PoultryUSA - June 2018 - 49
Feeding a Mediterranean diet to broilers (0-35 days of age)*
Weight gain (g/day)
Feed intake (g/day)
a,b: Means within a row with different superscript are significantly different.
*Data courtesy of Nor-Group (Denmark)
Results of a recent trial in Southeast Asia are encouraging, as birds appeared to respond to antibiotics
(positive control) or antioxidant support (Mediterranean).
The allure of Mediterranean diets remains strong, worldwide, and it
is now important to consider if any
elements of this practice can be applied into animal nutrition. Broilers,
being a quick test animal, are always
first to be used when new concepts
come up. Indeed, in a recent trial in
Southeast Asia, under commercial
conditions, a mix of olive leaf and
grape extracts was tested in broilers.
The birds were given a diet without
any antibiotics (negative control),
with antibiotics (positive control)
How animal feed oxidation affects livestock
and finally what we should call a
Mediterranean diet (one with the extracts mentioned above but without
Results are encouraging (see
the table) as birds appeared to respond to antibiotics or antioxidant
support. A higher growth potential (albeit marginal) manifested
itself more clearly into signifi-
cantly improved feed conversion
ratio. Naturally, such preliminary
results require further verification
and clarification. But, nevertheless, they point to the interesting
notion that antioxidant nutrition
(a "Mediterranean diet" is perhaps better from a marketing point of view) requires our
Ioannis Mavromichalis, Ph.D., is an animal nutrition industry consultant. To contact Mavromichalis, email
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