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Thymus vulgaris L. as feed additive in piglets
Various herbs are very popular as feed additives in small and large animal practice. The very interesting question if Thymi herba are not only important for cooking but also developing antibacterial activities if gíven to piglets was evaluated in this new study from Vienna. With surprising results!

The aim of the study was to test Thymi herba (1.66% v/w essential oil with 39% p-cymene and 32% thymol) in the rearing period of piglets as feed additive. Therefore, two feeding trials were performed with piglet groups ranging from 17 to 22 animals each.

Either 10 g of Thymi herba/kg feed (Thymi herba group), 10 mg flavophospholipol/kg feed (flavophospholipol group) or nothing (control group) was added to the animals` feed.

No significant differences in the performance parameter daily weight gain among any groups were recorded.

No differences concerning feed efficiency or isolation of haemolytic E. coli serotypes were shown.
In addition, the antibacterial activity of the essential oil of Thymi herba against 39 haemolytic E. coli isolates from the same weaners was investigated in vitro by disk diffusion, minimum inhibitory concentration and bactericidal concentration testing.

In contrast to the feeding results, the essential oil of the thyme batch fed showed antibacterial activity against all haemolytic E. coli investigated. This interesting antibacterial potential of Thymi herba prompts further investigations as to its value as feed additive.


Source: Jugl-Chizzola M, Spergser J, Schilcher F, Novak J, Bucher A, Gabler C, Hagmuller W, Zitterl-Eglseer K. (2005): Effects of Thymus vulgaris L. as feed additive in piglets and against haemolytic E. coli in vitro. In: Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2005 Nov-Dec;118(11-12):495-501.




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