Humic acid as a feed additive in poultry diets: a review

Document Type : Review article


1 Department of Animal Sciences, College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Punjab, 40100, Pakistan

2 Department of Poultry, Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Egypt

3 Department of Poultry, Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig University, Zagazig, 44511, Egypt

4 Department of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Sciences and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, 712100, China

5 Poultry Production Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Fayoum University, Fayoum, 63514, Egypt


Many studies tested different feed additives, among these additives, humic substances (HS) have been used in livestock and poultry diets. Humic substances commonly present in nature as they are created from the organic matter decomposition, and are normally found in the soil and natural water. Active components of HS consist of humic acid (HA), humus, ulmic acid, fulvic acid, humin and certain microelements. Humic acid is widely used as an alternative growth promoter for antibiotics in improving poultry performance and health. Moreover, supplementation of a commercial substance as a source of HS through the drinking water or diet improved the feed consumption, feed efficiency and weight gain of broiler chickens, and also improved egg weight, egg mass, and egg production of laying hens. This review describes the useful applications and recent facets of HA including its modes of action and various valuable uses in improving the production and health safeguarding of livestock and poultry.


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