BANGLADESH - Antibiotic-free poultry production could be made easier by using green tea as a feed additive, a new study in Bangladesh has shown.
The study revealed that 0.25 per cent of green tea (250 grams in every 100 kilograms of feed) as feed additive could bring better results than the use of antibiotics in poultry production, reported UNB.
As well as using antibiotics for treating ailments in farm animals, farmers in some countries use the drugs routinely during rearing, to improve growth and feed efficiency. Using antibiotics in animal feed has become increasingly controversial, as scientists worry about causing the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria dangerous to human health.
Dr Md Elias Hossain, an associate professor of the Department of Poultry Science at Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), conducted the experimental study entitled, 'Supplementation of green tea in broiler diet for the production of antibiotic free broiler meat'.
Broiler production is one of the most important and promising industrial sectors in Bangladesh. Mr Hossain said the use of antibiotics is almost common in broiler production, although there is no law or regulation affecting their use in Bangladesh, hence his mission to find a new source for the benefits they bring.
His experiment was carried out recently at BAU Poultry Farm in Mymensingh. A total of 280 day-old broiler chicks were reared for 35 days in five dietary treatment groups, which included a control (basal diet), a diet containing antibiotics, and three diets containing different levels of green tea powder (0.25, 0.5 and 1 per cent).
According to the scientist, the results suggest that green tea at a level of 0.25 per cent may be used as potential feed additives in broiler diet.
Using green tea as feed additive is a new phenomenon in Bangladesh. In addition to human consumption, lower-grade green tea and green tea by-products have been used as feed additive in animal feed all over world. It contains more than 200 bioactive components such as flavonoids (powerful antioxidants), amino acids, xanthine alkaloids, vitamin and minerals, which are safe for humans.
"If we extensively use green tea in our country as alternative feed additive in poultry production, we can make antibiotics free meat and eggs, which will be safe food for humans and can play an important role for the improvement of national health status and the country's socioeconomic condition," Mr Hossain said, citing the findings of his study.
The researcher said the use of green tea in poultry production may be a little costlier than antibiotic use, but he thought there would be more body weight gain of broilers fed green tea.
"So, farmers may make a balance in production cost. These days, consumers hardly think about price but surely look for safe food."ThePoultrySite News Desk
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