Influence of thyme (Zataria moltiflora) leaves powder and virginiamycin on growth performance, serum lipids concentration and lipid peroxidation in meat of Japanese quails

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Graduated MSc. Student, Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran


This experiment was designed to investigate the effect of feeding different levels of thyme (Zataria moltiflora) leaves powder (TLP) and virginiamycin antibiotic on growth performance, blood metabolites, carcass characteristics and meat quality of Japanese quails. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design with 6 treatments and 4 replicates of 20 birds each. The dietary treatments consisted of control diet (without any additives) and the control diet supplemented with virginiamycin (0.02 %) or TLP (0.5, 1, 2 or 2.5%). At the end of the experiment (35 d) one male quail from each replication was randomly selected for bleeding. Then the birds were killed to investigate carcass characteristics. During the entire study, supplementing the control diet with antibiotic and different levels of TLP had no significant effect on weight gain and feed intake. Supplementing the control diet with antibiotic and 2 or 2.5% TLP significantly decreased feed conversion ratio (P<0.05). The relative weight of the carcass was significantly higher in the birds fed antibiotic compared with the birds fed the control diet and  the control diet supplemented with 0.5 and 1% TLP (P<0.05). Blood metabolites were not affected significantly by the dietary treatments. TBA value of the thigh muscle was significantly improved in birds fed different levels of TLP (P<0.05). In conclusion, TLP (especially at 2% level) can be used as a good alternative to replace with the antibiotic growth promoters for Japanese quails.


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