Effects of feed supplementation of Thymus vulgaris (Lamiaceae) powder on growth performance, carcass characteristics and blood profiles of maturing Cameroonian local kabir rooster
The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation of Thymus vulgaris on growth performance, morphometric, carcass, and blood parameters in local Kabir rooster. Chicks were randomly assigned to one of the four dietary treatments (10 chicks per treatment). One group (T0) received a basal diet, two others received a basal diet supplemented with 0.5% (T5) and 1% (T10) of thyme while the fourth (TOxy) received Oxykel 80 WP. Feed intake was calculated, body weight and morphometric traits were recorded. Hematological analyses and the carcass parameters were evaluated. Feed supplemented gradual level of thyme resulted in a significant improvement in the overall performance parameters compared to the control. Roosters fed 1% thyme displayed a better feed conversion ratio than others (P<0.05). They showed the highest body weight gain, carcass weight, and heart relative weight compared to the values obtained in birds fed the basal diet. A significant decrease of spleen and gizzard relative weights was recorded in chicken fed on thyme. Except for the wing length, the chest circumference, and thigh diameter, dietary treatment had a significant effect on the body measurement characteristics (P<0.05). But the gain values of neck length, chest circumference, and tarsus length were significantly increased in chicken fed thyme supplemented diets (P<0.05). Roosters fed on thyme also had higher (P<0.05) red and white blood cells, hematocrit and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration. It could be concluded that thyme could be included in local chicken diets to promote their growth performance, improve their carcass characteristics and health status.