To investigate the effect of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) essential oil (TEO) or increasing inclusion of a prebiotic (TechnoMOS® ) on growth performance and carcass characteristics of Ross 308 broilers, 400 one-day-old male broilers (43.5 g, as mean of body weight) were placed in 20 pens (2.0 × 1.0 m, with a floor area of 0.10 m2 per bird) in groups of 20, and each pen cage was assigned to a specific dietary treatment (four replicates per each one). The dietary treatments included basic diet (no additive; CTR), basic diet including 0.025%, 0.075%, or 0.125% of TechnoMOS® (MOS025, MOS075, and MOS125, respectively), or basic diet including 0.075% thyme extract (TEO075). All dietary treatments were offered from the beginning of the study until the end of the trial. There were no effects of MOS or TEO on carcass characteristics. No significant effects of treatment on weight gain were obtained on a week-by-week basis; however, CTR birds gained less weight during the grower phase and overall compared with MOS birds. The same contrast for feed intake revealed that CTR birds had greater feed intake than MOS birds during both the grower phase and overall (492.18 g and 486.35 g, respectively). In conclusion, treated groups showed an improved feed conversion ratio.
- Feed conversion ratio
- Thymus vulgaris