Interpretive Summary: Effects of dietary oregano essential oil supplementation in yellow-feathered chickens
By Anne Zinn
A paper recently published in the Journal of Animal Science investigated the effects or oregano essential oil supplementation on growth performance, intestinal antioxidative capacity, immunity, and intestinal microbiota of young yellow-feathered chickens. While antibiotics have been extensively used in poultry production to increase productivity and efficiency, antimicrobial resistance has become a large issue and many countries have banned or restricted the use of in-feed antibiotics; the development of reliable and effective alternatives to antibiotics without compromising productivity and animal welfare is crucial. Essential oils are plant-derived aromatic volatile oils and contain bioactive compounds that have been shown to improve poultry nutrition. Specifically, oregano essential oil has been shown to have antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral characteristics, but there currently isn’t any research evaluating the possible impact of oregano essential oil on intestinal antioxidation, immunity, and the related intestinal microflora community in yellow feathered chickens. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to demonstrate the potential of oregano essential oil as an antibiotic substitute for local chickens.
Results of this study demonstrated that dietary supplementation with oregano essential oil enhanced growth performance, alleviated local oxidative stress in intestine, improved production of natural antibodies, and favorably modulated intestinal microbiota composition. These results allow for deeper understanding and better insight into the potential alternatives to antibiotics for local yellow-feathered chicken production.
The full paper can be found on the Journal of Animal Science webpage.