Pakistan is amongst those countries that are in the race of development and facing serious animal protein shortage (Maqbool et al., 2005). Poultry industry has made enormous progress in boosting animal protein in the country. It is one of the most efficient and economical converter of vegetable food into animal protein and provides a quick and rapid outcome as compared to production of other proteins of animal origin. Decreased weight gain, management problems and infectious diseases are major constraints in the poultry sector.
Several antibiotics have been in use as growth promoters of farm animals ever since. Most of the commercial poultry growers use antibiotics as growth promoters and to reduce the chance of occurrence of infectious diseases, which usually result in higher costs of production and ultimately lower net returns. The average growth improvement has been estimated to be between 4 and 8%, and feed utilization improved by 2 to 5% (Patrick et al., 2003). Concerns have been raised that the use of antibiotics as therapeutics and for growth promotion could lead to a problem of increasing resistance in bacteria of human and animal origin, particularly regarding resistance in gram – negative bacteria (Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli). It is necessary that antibiotic residues in meat would not impair human health. Specifically, it has been recommended that the use of penicillins, tetracyclines, tylosin, and sulfonamides as growth promoters be discontinued (Patrick et al., 2003). That is why these days poultry scientists are pondering, how poultry farmers can rear birds without using antibiotics and other drugs. They are giving more attention to the indigenous medicines. Some plants and their extracts improve feed intake and their enzymatic activity may have antimicrobial, coccidiostatic or anthelmintic effects. Pakistan has cultivated medicinal plants over a large area in different climatic conditions. All these plants have substances which can be used in poultry in one or the other way. One of these plants is Neem (Azadirachta indica) which is commonly called ‘Indian Lilac’ or ‘Margosa’, belongs to the family Meliaceae, subfamily Meloideae and tribe Melieae (Girish and Shankara 2008). In Pakistan, it is cultivated throughout Sindh, lower Balochistan, Southern Punjab and Southern NWFP (Durrani et al., 2008). Neem (A. indica) is among one of those trees in the world which are currently under extensive research.