This experiment was carried out to study the effects of dietary supplementation of Satureja hortensis essential oil on growth, carcass parts, pH and luminal microbe in broiler chicken. A total of 400 one week old ROS 308 male chicks were used in a completely randomize design model with 5 treatments and 4 replicates, each composing of 20 chicks. Duration of experiment was 35 days until the age of 42 days. Treatments were a basal diet supplemented with 50, 100 and 150 mg/kg of S. hortensis essential oil with a negative (no supplementation) and a positive control (containing 300 g/1000 kg) of Orego-Stim (a commercial compound). Feed intake and body weight gain were measured weekly and feed conversion ratio was calculated accordingly. Chicks were reared on litter and were fed ad libitum with antibiotic and coccidiostat free diet. At 35th day, litter samples was collected and sent to laboratory for determining its moisture and bacterial total count. At the 42nd day, two chicks per cage were slaughtered for determining carcass parts ratio, ileum digesta pH and bacterial count by dilution method. Results showed that S. hortensis essential oil and Orego-Stim compound had no effects on broiler growth. Liver relative weight increased by 50 and 150 ppm S. hortensis essential oil as compared to the control group. No change of pH was observed due to treatments. Chicks that received 150 ppm S. hortensis essential oil showed higher litter bacterial count as compared to the control and other treatments.
Key words: Broiler chicken, Satureja hortensis essential oil, growth performance, bacterial count.
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