Almost all poultry farmers aim to get maximum profits from their birds. The profit a farmer would get on a chicken lies mainly in the body weight. The higher the body weight of a bird, the higher the price it will command. So if you want to learn how to increase the body weight of your birds using natural growth promoters, you’re on the right post. This will work for various classes of poultry bird which includes broiler, pullet, cockerel, turkey, quail and goose.
I wrote an article where I discussed five ways to increase the weight of broiler chickens. In the article, I mentioned the following tips as broiler weight boosting methods.
- Sort the broilers according to their sizes and weights
- Formulate and feed them with quality feed
- Use growth promoter or booster
- Avoid starvation
- Procure quality chicks from an excellent hatchery
Types of Growth Promoter
While all the above tips work great, most people who commented and emailed me on that post requested for growth promoters for broilers. There are different ranges of growth promoters. We have:
- Natural growth promoters (Organic, herbal, and natural growth promoters)
- Artificial growth promoters (Inorganic growth promoters such as antibiotic growth promoters)
I will be discussing more on these two especially the differences between them in another post. However, scientific researchers and experts have proven that organic growth promoters are safe to human health while inorganic growth promoters like antibiotic growth promoters are unsafe to our health.
Some of the common natural growth promoters for chickens are as follow:
1. Cayenne Pepper / Hot Red Pepper (Capsicum annum L.)
Cayenne pepper (also called hot red pepper) is one of the readily available natural or organic growth promoters. When added to the diet of chickens or other poultry birds, it increases or boosts appetite and feed consumption or metabolism. Cayenne pepper is also known to kill gastrointestinal worms and it is effective for the treatment of coccidiosis. A scientific study has shown that cayenne pepper powder at an inclusion rate of 0.5-1 g/100 g of broiler feed, works great in boosting the body weight of broilers.
2. Garlic (Allium sativum)
An onion family member, garlic is a vegetable (sometimes classified as a spice) that helps in boosting the immune system, fight viral and bacterial diseases, improve egg production as well as boost growth. Research has shown that Garlic powder, an inclusion rate of 2-3 g/1 kg of broiler feed, results in higher growth performance.
3. Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is a spice that is highly rich in curcumin, a chemical that works as an anticoccidial, antibacterial, antioxidants and anti-inflammation. Turmeric’s potency as a natural growth promoter has been researched by many scholars and the results were positive and impressive. For example, turmeric powder at an inclusion rate of 0.75% of broiler feed results in improved growth performance and feed conversion ratio (FCR). 
4. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger is another natural growth promoter that can be used as an alternative for artificial poultry growth promoters. Adding ginger in the diet of broilers is shows a strong stimulating effect on the immune and digestive systems of the birds. Hence, ginger can be used as an immune response booster and appetite booster. Studies [4,5]show that at an inclusion level of 1%, broiler chickens have a significantly higher body weight gain and lower FCR.
5. Thyme (Thyme vulgaris L.)
Thyme is not only for culinary purposes. It can also for boosting the growth of chickens just like ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper and garlic. The effectiveness of the use of thyme as a growth promoter has been proven by researchers. Dried thyme powder at an inclusion rate of 1 g/100 kg results in higher body weight gain and lower feed conversion ratio. 
Cited Sources and Further Reading
- Puvača, Nikola, et al. “Effect of garlic, black pepper and hot red pepper on productive performances and blood lipid profile of broiler chickens.” European Poultry Science 79 (2015): 1-13.
- Oloyede, T. A., and A. O. Fasuyi. “Garlic (Allium sativum) Powder as an Additive in Broilers (Finisher Phase) Part 2: Growth Performance, Hypocholesterolemic Effect and Economic Implications.” Journal of Experimental Agriculture International (2017): 1-14.
- Choudhury, Dimpi, et al. “Effect of Dietary Supplementation of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) Powder on the Performance of Commercial Broiler Chicken.”
- Talukder, Sudipta, et al. “Effect of dietary supplementation of ginger extract on growth, carcass characteristics and haematological parameters in broilers.” Asian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 3.2 (2017): 211-215.
- Mohamed, Arkan B., Mohammed AM Al-Rubaee, and Ali G. Jalil. “Effect of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) on Performance and.” International Journal of Poultry Science 11.2 (2012): 143-146.
- Demir, E., et al. “The use of natural feed additives as alternatives to an antibiotic growth promoter in broiler diets.” Archiv fur Geflugelkunde 69.3 (2005): 110-116.