Forsythia suspensa Extract Has the Potential to Substitute Antibiotic in Broiler Chicken

  • Han, X. (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Piao, X.S. (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhang, H.Y. (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Li, P.F. (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Yi, J.Q. (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhang, Q. (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Li, P. (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, China Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2011.11.14
  • Accepted : 2012.01.17
  • Published : 2012.04.01


Two experiments were conducted to investigate the potential for Forsythia suspensa extract (FSE) to substitute for antibiotic in broiler chicken. First, a well-diffusion assay procedure and a 2-fold dilution method were used to determine the bacteriostatic activity of FSE on Escherichia coli K88, staphylococcus aureus, and salmonella was assayed. An inhibitory effect of FSE was observed on the growth of these bacteria. This effect seems to be dose depended, which disappeared after 25.00, 12.50, 1.56 mg/ml. Second, a 42-d trial with 252 broiler chickens (d 1, $38.7{\pm}1.1$ g BW) was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation of FSE in broiler chicken. The feeding program consisted of a starter diet from d 1 to 21 and a finisher diet from d 22 to 42. Dietary treatments included were: i) NC: negative control fed a corn-soybean meal based diet; ii) PC: positive control group fed based diet with chlortetracycline; and iii) FC: a test group fed with 100 mg FSE/kg diet. In this study growth performance did not differ among treatments during the starter period. However, dietary supplemental chlortetracycline and FSE increased (p<0.05) average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) compared with NC during the finisher and overall phase. Apparent digestibility of calcium on d 21, digestibility of energy and calcium on d 42 of FC was greater (p<0.05) than NC. Moreover, cecal Escherichia coli counts for birds from FC were lower (p<0.05) than NC. Dietary FSE supplementation also improved (p<0.05) villus height and villus height to crypt depth ratios in both duodenum and ileum and decreased (p<0.05) crypt depth in the duodenum. Duodenum villus height and villus height to crypt depth ratio in both duodenum and ileum from the FC group were also greater (p<0.05). Serum growth hormone and IGF-1 were not influenced by different treatments. Apparently, FSE has the potential to substitute for antibiotic in broiler chicken.


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