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Citrus flavonoids are important natural compounds with diverse biological activities. They can be used as an alternative to replace antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in poultry diets. This experiment was conducted to determine the effect of citrus flavonoids on growth performance and antioxidant status in broilers. A total of 1,440 one-day-old Ross 308 male broiler chicks were randomly allotted into 4 treatments with 12 replicates of 30 birds per replicate. The chicks were fed a control diet (CON), a control diet supplemented with 500 g of bacitracin/ton of feed (AGPs 500), 300 g of citrus flavonoids/ton of feed (CTF 300), or a mixture of 300 g of bacitracin/ton of feed and 200 g of citrus flavonoids/ton of feed (AGPs 300 + CTF 200), respectively. There were no significant differences in body weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion ratio, number of culling and mortality among dietary treatments during the starter, grower and finisher periods (P>0.05). However, for overall performance (1-37 DOA), birds fed diets supplemented with citrus flavonoids alone had lower FCR and mortality (P<0.05) when compared to that of the control group. In addition, the supplementation of citrus flavonoids alone reduced serum thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARs) of broiler (P<0.05). The present study indicates that, citrus flavonoids had beneficial effects on growth performance. Therefore, citrus flavonoids could be used as a substitute for antibiotic growth promoters in broiler diets.
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