Savory herbs and their active essential oils have been extensively investigated as feed additives and an alternative to the use of antimicrobial agents. The present study aimed to assess their effects on broiler chicken performance.
Dried savory powder (SP) (1.0% or 2.0%) or savory extract (SE) (50 or 100 ppm) was added to the basal starter (until day 22) and grower diets/drinking water, respectively. In total, 308 male Ross broilers aged 225 days were assigned to four treatment groups and the non-supplemented control group.
On day 42, the feed conversion ratio (FCR), improved in the treatment groups (FCR =1.63 on 1.0% SP) compared to the control group (FCR =1.81±0.04; P < 0.005), while no such change was observed in the feed intake or daily weight gain. The FCR was similar between the SP and SE at different levels.
According to the results, 1% or 2% savory powder and 50 or 100 ppm of the savory extract as food and drinking water additives could improve the FCR in the 42-day broiler production cycle and could be a proper alternative to commercial essential oils.