Achyranthes japonica extract as phytogenic feed additive enhanced nutrient digestibility and growth performance in broiler
<italic>Achyranthes japonica</italic> extract (AJE) is derived from a medicinal plant <italic>Achyranthes japonica</italic>, known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. AJE contains multiple bioactive compounds, including saponins, triterpenoids, phytoecdysteroids, 20-hydroxyecdysone, and inokosterone. Aim of this investigation was to examine the impact of AJE as a phytogenic feed additive on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, excreta microbial count, noxious gas emissions, breast meat quality in broilers. About three hundred and sixty, day-old broilers (Ross 308) were assigned into four treatments (five replication cages/treatment, and 18 birds/case). Dietary treatments: CON, basal diet; 0.02% AJE, basal diet with 0.02%; 0.04% AJE, basal diet with 0.04% AJE, and 0.02% AJE, basal diet with 0.06% of AJE. Body weight gain increased linearly (<italic>p</italic> < 0.05) through the inclusion of AJE during days 7 to 21, 21 to 35, as well as the entire experimental period. Besides, feed intake increased (<italic>p</italic> < 0.05) linearly during days 21 to 35 and the entire experiment with the increased AJE doses in broiler diet. Dry matter digestibility was increased (<italic>p</italic> < 0.05) linearly along with increasing amounts of AJE. With increasing AJE supplementation, nitrogen and energy utilization tended to improve (<italic>p</italic> < 0.10). In summary, the addition of AJE in the corn-soybean meal diet led to higher body weight gain and increased feed intake as well as enhanced nutrient digestibility, among them the highest improvement was found in 0.06%-AJE indicating the acceptance of AJE as a phytogenic feed additive.