Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




This study was conducted to observe the effects of thyme plant (Thymbra spicata L. var. spicata) volatile oil on quails and intestinal microbiota in high stocking density. For this purpose, 300 7-day-old Japanese quails (Coturnix coturnix Japonica) were used in the study. The quails were selected on the basis of body weight and divided into 6 groups, each consisting of 5 replications that contained 50 quail chicks according to the following experimental design: positive control group (NSD - CONT), with normal stocking density and no additive; negative control group (HSD - CONT), with high stocking density (HSD) and no additive; group HSD - ANT, with HSD and 10 mg/kg of avilamycin additive, and other groups named HSD - T1, T2, and T3, with HSD and 200, 400, and 600 mg/kg of volatile oil additive respectively. In the study, a stocking density of 160 cm$^{2}$/quail was chosen, while the high stocking density (HSD) was 90 cm$^{2}$/quail. A statistically significant difference was found in terms of improvements in feed intake and feed conversion ratio (P < 0.01), and the highest total bacteria count (cfu/g) was observed in HSD - CONT group (P < 0.01). The addition of zahter-thyme volatile oil in the diet of quails kept in high stocking density provided improvements at various levels with regard to intestinal microbiota and animal performance. It was observed that the inclusion of zahter-thyme volatile oil, in particular at 600 mg per kg level, reduced the detrimental effects of stress generated by high stocking density.


Thyme volatile oil, high stocking density, performance, intestinal microbiota, Japanese quail

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