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Article

The Effects of Turnip (Brassica rapa) Extract on the Growth Performance and Health of Broilers

1
Department of Animal Science, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht 4135-3516, Iran
2
Curtin University Sustainable Policy (CUSP) Institute, Curtin University, Kent St., Bentley, Western Australia 6102, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gunther Antonissen and Evy Goossens
Animals 2021, 11(3), 867; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030867
Received: 13 February 2021 / Revised: 5 March 2021 / Accepted: 5 March 2021 / Published: 18 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut Health in Poultry)
Antibiotics are commonly added to the diet of chickens grown for meat to reduce bacterial contamination of their gastrointestinal tract. The bacteria reduce the efficiency of feed utilization and, hence, growth. However, there are concerns about the inclusion of antibiotics in the feed of chickens grown for meat, because of the development of resistance in the bacteria. As a result, scientists are searching for alternative feed additives. Turnip extract is known to have antibacterial properties but has not been tested in the diet of broiler chickens. We tested several levels of turnip extract in the water for chickens and compared their growth and the level of bacterial contamination of their gut with that of chickens given a standard antibiotic. Although chickens with the highest level of turnip extract initially had slow growth, those given a medium level of turnip extract had faster growth overall, better feed conversion, fewer Gram-negative lactose bacteria in their cecum and fewer antibodies in their blood, compared with those fed the antibiotic. This suggests that inclusion of turnip extract in the diet of chickens could provide an alternative to conventional antibiotics.
There are concerns about inclusion of antibiotics in the feed of broiler chickens, because of the development of antibiotic resistance, leading to a search for alternative feed additives. Turnip extract is known to have antibacterial properties but has not been tested in the diet of broiler chickens. We allocated 200 broiler chicks to receive one of four levels of turnip extract in their water, 0, 150, 300 or 450 ppm, or a standard antibiotic, Virginiamycin, over a 42-day growing period. Although initially there were detrimental effects of providing 450 ppm, overall the 150 ppm level of supplementation increased weight gain, compared with birds given Virginiamycin, and decreased gizzard weight. Birds given 150 ppm or Virginiamycin had increased low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and reduced very low-density lipoproteins (VLDLs) in their blood serum and reduced antibody responses to sheep red blood cells, compared to birds in the 450 ppm treatment. Birds given turnip extract at 450 ppm had fewer Gram-negative lactose and coliform bacteria than those provided with no turnip extract, and those provided with 150–300 ppm had the same as those provided with Virginiamycin. Turnip extract could potentially replace antibiotics included in the feed of broiler chickens for growth promotion and the control of bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract. View Full-Text
Keywords: growth promoters; meat chickens; antibiotics; antibodies growth promoters; meat chickens; antibiotics; antibodies
MDPI and ACS Style

Eghbaldost-Jadid, R.; Nosrati, M.; Rasouli, B.; Seidavi, A.; Phillips, C.J.C. The Effects of Turnip (Brassica rapa) Extract on the Growth Performance and Health of Broilers. Animals 2021, 11, 867. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030867

AMA Style

Eghbaldost-Jadid R, Nosrati M, Rasouli B, Seidavi A, Phillips CJC. The Effects of Turnip (Brassica rapa) Extract on the Growth Performance and Health of Broilers. Animals. 2021; 11(3):867. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030867

Chicago/Turabian Style

Eghbaldost-Jadid, Reza, Mehran Nosrati, Behrouz Rasouli, Alireza Seidavi, and Clive J.C. Phillips. 2021. "The Effects of Turnip (Brassica rapa) Extract on the Growth Performance and Health of Broilers" Animals 11, no. 3: 867. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030867

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