Use of anise seed and/or α-tocopheryl acetate in laying Japanese quail diets
An experiment was conducted to investigate the possible use of anise (Pimpinella anisum) and/or α-tocopheryl acetate as dietary supplements on the performance and some egg quality characteristics of laying Japanese quail. One hundred and eight Coturnix japonica quail (72 females and 36 males), 149 days old, were randomly allocated to four equal groups with three subgroups of nine birds each (six females and three males). A commercial laying diet was fed to the control group (Group A). The remaining three groups received the same diet supplemented with anise seed at 10 g/kg (Group B) or 20 g/kg (Group C), or additional 600 mg α-tocopheryl acetate/kg (Group D). The birds were given feed and water ad libitum for a period of 29 days, while being kept under commercial conditions. During the experiment, egg production, feed consumption and mortality were recorded daily. Also, at the end of experiment, egg weight, egg yolk, albumen and shell weight percentages, egg yolk colour (using the L*a*b* colour space), blood serum total cholesterol and triglycerides concentrations were determined. Neither the supplementation of anise nor that of α-tocopheryl had any effect on the performance of the birds or the quality of their eggs, except for a significant change of the colour of the egg yolk. Cholesterol concentration in the serum tended to decrease with the addition of anise to the diet.
Keywords: Pimpinella anisum, vitamin E, Coturnix japonica, performance, egg characteristics, serum total cholesterol, serum triglycerides