The effect of herbal feed additive on the growth performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality of broiler chickens fed low-energy diets
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of herbal feed additive on growth performance, carcass characteristics, the chemical composition of breast muscles and selected meat quality parameters in broiler chickens. The experiment was performed on 1080 Ross 308 chickens, which were randomly divided into six groups with six replicates per group. In experimental groups, dietary energy concentration was reduced by 0.10 or 0.25 MJ kg−1, and the diets were or were not supplemented with the Superliv herbal formula at 500 g t−1 of diet. A statistical analysis revealed that Superliv had a beneficial influence on the final body weights (BWs) of birds, average daily gain (ADG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), European Efficiency Index (EEI) and the proportion of heart relative to total carcass weight. However, meat acidity measured 15 min post mortem was higher in experimental groups. A decrease in dietary energy concentration contributed to a highly significant increase in the water-holding capacity (WHC) of meat and natural drip loss, an increase in pH15, an increase in color lightness, a decrease in redness, an increase in the fat content of meat, and a decrease in malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration.