The Effect of Dietary Essential Oil Mixture Supplementation on Performance, Egg Quality and Bone Characteristics in Laying Hens

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of seven different levels (0, 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, and 600 mg/kg) of a phytogenic feed additive containing a mixture of essential oils from thyme, black cumin, fennel, anise and rosemary on performance, eggshell quality, bone biomechanical properties and bone mineralization in laying hens. This study consisted of a total of 112, 21-week-old Super Nick laying hens, which were randomly distributed into seven experimental groups. During the 12-week experimental period, each experimental group of four replicates of four birds each was fed with seven treatment diets. Egg weight and egg mass were positively linearly affected by essential oil mixture supplementation. Also, eggshell thickness was increased quadratically by essential oil mixture supplementation. The biomechanical properties and tibia mineral content were adversely affected by essential oil mixture supplementation at the level of 600 and 400 mg/ kg, respectively. These results demonstrated that dietary supplementation with a low or medium concentration of essential oils improved bone parameters, while at high levels were adversely affected in laying hens.

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