Feed & nutrition: the benefits of essential oils in poultry diets

Significant benefits can be had by poultry farmers by including aromatic plant extracts and essential oils into poultry diets

Plant extracts and essential oils, such as oregano, are well known for their effect on beneficial gut microbiota modulation in poultry species. There are also other benefits associated with their use in poultry diets, which are less commonly recognised, such as improving bird behaviour, reducing heat and oxidative stress and assisting in immune system regulation and function.

These are the expert views of Dr Helen Houghton MRCVS, a veterinarian who joined Anpario in 2017.  UK-based animal health company Anpario operates in more than 80 countries worldwide. Its oregano-based product range, branded Orego-Stim, contains 100% natural oregano essential oil, which is proven to offer many performance benefits to all poultry species and supports programmes associated with reducing antibiotic usage.

The complex mode of action of oregano essential oils in poultry diets delivers benefits which help produce a robust bird, better able to cope with the natural challenges associated with poultry production systems, for instance periods of disease challenge, heat stress and other events during production which are notoriously stressful.

The development of a more robust bird will help in attaining optimal performance during these periods of challenge and stress. “The addition of essential oils to poultry diets have been found to lead to improved performance parameters, such as better feed conversion ratios, enhanced egg production, an extended period of lay and also improved growth performance. I therefore firmly believe the use of plants extract and essential oils in poultry feed can provide new opportunities for poultry producers,” says Dr Houghton.

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