Economics of Inclusion of Essential Oils in Broiler Feed


1 Department of Home Economics and Food Science, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
2 Animal Production, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
3 Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
4 Crop Protection, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria


The need to produce more high quality protein has led efficacious means of supporting healthy bird performance through the use of certain feed additives including essential oils. The main objective of this study is to determine the economics of usage of essential oils in broiler feed production. The specific objectives of the study are to: i. compare the effect of different essential oil on the cost of broiler feed; and determine the effect of essential oil expenditure on broiler weight gain. This study was carried for seven weeks with two hundred and fifty birds obtained at day old. They birds were grouped into five experiments and fed with premix made from essential oil made from one of lemon, maize, soybean, and pumpkin respectively. The fifth experiment comprised of birds that were not fed with essential oil and served as the control group. Descriptive statistics and one-way Analysis of Variance [ANOVA] were used for the analysis of the data. However, use of essential oil increased the cost of broiler feed by a minimum of N109.80, N76.62, N53.30, and N9.84 per broiler for maize, soybean, pumpkin, and lemon essential oil respectively. Essential oils from the different sources increased above the control feed by a range of 0.04 and 0.80Kg in the case of essential oil from lemon and maize respectively and average total weight of live birds increased with the addition of essential oil by 0.08Kg, 0.12Kg, 0.17Kg, and 0.22Kg above the control for pumpkin, lemon, and soybean respectively. Only lemon essential oil produced weight gain per feed expenditure that was higher than control. The differences in weight gain were however not significant. This study concludes that use of essential oil increased feed intake and consequently average total weight of poultry.

Keywords: Essential oils, Poultry feed, Broiler, Weight gain, Quality protein.