analysed, as well as litter moisture and footpad lesions.

The results

The birds treated with the feed additive showed a higher body weight gain compared to the control group. These animals reached even a higher body weight gain compared to the AGP group at 4 weeks of age.

In terms of feed conversion ratio (FCR), the broilers fed the feed additive reached the same results as the AGP group at 4 weeks of age, outperforming the control.  At 3 weeks of age these birds also had a significantly better FCR than the control group, while outperforming the AGP treatment. That means that according to this study, the broilers consuming the feed additive were considerably more efficient when converting feed into meat, even more than those fed AGP.

The product used in the trial

The feed additive used in this trial was Presan-FY. Presan-FY boosts the broilers’ gut barrier function and may maintain their microbiota. This integrated approach is a formula designed to raise profit by decreasing wet litter and improving footpad quality. It enhances the broilers’ technical performance and helps to maintain a healthy status of the animals.

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