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Five Herbal Supplements for Poultry Health 

April 2021

Just as with humans, herbal supplements and plant-based additives have grown in popularity for pets and other food-producing animals. A few trends, especially organic production and the shift away from antibiotics in animal agriculture, have supported this growth.

Chicken is one of the largest segments of organic animal products. Sales of organically raised broilers increased from $749 million in 2016 to $1.1 billion in 2019, a massive 47% growth rate. Farm gate sales for organic eggs have grown a slower 8.7% from $816 million to $887 million, with organic layers accounting for 5.8% of the total. In addition to organic, antibiotic resistance has led to a decrease in antibiotics used in animal agriculture, leaving plant-based additives are one promising alternative. 

Here are five natural herbal supplements that can be used in poultry production to improve health. As with all our products, Olam Spices’ products offer the highest standards in safetytraceability, and sustainability, with organic options available.


Paprika is one of the most widely used plant-based products in poultry production, especially for organic eggsOrganic paprika is a unique source of organic pigment for eggs. It is one of the only natural products available to enhance the color of egg yolks to bring a rich golden color and improved taste. Carotenoids, the pigment compounds that give paprika its red color, also have a variety of benefits including reducing oxidative stress and promoting anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.


Cinnamon providers a variety of positive health effects for poultry as well as other food-producing animalsCinnamon can have positive effects on growth performancemaking it a potential solution for natural growth promotion, and can improve the sensory evaluation of the meat. Cinnemaldehyde, the main bioactive compound found in cinnamon, is one of the main plant-based molecules receiving increased attention for its beneficial properties to promote growth and feed efficiency and improvwell-being for food-producing animals. 


Ginger is used in additives and supplements for different types of animals for its benefits to digestive health.  Ginger can improve antioxidant status of eggs and improve layer performance, increasing output of eggs. Ginger may also be used as a palatability enhancer to improve feed intake, and it has antioxidant properties and can improve circulatory function. 


Thyme is another herb that has received significant attention in animal agriculture for its antimicrobial properties. It is the focus of increased attention in food-producing animals, studied for its effects on health parameters including gut and digestive health, growth performance, and genetic expression due to its bioactive compounds like thymol and carvacrol. Thyme is also high in vitamins and minerals including iron, manganese, and vitamin K. 


Similar to other herbs including thyme and oregano, marjoram is another aromatic herb with beneficial health properties. It has antimicrobial properties and can be used to reduce the risk of infections while allowing beneficial microflora to remain active in the gut. It can also be used as a laying stimulant for layer hens.  

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