SUMMARY
  • Enhanced reproductive performance is key to improving the profitability and sustainability of broiler breeder systems.
  • Improvements to gut health can help to increase energy reserves available for reproductive processes whilst reducing stress on the animal, both of which may lead to improvements in fertility.
  • In this study (Soliman et al, 2016) Orego-Stim improved cockerel and hen fertility, and subsequent hatchability, compared to control diets.

 

BACKGROUND
  • This work was conducted to assess the efficacy of oregano essential oil on improving gut health, and the indirect effects on the reproductive performance of male and female broiler breeders.
  • In the broiler industry even small improvements in broiler breeders after peak production (30 weeks) can greatly improve profitability.
  • Orego-Stim is a high quality eubiotic composed of 100% natural oregano essential oil.

 

TRIAL DESIGN

An independent study was conducted at Inshas Poultry Breeding Station, Animal Production Research Institute (Egypt) to assess the effect of Orego-Stim (OS) on broiler breeder fertility. Ninety-nine (90 hens, and 9 cockerels) 24-week-old Inshas broiler breeders were randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatments including differing levels of Orego-Stim (Control, 0; OS 300g/t; or OS 600g/t) with three replicates (10 hens: 1 cockerel per replicate). Birds were fed until 40 weeks of age under the same environmental conditions with ad libitum feed and water. Intestinal (3 hens/replicate) and seminal samples were collected at 40 weeks-old, while eggs were collected from remaining hens after 40 weeks.

RESULTS

Figure 1. Effect of Orego-Stim on broiler breeder fertility and hatchability (A), sperm quality (B, C). abDifferent superscripts denote significant difference (p≤0.05). Adapted from Soliman et al., 2016, Egypt. Poult. Sci. 36:67.

  • In 40-week-old hens (3/replicate), small intestine E.coli counts were significantly decreased while Lactobacillus counts were increased in birds fed Orego-Stim (p≤0.05; data not shown).
  • In hens fed Orego-Stim, fertility and hatchability of fertile eggs was significantly improved (Fig.1A).
  • In cockerels fed Orego-Stim, the percentage of live sperm significantly increased and the percentage of abnormal sperm significantly decreased (Fig. 1B). Total sperm per ejaculate and ejaculate volume were also significantly improved (Fig.1C).