Improve growth of broiler chicken with spirulina

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Illustration by Citra Indonesia

The severe global warming causes ongoing heat stress to living creatures, including livestock, as a result animals tend to dehydrate and react by breathing fast and drinking a lot but consuming little food. Stressful conditions like this certainly make the chicken body immunity decrease dramatically so it is easy to contract both infectious and non-infectious diseases. Chickens are difficult to grow optimally, and the mortality rate is increasing. These problems are handled by breeders by administering Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGP), which are supplements in the form of small doses of antibiotics mixed in feed or drink either manually by breeders or mixed in the feed.

Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGP) aim as a supporting defense and immunity for broilers. It is expected to resist an infectious agent attacking chickens after it is dissolved in the blood. However, the use of AGP cannot continue, many studies have proven the existence of antibiotic residues in chicken meat on the market so that the consumption can cause antibiotic resistance. Therefore, AGP has been banned by the Indonesian government.

The ban of Antibiotic Growth Promoter (AGP) as additional feed on broiler chickens in Indonesia brought massive losses. The regulation, which has been imposed since the beginning of 2018, makes farmers worried about the sustainability of their businesses because their farms have decreased production by up to 40%. Various ways are taken by farmers to find alternatives to AGP as a stimulant for the growth of their chickens, but until now there has not been much data to prove the success of the business.

Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) researchers from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Faculty of Vocational Studies in a collaborative research managed to find practical solutions to increase the growth of broilers using natural resource easily found around us. Researchers had tested several resources such as spirulina, moringa leaf ( Moringa oliefera ), and probiotic Lactobacillus sp during the breeding of broiler chickens (35 days). The results were very encouraging, the weight of carcass (body parts without feathers, legs, insides and head) of chickens given Moringa leave extract increased significantly by 14% compared to the control group, while the highest breast and upper thigh meat weight was achieved by the chickens given spirulina and moringa leaf groups.

Spirulina has high protein (26-77%), unsaturated fatty acids, beta carotene, zeaxhantin, phycocyanin, macro vitamins and micro minerals. Spirulina can work as an anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and immunomudulator. Moringa is rich in tocoferol and selenium as an anti-oxidant that can reduce fat oxidation in muscles and has great potential as a prebiotic that supports more optimal absorption of nutrients. The great benefits of Moringa and Spirulina can be used as the latest breakthrough for breeders as a solution to the reduction of broiler chicken production due to AGP prohibition, especially when Moringa leaves are widely planted by Indonesian people, and Spirulina is easy to produce so people can utilize this technology at low cost for large yields.

Author: Herinda Pertiwi

Detailed information about this article available at:

Herinda Pertiwi, Emy Koestanti Sabdoningrum, Romziah Sidik, Tri Bhawono Dadi. 2019. Carcass quality of broiler supplemented with spirulina, kelor leaves (Moringa oliefera) and probiotic. The Indian veterinary journal 96(11):39-41.

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