What is it about?

Dairy calf rearing is one of the most challenging sectors in a dairy farm. The animals are young, susceptible to neonatal disease and need good nutrition to help body growth and development. For years antimicrobials were used as growth promoters to help per pass these challenges. However, with the growing concern of antimicrobial resistance, new additives have been tested. Thus, the current study aimed to test a blend of essential oils as a dietary feed additive to calves, and its impact on overall animal performance, development, metabolism, and immunity.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Essential oils are additives derived from plants with great properties as antiseptic, antimicrobial, immunological booster and body growth improver. They have been widely used in human medicine and now are a potential alternative to antimicrobials and growth promoters used in livestock dietary feed. Since antimicrobial resistance is a great concern to one health, there is a global trend to ban or decrease antimicrobials growth promoters in livestock. Additionally, natural feed that helps animal development, immunity and decreases disease occurrence are considered an animal-friendly practice and increases animal welfare. Thus, in the eyes of the public, this type of action is welcome.


Studying feed additives alternatives helps us thrive in livestock operations, as well as improve animal, environmental and human health.

Joana Campolina
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Effects of a blend of essential oils in milk replacer on performance, rumen fermentation, blood parameters, and health scores of dairy heifers, PLoS ONE, March 2021, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0231068.
You can read the full text:

Open access logo


The following have contributed to this page