The effects of yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and herbal supplements on growth performance and nutrient utilisation of broiler chickens
The use of antimicrobial growth promoters in European poultry production will be banned in
2006, which has made it economically viable to investigate the use of other acceptable
compounds, such as botanical products. Botanical products have a wide range of known
pharmacological effects which could be exploited, for example carvacrol, found in oregano,
has antibacterial properties.
Six experiments investigated the effects of botanical products on broiler growth performance.
Two experiments were carried out to identify potentially useful products from a choice of six
(garlic - Allium sativum, horseradish - Amoracia rusticana, juniper - Juniper communis, milk
thistle - Silybum marianum, oregano - Origanum vulgare and yarrow - Achillea millefolium).
Garlic powder and yarrow supplementation improved FeE (PO.05). Feeding yarrow supplemented diets resulted in improved weight
Yarrow contains 'bitter' sesquiterpene compounds (cadinene and germacrene), which may
stimulate digestive enzyme production, so the fifth experiment examined the effects of dietary
yarrow on digestive enzyme activity and nutrient availability of birds fed control and low
nutrient density basal diets. Yarrow supplementation increased intestinal lipase activity and
improved diet AME in birds fed high nutrient density diets but not in birds fed low nutrient
density diets (yarrow x diet density interaction P