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Response of broiler chickens reared at high density to dietary supplementation with licorice extract and probiotic

Rashidi, Neda, Ghorbani, Mohammad Reza, Tatar, Ahmad, Salari, Somayyeh
Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition 2019 v.103 no.1 pp. 100-107
body weight changes, broiler chickens, broiler feeding, dietary supplements, excreta, feed additives, feed conversion, gait, hock, licorice, probiotics, rearing, stocking rate, walking
This study evaluated the effects of licorice extract and probiotic on performance, excreta characteristics and welfare‐related parameters of broiler chickens reared in high stocking density. Three hundred and thirty‐six 1‐day old broiler chicks (Ross 308) were used in a completely randomized design with five treatments and four replicates for 42 days. Treatments were as follows: (a) positive control (PC, 12 chicks/m²); (b) negative control (NC, 18 chicks/m²); (c) NC + 500 ppm licorice extract (LE); (d) NC + 200 ppm probiotic (P); (e) NC + ppm LE + ppm P. Body weight gain (BWG) was affected negatively by increased density in the growing period (p < 0.05). At high density, BWG was increased in the growing and whole period by adding LE and P separately and in combination (p < 0.01). Feed conversion ratio (FCR) was not affected by stocking density. Excreta weight (g/bird) and dry matter (DM, %) were reduced by increasing density (p < 0.01). Use of feed additives at high stocking density had no significant effect on excreta weight, but DM content of excreta was higher in NC + LE + P than NC. Gait problems and footpad and hock burns were increased by increased stocking density, but were not altered by feed additives. In conclusion, licorice extract and probiotic improved BWG of broilers reared at high stocking density; however, these birds had some disorders in footpad, hock and walking ability.