Comparative evaluation of dietary oregano, anise and olive leaves in laying Japanese quails

Aim of the present study was the comparative evaluation of the effect of ground oregano, anise and olive leaves as feed additives on performance and some egg quality characteristics of laying Japanese quails. A total of 189 Coturnix japonica quails (126 females and 63 males), 149 days old, were randomly allocated into seven equal groups with three subgroups of 9 birds each (6 females and 3 males). A commercial laying diet was fed to the control group. The remaining six groups were fed the same diet supplemented with oregano at 10 g/kg or 20 g/kg, anise at 10 g/kg or 20 g/kg and olive leaves at 10 g/kg or at 20 g/kg. The birds were offered feed and water ad libitum for a period of 29 days, while being kept under commercial conditions. During the experiment, egg production, feed intake and mortality were recorded daily. At the end of the feeding period egg weight, egg yolk, albumen and eggshell weight percentages, egg yolk color (using the L*a*b* color space) and blood serum triglycerides were determined. The diets supplemented with olive leaves (10 g/kg or 20 g/kg) resulted in a tendency (p = 0.054) for higher egg production percentage. Also, the color parameter a* was significantly (p = 0.001) higher in the eggs of quails that consumed oregano (10g/kg or 20 g/kg) or olive leaves (10g/kg or 20 g/kg).

Anise; egg characteristics; egg laying percentage; olive leaves; oregano

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