Herbs as antibiotics in the poultry industry

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Using herbs as antibiotics

Bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics pose a risk to public health. Reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock farming is therefore imperative. Researchers at Wageningen UR are investigating whether herbs can be used as an alternative to antibiotics.

Test tube experiments have shown that herb mixtures that contain thyme, garlic, anise and sage demonstrably reduce bacteria. These herbs also improve the digestive health of chickens. This knowledge could be used to lower the use of antibiotics in the poultry industry. This is how Wageningen UR contributes to improving the quality of life.

Herbs affect micro-organisms, but also affect appetite, digestion, digestive health and the immune system. We do not really know much about how herbs work. I think that preventive usage of herbs could contribute to animal health and can prevent the use of antibiotics. Treating diseases with herbs will require a lot more research, but I believe that there are opportunities.
Maria Groot

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