Genetic advance aimed at accelerating the growth rate of slaughter birds have reduced the natural resistance of poultry to infections. It also increased susceptibility to stress, which resulted in deterioration of the welfare and productivity of poultry. Additionally, intensive poultry production poses a risk of exposure of chickens to unfavorable zoo-hygienic conditions and contamination with pathogens from the external environment (bedding, water, feed, hen house staff, sick birds in the flock). Due to the potential production losses, measures are taken to improve the health and effectiveness of bird rearing, for example by using growth stimulants and improving the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiome and improving metabolism and the work of the immune system. The addition of phytobiotics to feed or drinking water supports digestion and metabolism in the body, stimulates the growth and development of a useful microbiome, limits the multiplication and adhesion of pathogens, and improves the structure and functioning of enterocytes. The aim of this study is to present the health benefits resulting from the use of phytobiotics in poultry production, as well as to make people aware of the dangers of incompetent incorporation of herbs into feed mixtures or into drinking water. Due to the fact that not all species of animals react equally to a given plant, the selection of plant materials should be carefully considered and matched to the expected benefits. By using phytobiotics you can improve growth and performance of broiler chickens, through greatly improve digestion and nutrient assimilation. Plant additives can improve health through stimulate immunity and increase resistance to stress. Using of phitobiotics improve the quality of meat and eggs, increase the weight of valuable parts of carcass (pectoral and leg muscles) and stimulate laying. Unfortunately, due to the potentially toxic effect of an excess of certain herbs on the work of the liver, and the adverse changes in the palatability of eggs, use caution in the use some herbs e.g. of garlic, turmeric, rapeseed, alfa alfa, shiny privet or moringa.
Part of the book: Advanced Studies in the 21st Century Animal Nutrition