Since the January 2006 EU ban on antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in animal feeds, the use of plant extracts and essential oils (‘extracts’) as AGP-alternatives has risen from an EU average 55% in 2005 to 80% in pig feeds and 70% in poultry feeds. Outside the EU, the corresponding usage now is 24% in pigs and 61% in poultry.
The figures come from a survey of 94 feed manufacturers in 13 countries, seven in the EU and six non-EU, carried out by the specialist ingredients manufacturer Pancosma. It found 76% of participants said they believed extracts would become more important in the future.
In pig diets, the use of extracts is on a par with organic acids and significantly higher than pre- and probiotics. Of manufacturers including extracts in pig feeds, 94% use them for weaners, 72% growers, 67% finishers and 59% for sows.
In broiler feeds, extracts outrank all other AGP-replacers, while in other poultry feeds they are a close second to organic acids. Of all manufacturers using extracts in poultry feeds, 92% use them for broilers, 42% layers, 32% turkeys and 30% for breeders.