Use of Essential Oils in Game Birds


The scenario

A rearing site looking for alternative chick starter supplementation due to the mortality rate and poor-quality chicks. The client’s preference was to avoid the use of antibiotics and therefore Biostarter was selected, as the alternative.

What is Biostarter?

Biostarter is a mixture of essential oils, acids, electrolytes, and sugars designed to promote good gut development, yolk sac absorption and immunity. The electrolytes and sugars are used to supplement the levels of electrolytes and energy substances that are often unstable in the period after placement. The additional vitamins provide additional support for the bird’s immunity and are essential for growth and proper development.

How was Biostarter used?

Water lines were cleaned and flushed prior to the arrival of the chicks. Biostarter was given at a

dose rate of 500ml per 1000L of drinker water for the first 5 days after placement. This was the only product given for the chick start. Water lines were once again cleaned and flushed after use.

What were the results?

After the first 24hours after placement we saw increased water and feed consumption. Chick activity was markedly increased too. Decreased starve-outs were also seen. Overall, we saw better health of the chicks and ultimately had mortality less than 1% at 7 days. Throughout the rearing of these birds, we saw less incidences of bacterial infections and better growth of the birds.

Herbivit Plus

The Scenario

A rearing site that had suspected rickets in one batch of chicks. The batch had suffered high mortality, that had led to poor looking chicks and significant unevenness in the batch. The birds had been treated with a Vitamin D product and the rickets had improved however to support the birds and improve their quality for the long-term, we selected Herbivit Plus.

What is Herbivit Plus?

Herbivit Plus contains a blend of essential oils and vitamins to help stabilise the digestive tract. This is useful in times of stress, growth, recovery, and periods of poor gut health. It is also a good product to use when there are nutritional imbalances. The additional vitamin D also helps with shell or bones issues.

How was Herbivit Plus used?

Water lines were cleaned and flushed prior to use. Herbivit Plus was used in periods of 5 days at a dose rate of 500ml in 1000L of drinking water. Once complete, the water lines were cleaned and flushed. It was used in this batch on a regular basis around stress events (biting) or disease challenges (coccidiosis and hexamita). For known stress events, Herbivit Plus was given the day before the event and then carried on for 4 days after.

What were the results?

After the first course of the Herbivit Plus we saw improved feed consumption. This led to a decrease in the unevenness of the birds during rear. The birds also feathered very well towards the end of the rear. Any further lameness issues also decreased. When used at the periods of stress, the impact of these stress events were significantly decreased compared to other batches which were not given the Herbivit Plus. We saw lower levels of coccidiosis and hexamita during challenges, less mortality and the birds bounced back much better. We also found that litter quality in the shelters was much better and drier.