Researchers Explore Alternatives to Antibiotics for Promoting Poultry Health

Researchers at Penn State University evaluated a mixture of essential oils and a probiotic as alternative feed supplements for broiler chicks, to improve feed efficiency, growth rate, and intestinal health without the use of antibiotics. Soon-to-be-published research results found that supplementing the diet of young chicks with the probiotic Bacillus subtilis for 21 days significantly boosted the abundance of beneficial intestinal microorganisms. Researchers caution, however, that further studies will be needed to understand health outcomes and longer-term effects on the chickens’ intestinal tracts.