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New study backs use of oregano essential oil to improve layer performance

Results from a commercial trial shows that adding natural oregano essential oil to the diets of laying hens can improve hen performance and reduce mortality.

19 October 2020, at 8:02am

A new commercial study with Hy-Line Brown hens at a large layer farm in Western Europe has shown that adding Orego-Stim, a source of 100 percent natural oregano essential oil (OEO), in layer diets results in more saleable eggs per hen and a reduced mortality.

Two sheds of 90,000 hens were fed either a standard diet (control) or standard diets supplemented with Orego-Stim from 16-81 weeks. Inclusion of the OEO based additive initially began at 450 g/tonne of feed from 16-34 weeks of age and was then reduced to 300 g/tonne of feed from 34-81 weeks of age.

The supplementation of the OEO feed additive from start till end of lay resulted in 13 more eggs per hen by 81 weeks and a 2.2 reduction reduction in mortality. Egg quality was also improved compared to hens fed the control diet. OEO supplementation resulted in fewer cracked and dirty eggs, providing a 1.6 percent increase in first class eggs.

“Overall, the beneficial combination of improved egg quality, egg numbers and larger egg weights resulted in more saleable eggs, increasing the producer’s income” said Dr Emma Lund, Anpario’s Technical Support Coordinator. “The producer received a 26.9 percent and 21.6 percent higher income from extra-large and large eggs respectively, compared to the control shed. This gave an impressive return on investment of 5.5:1.”

“Orego-Stim is a high quality eubiotic manufactured by Anpario and contains 100 percent natural oregano essential oil,” added Dr Lund. “The study demonstrates it can be a cost-effective, natural solution for improving hen gut health, which is key to supporting support liveability and laying performance. Hens supplemented with Orego-Stim had a greater peak production and a consistently improved persistence of lay.”

With proven efficacy across a multitude of species, phytogenic feed additives such as OEO can provide a multitude of benefits in supporting laying hen health and performance. OEO sources produced from the whole oil contain multitude of naturally occurring compounds which work in synergy to offer several well-documented properties and functions. This includes antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antioxidant functions, all of which have a role in supporting optimal health and performance.