Effect of lavender (Lavandula Stoechas) essential oil on growth performance, carcass characteristics, meat quality and antioxidant status of broilers
Gürsel, Feraye Esen
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The study evaluated the effect of essential oils from lavender (Lavandula stoaches) (LEO), on growth performance, carcass quality and antioxidant status of broilers. Three nutritionally adequate diets were composed with the addition of LEO at 0, 24, and 48 mg/kg of feed. The diets were fed as mash in the starter (d 0-21) and grower (d 22-39) phases. A total of 405 day-old chicks (Ross-308) were allocated to the three dietary treatments, each with three replicate pens with 45 birds per pen. After the first 21-day feeding period, the bodyweight of chicks fed 24 mg/kg LEO was higher (P <0.01) than the 48 mg/kg LEO treatment, but only slightly higher than that of the untreated group. Diets with 24 and 48 mg/kg of LEO tended to increase final bodyweight of birds at 39 days old. No differences were observed for feed intake (FI), feed conversion ratio (FCR) and mortality among treatments. Feeding chickens on a diet with added LEO significantly reduced the relative weight of liver (P <0.01) compared with the control (CNT) group. Percentage of spleen weight of birds fed 24 mg/kg LEO was lower (P <0.05) than for those who received 48 mg/kg LEO. However, it was similar to that of the CNT. Birds fed diets supplemented with 24 and 48 mg/kg LEO had breast meat with higher brightness (L* value) and higher concentration of superoxide dismutase (SOD) compared with birds that did not receive LEO. Based on the data, it can be concluded that LEO could be used as a growth promoter in broiler nutrition with potential improvements in breast meat quality.