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Long-term effects of dietary supplementation with an essential oil mixture on the growth and laying performance of two layer strains

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Author(s): Mehmet Bozkurt | Kamil Küçükyilmaz | Mehmet Pamukçu | Metin Çabuk | Ahmet Alçiçek | Abdullah U. Çatli

Journal: Italian Journal of Animal Science
ISSN 1594-4077

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Essential oil mixture | Layer hen strain | Performance

ABSTRACT
One thousand two hundred 1-day-old Lohmann LSL white and Lohmann Brown layer chickens were fed diets supplemented with either an antibiotic growth promoter (AGP) or an herbal essential oil mixture (EOM) till 58 wk of age to reveal the long-term effects of those additives on growth, performance and wholesome egg quality parameters. The study was arranged in a 2x3 factorial design with two layer strains and three feed additive regimens. Thus, the layer birds of both strains were randomly assigned to the three dietary treatments, i.e., standard basal diet (control), control with AGP (specifically, avilamycin, 10 mg/kg diet) and control with EOM (24 mg/kg diet). The data regarding egg production were recorded between 22 to 58 weeks of age. Neither the dietary treatments nor the bird strain influenced the body weight and mortality of the birds in both the growing and laying period. AGP or EOM supplementation to the laying hen diet significantly increased the egg production rate and egg weight as compared to the control diet alone, but egg mass output, feed consumption, and feed conversion ratio were not effected by the dietary treatments. Neither dietary treatment created any statistically significantly differences in egg quality parameters with the exception of Haugh unit. The research findings have confirmed the beneficial effects of supplementation with feed-grade EOM on the laying rate and egg weight of both white and brown layers. Indeed, EOM, being a novel feed additive natural origin, proved to be as efficacious as AGP in promoting egg yield.
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