Document Type : Original Article


Anim. Prod. Dept., Fac. Agric., Zagazig Univ., Egypt


This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of different levels of water thyme extract (WTE) on New Zeland White (NZW) growing male rabbits performance. Thirty sex rabbits with average body weight of 830 ± 50 g were assigned to 4 groups (9 rabbits per each group). Rabbits in the first group drank tap water (control group), while rabbits of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th groups drank WTE on concentrations of 0.25, 0.50 and 0.75% (W/V), respectively. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC- MS) was used for determination the WTE constituents. Results showed that, 100 peaks were obtained when WTE was subjected to GC-MS. The peaks area more than 0.5% were 10 peaks which corresponding to 10 compounds. The best (P<0.05) average daily body weight gain and feed conversion for total period (8 weeks) were obtained when rabbits drank 0.25% WTE as compared to control and other treated levels. The daily feed intake of all levels of WTE significantly (P<0.05) reduced. The mortality rate (%), average water intake, digestibility of all nutrients, nutritive values and carcass traitsdid not significantly differ between all tested levels of WTE and control. Caecum parameters (total volatile fatty acids, ammonia-N and pH values) were significantly (P<0.05) decreased when rabbits drank all levels of WTE in comparison with control rabbits. Results of blood analysis showed that, all levels of WTE did not significantly affected on blood hematological parameters measured. Serum enzymes showed that activities of aspartate amino transferase did not significantly (P<0.05) differ between all treatments. The activity of alanine amino transferase, total protein and albumin values were significantly (P<0.05) higher with levels 0.75% WTE compared to control. The economical efficiency obtained in rabbits drank 0.25, 0.50 and 0.75% WTE were 152.67, 97.75 and 76.60%, respectively in comparison to 100% of control. Conclusively, most results indicated that rabbits drank 0.25% WTE (2.5 g/100 ml water) had the best performance and economical efficiency.