Comparative Efficacy of Fortified Growth Promoters in Broilers

Published on: 9/8/2021
Author/s : Ajay Chalikwar / Head - Technical services, Provet Pharma Private Limited, Chennai, India.

During COVID19 pandemic period, people all over the globe have understood the importance of protein consumption to boost up their immunity.

Chicken meat and eggs provide a rich source of protein and known for the high digestible values which contains vitamins and minerals needed for improving overall health and immunity.

It is estimated that 25% of the world's meat supply is derived from poultry, i.e. chicken, turkey, duck, geese, domesticated quail, etc. and increasing trend is observed towards poultry meat due to the cheaper and nutritious protein alternative compared to other animal protein sources.

Current broiler chickens have modified the dietary nutrient needs and body composition over time and facing tremendous performance pressure which sometimes leading to mortalities related with metabolic, locomotory and gut related disorders. There are high incidences of gut related issues and lameness which may be attributed to faster growth rate consequent to improved genetics, breast meat yield of these broilers is increasing linearly.

Due to substantial reduction in mean age for liquidation of commercial broilers, birds are always under pressure to fight against various challenges and maintaining gut health challenge is paramount among all.

As the digestive, absorptive and secretive ability of the gut is solely dependent on the gut integrity and microbiome. There are several stressors that affect the functional ability of the gut that include coccidiosis, litter management, clostridium, other pathogenic bacteria & viruses, mycotoxin, nutritional and managemental errors.

Under commonly found bacterial challenge, clinical necrotic enteritis (NE) is associated with severe losses though mortalities and farmer is more concerned about this form but subclinical necrotic enteritis (NE) is responsible for substantial losses on feed conversion and being ignored in many cases which was very much evident during intestinal lesion scoring performed in broilers by our team, pan India.

Losses due to NE are estimated to cost the poultry industry $2 billion annually worldwide (McReynolds, J.L.1952).

Causative organism of NE is Clostridium Perfringens type A and type C which is a gram positive, spore-forming, anaerobic bacteria.

This bacterium produces different toxins like α, β & epsilon but the most important culprit is NetB toxin (Keyburn et. al. 2008) that damages small intestine and subsequently liver and bile duct also get affected which may lead to systemic circulation of this bacterium and end up with cholengiohepatitis.

Net B toxin is an exotoxin, damages intestinal cells and cause leakage of plasma fluid from enterocytes further they produce perfrin (Timebermont et. al. 2014) and inhibit the proliferation of harmless Clostridium and increase the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria leading to dysbacteriosis. This will lead to heavy mortality, mostly during 2 - 5 weeks of age

The clinical infection is characterized by sudden onset, high mortality, and necrosis of the mucous membrane of the small intestine and mortality may reach up to ~ 1% per day.

Birds with NE are depressed, reluctant to move (Kurazono, H. et. al. 1985) and have ruffled feathers. They are usually diarrheic, may be anorexic and dehydrated (Inoue, K., and H. Iida. et. al 1970). The course is often per-acute, with death in 1–2 hours. Mortality rates may be as high as 50% (Hedeland, M. et. al. 2011) but virulence varies with the infecting strains.

There are some strains which causes cholangiohepatitis in broilers as Clostidium which is strictly a gut pathogen get into the circulation due to breach in barrier function of the gut (Page, R.K., and O.J. Fletcher. 1975).

Modern broilers are genetically selected for continuous eating and they continue eating during clinical and subclinical NE challenge thus it will lead to shift in the microbiota and subsequently dysbacteriosis.

This intestinal damage will be deep cited, will destroy lamina propria which lead to destruction of the immune cells present in payer's patches and make the bird immune incompetence.

Comparative Efficacy of Fortified Growth Promoters in Broilers - Image 1


There are different solutions for the control of clinical as well as sub clinical necrotic enteritis that includes antibiotics, synbiotics, probiotics, essential oils, bacteriophages, antimicrobial peptides, etc.

Among all, fortified antimicrobial peptides and fortified essential oils are gaining momentum as they provide efficient control of clinical and subclinical NE and additional benefits like replenishment of microflora and immunity boost up.

In this study, we have compared the efficacy of different growth promoters on the performance parameters in commercial broilers.

Bambercin Plus, a tribiotic

A unique and novel combination of Bambermycin / Flavophospholipol (antibiotic used in animals only) and adequate colony forming units of Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis, fortified with Curcumin in a compatible base for improving performance and productivity in poultry.

Bambermycin / Flavophopholipol

It belongs to the antibiotic class of the phosphoglycolipids & acts primarily against gram positive pathogenic bacteria like Clostridium and Staphylococci, but spares beneficial microflora, such as Lactobacillus & Bifidobacterium and hence alters the microflora balance.


B. subtilis & B. licheniformis - Generally regarded as safe and are able to modify the pathogenic bacteria and regulate the gut microbiota. They act against the pathogenic bacteria and also help in immuno-modulation. They are very stable during feed processing.


Curcumin is well known for its safe and natural phytobiotic action. It has a wide range of biological properties such as antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory activities. It helps in the stimulation of bile secretion and bile flow, thereby maintaining liver health.

NAGRONEX-ESF, a phytobiotic growth promoter

It contains a synergistic combination of essential oils such as oregano, clove, cinnamon & eucalyptus with short chain fatty acids. It has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-coccidiostatic and anti-oxidant properties that Promote Performance and Productivity.

Growth Promotion Effect

It helps in increasing the intestinal dimensions and the villus height/crypt depth ratio, which leads to a wider surface area for absorption of nutrients and electrolytes, thus combats villus atrophy and promotes intestinal integrity.

Antimicrobial Effect

It has both direct and indirect anti-microbial effects due to the synergistic interactions of its various active components

Direct Antimicrobial Effect

Phenols alter the cell wall of some bacteria and fungi resulting in water imbalance and cell death.

Indirect Antimicrobial Effect

It helps in preventing bacterial replication by ensuring quicker renewal of the enterocytes, which creates a hostile environment to bacterial and coccidian development.

Objective of the study

The objective of the experiment was to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation of different gut acting growth promoters (Nagronex ESF and Bambercin plus) on performance of male broiler chickens against bacitracin methylene disalicylate

Materials and methods

Dietary treatments and experimental diets

Comparative Efficacy of Fortified Growth Promoters in Broilers - Image 2

General bird husbandry and measurement of performance traits

A flock of 410 one-day old male broiler chicks were put on test for a period of 1 to 35 days for this experiment. The chicks were procured from a commercial hatchery and were assigned to one of the four treatment groups as described above following a randomized block design.

The chicks were placed on litter materials composed of wood shavings and paddy straw in pens with 10 replicated pens and 10 chicks in a pen measuring (1.2 m x 1.2 m) throughout the study period.

From day 1 to 21 crumbled feed and from day 22 onwards pellets were provided ad libitum. From 1-14 starter, 15-28 grower and 29 to 35 finisher diet was provided. Ad libitum drinking water was offered to individual pens in bell-shaped drinkers.

Vaccination was done as per the recommended schedule.

Comparative Efficacy of Fortified Growth Promoters in Broilers - Image 3


At the time of harvest at 35 d of age, the birds supplemented with Nagronex ESF had almost 60 g more BW as compared with that in the BMD supplemented group. Similarly, the birds supplemented with Bambercin Plus had almost 40 g more BW than that of the BMD supplemented group.

During 29-35 d of age ADG in the Nagronex ESF and Bambercin Plus supplemented groups was comparatively higher than that in the NC and BMD supplemented groups, it resulted in marginally better ADG in the Nagronex ESF and Bambercin Plus supplemented groups as compared to the NC and BMD supplemented groups during 1-35 d.

Feed conversion ratio during 1-14 d was found to be higher in the BMD supplemented PC group (P = 0.032) as compared with the other dietary treatments. However, this ought to be an artifact since such difference was not followed during the subsequent periods of measurements during which FCR was found to be similar across the groups. The birds supplemented with Bambercin Plus had marginally (by 2.5 points) better FCR as compared with the NC group.

Numerically EPI was marginally better in the Nagronex ESF and Bambercin Plus supplemented groups as compared with the NC group.

Discussion and Conclusion

It was concluded from the present investigation that supplementation of Nagronex ESF and Bambercin plus numerically improved body weight, feed conversion and performance of the birds.

The reason behind better performance of Bambercin plus against BMD may be better control of clostridium, sparing effect on microbiome and additional replenishment of microflora in the gut.

Nagronex ESF performance is an outcome of different mode of action of the phytogenics like antimicrobial, antiinflammatory, endogenous enzyme secretion, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, proliferation of microbiome and maintaining gut pH at optimum level.

The data had a trend which suggested that with these supplements, it may be possible to get better FCR and productivity index as compared with the conventional antibiotic growth promoters like BMD.

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