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Green tea: Powerful additive for broilers

Green tea powder could be used as a feed additive in broilers to help improve meat colour and Lactobacillus proliferation for broiler production.

This is according to Chinese research. They found that dietary green tea powder supplementation not only promoted Lactobacillus proliferation but also inhibited E. coli proliferation in the ileum and caecum of the broilers between 28 and 42 days of age. The study, published this month, in the Journal of Applied Poultry Research, investigated whether green tea powder can be directly used as a feed additive for broiler production.

Experimental setup

Arbor Acres male broilers were randomly allocated to 4 dietary treatments consisting of 6 replicates with 12 broilers each in a completely randomised design. The four treatments were:

  • Basal diet (CON)
  • Basal diet with 0.0004% antibiotics (ENBAC)
  • Basal diet with 1% green tea powder (GTP)
  • Basal diet with 0.0004% antibiotics and a 1% GTP (GTPEN)

Increased growth during late stages

The results showed that broilers with the GTP treatment lowered body weight gain during their early stages (days 0-21), but tended to increase the body weight during the late stages (days 21-42) of production. The feed conversion ratio, according to the summary findings, was not changed upon green tea powder supplementation when the whole production period was concerned.

However, the leg muscle was proportionately high and abdominal fat was proportionally low in the GTP group as compared with that in the ENBAC group.
The lightness (L*) value, the shear force and the calcium content of the GTP group were lower in the breast meat as compared with the ENBAC group.
A higher redness (a*) value and intramuscular fat content of breast muscle were also observed in the GTP group.

Also benefits for laying hens

The research, which was led by Xiaochun Wan, of the Key Laboratory of Tea Biochemistry at Anhui Agricultural University, follows previous research which has shown that green tea powder can also increase body weight, feed efficiency and lead to decreased caecal coliform bacteria count (G Erener et al, 2011) and has the potential to improve antioxidant status due to increased plasma uric acid and improved plasma lipid profile due to decreased LDL (MH Alimohammadi Saraei et al, 2016). Green tea also has benefits for laying hens according to Jang et al, 2007, where research found that green tea supplementation significantly reduced the shedding of oocysts in faeces of chickens infected with Eimeria maxima.