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Open AccessArticle

Use of Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) in Laying Hen’s Nutrition on Performance and Egg Fatty Acid Profile as a Promising Sustainable Organic Agricultural Tool

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Department of Engineering Management in Biotechnology, Faculty of Economics and Engineering Management in Novi Sad, University Business Academy in Novi Sad, Cvećarska 2, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia
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Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Agricultural University of Tirana, Koder Kamez, 1029 Tirana, Albania
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Faculty of Agriculture, University of Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 8, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia
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Institute of Public Health of Belgrade, Bulevar despota Stefana 54a, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
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Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, Agricultural University of Tirana, Koder Kamez, 1029 Tirana, Albania
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3420; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083420
Received: 3 April 2020 / Revised: 9 April 2020 / Accepted: 19 April 2020 / Published: 22 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Organic Agriculture for Developing Agribusiness Sector)
The level of production in a variety of organic production systems is often lower than in other traditional production systems. In poultry production, there is also a direct negative effect of the small scale regarding sustainable organic poultry production. Regardless of differences between organic and conventional production systems, this experiment aimed to investigate the usage of tea tree Melaleuca alternifolia (Maiden and Betche) Cheel essential oils as a natural alternative to antibiotics in hen nutrition on productive parameters, table egg quality and eggs fatty acid profile as a promising sustainable organic agricultural tool. A total of 360 Lohmann Brown hens, aged 54 weeks, divided into three different treatment diets, were supplemented with 0 (T1), 40 (T2) and 80 mg/kg (T3) of M. alternifolia essential oil, respectively. Experimental treatments were replicated four times within 30 birds each. The experiment lasted for a total of 56 days (55 to 62 weeks of hens age). A 56-day experimental had two timetable periods of 28 days each: period 1 (55 to 58 weeks of hen age) and period 2 (59 to 62 weeks of hen age). For compound feed supplemented with M. alternifolia essential oil, daily egg production and the efficiency of nutrient utilization (FCR) was improved significantly (p < 0.05) until the end of week 58, with a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the thickness of eggshell, as well as egg production (p < 0.05). However, egg mass, feed consumption, FCR and albumen height, Haugh unit, and eggshell strength did not show any significant (p > 0.05) differences influenced by essential oil feed supplementation. Lower concentrations of saturated fatty acid (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), and higher concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), were recorded with M. alternifolia essential oil supplementation, but without significant (p > 0.05) differences. At the end of the experiment, the obtained results showed that the addition of M. alternifolia essential oil to hen nutrition had a positive effect on production parameters and eggs fatty acid profile, with increased eggshell thickness (p < 0.05). View Full-Text
Keywords: medicinal plants; sustainable; poultry; organic; eggs; fatty acids; agriculture medicinal plants; sustainable; poultry; organic; eggs; fatty acids; agriculture
MDPI and ACS Style

Puvača, N.; Lika, E.; Cocoli, S.; Shtylla Kika, T.; Bursić, V.; Vuković, G.; Tomaš Simin, M.; Petrović, A.; Cara, M. Use of Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) in Laying Hen’s Nutrition on Performance and Egg Fatty Acid Profile as a Promising Sustainable Organic Agricultural Tool. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3420.

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