Evaluation of synbiotic and cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) as antibiotic growth promoter substitutions on growth performance, intestinal microbial populations and blood parameters in Japanese quail

Document Type : Original Research Article (Regular Paper)


Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran.


This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation with cinnamon powder, cinnamon oil, and synbiotic as growth promoter agents on growth performance, blood parameters, and intestinal microbial populations in Japanese quails. A total of 420 one-day-old Japanese quails were randomly assigned to 7 treatments with 4 replicates. The dietary treatments consisted of the basal diet as control, 200 mg virginiamycin/kg, 100 and 200 mg cinnamon oil, 1 and 2 g cinnamon powder/kg, and 500 mg synbiotic/kg added to the basal diet. Birds were given feed and water ad libitum. Body weight gain and feed intake of quails were determined at day 1, 21, and 35, and feed conversion ratio was calculated. At day 35, two birds per replicate were slaughtered for determination of bacteria colony count. Compared to control and 1 g cinnamon powder/kg diet, supplementing 200 mg cinnamon oil/kg increased body weight gain of quails at day 35 (P<0.05). Feeding 200 mg cinnamon oil/kg and virginiamycin improved feed conversion ratio compared to control group at day 35 (P<0.05). Count of lactobacillus bacteria increased in birds fed 200 mg cinnamon oil/kg diet in comparison with the birds fed control, virginiamycin and 2 g cinnamon powder/kg diets. Dietary supplementation of 200 mg cinnamon oil/kg diet and virginiamycin decreased the number of coliforms in the ileum. In conclusion, 200 mg cinnamon oil/kg diet can be applied as an alternative to antibiotic for Japanese quails diets to improve growth performance, and it can also increase the number of lactobacillus bacteria and decrease coliforms.


Main Subjects

  • Al-Kassie, G.A.M., 2010. The effect of thyme and cinnamon on the microbial balance in gastro intestinal tract on broiler chicks. International Journal of Poultry Science 9, 495-498.
  • Altine, S., Sabo, M.N., Muhammad, N., Abubakar, A., Saulawa. L. A., 2016. Basic nutrient requirements of the domestic quails under tropical conditions: A review.World Scientific News49, 223-235.
  • Bedford, M., 2000. Removal of antibiotic growth promoters from poultry diets: Implications and strategies to minimise subsequent problems. World's Poultry Science Journal 56, 347–365.
  • Bento, M., Ouwehand, A., Tiihonen, K., Lahtinen, S., Nurminen, P., Saarinen, M., Schulze, H., Mygind, T., Fischer, J., 2013. Essential oils and their use inanimal feeds for monogastric animals – effects on feed quality, gut microbiota, growth performance and food safety: a review. Journal of Veterinary Medicine 58, 449–458
  • Botsoglou, N. A., Spais, A.B., 2003. Effect of dietary supplementation with oregano essential oil on performance of broilers after experimental infection with Eimeria tenella. Archives of Animal Nutrition 57, 99-106.
  • Brenes, A., Roura, E., 2010. Essential oils in poultry nutrition: Main effects and modes of action. Animal Feed Science and Technology 158, 1-14.
  • Burt, S., 2004. Essential oils: their antibacterial properties and potential applications in foods – a review. International Journal of Food Microbiology 94, 223–253.
  • Cabuk, M., Bozkurt, M., Alcicek, A., Akbas, Y., Kucuyilmaz, K., 2006. Effect of a herbal essential oil mixture on growth and internal organ weight of broilers from young and old breeder flocks. South African Journal of Animal Science 36, 135-141.
  • Castillo, M., Martin-Orue, S. M., Roca, M., Manzanilla, E. G., Badiola, I., Perez, J. F., Gasa, J. 2006. The response of gastro-intestinal microbiota to avilamycin, butyrate, and plant extracts in early-weaned pigs. Journal of Animal Science 84, 2725–2734.
  • Clevenger, J. F., 1928. Apparatus for the determination of volatile oil. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association 17, 345–349.
  • Cocchiara, J., Letizia, C.S.; Lalko, J.; Lapczynski, A.; Api, A.M., 2005. Fragrance material review on cinnamaldehyde. Food and Chemical Toxicology 43, 876-923.
  • Dorman, H.J.D., Deans, S.G., 2000. Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils. Journal of Applied Microbiology 88, 308–316.
  • Garcia, V., Catala-Gregori, P., Hernandaz, F., Megias, M.D., Madrid, J., 2007. Effect of formic acid and plant extracts on growth, nutrient digestibility, intestinal mucosal morphology, and meat yield of broilers. Journal of Applied Poultry Research 16, 555-562.
  • Ghasemi, H.A., Kasani, N., Taherpour, K., 2014. Effects of black cumin seed (Nigella sativa L.), a probiotic, a prebiotic and a synbiotic on growth performance, immune response and blood characteristics of male broilers. Livestock Science 164, 128-134.
  • Goni, P., Lopez, P., Sanchez, C., Gomez-Lus, R., Becerril, R., Nerin, C., 2009. Antimicrobial activity in the vapour phase of a combination of cinnamon and clove essential oils. Food Chemistry 116, 982–989.
  • Griggs, J.P., Jacob, J.P., 2005. Alternatives to antibiotics for organic poultry production. Journal of Applied Poultry Research 14, 750–756.
  • Gurdip, S., Sumitra, M., Delampasona, M.P., Cesar, A.N.C., 2007. A comparison of chemical, antioxidant and antimicrobial studies of cinnamon leaf and bark volatile oils, oleoresins and their constituents. Food and Chemical Toxicology 45, 1650–1661.
  • Helander, I. M., Alakomi, H. L., Latva-Kala, K., Mattila-Sandhol, T., Pol, I., Smid, E. J., Gorris, L.G. M., Von Wright, A., 1998. Characterization of the action of selected essential oil components on gram-negative bacteria. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 46, 3590–3595.
  • Hernandez, F., Madrid, J., Garcia, V., Orengo, J., Megias, M.D., 2004. Influence of two plant extracts on broilers performance, digestibility, and digestive organ size. Poultry Science 83, 169-174.
  • Jamroz, D., Wiliczkiewicz, A., Wertelecki, T., Orda, J., SkorupiƄska, J., 2005. Use of active substances of plant origin in chicken diets based on maize and locally grown cereals. British Poultry Science 46, 485–493
  • Kalavathy, R., Abdullah, N., Jalaludin, S., Ho, Y.W., 2003. Effect of lactobacillus cultures on growth performance, abdominal fat deposition, serum lipids and weight of organs of broiler chickens. British Poultry Science 44, 139-144
  • Kamphues, J., Hebeler, D., 1999. Performance enhancers: The status quo from the view of animal feeding. Overviews. Animal Feed Science 27, 1–28.
  •  Kaskatepe, B., Eylul Kiymaci, M., Susuk, S., Erdem, S. A., Cesur, S., Yildiz, S., 2016. Antibacterial effects of cinnamon oil against carbapenem resistant nosocomial Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates. Industrial Crops and Products 81, 191-194.
  • Koochaksaraie, R.R., Irani, M., Gharavysi, S., 2011. The effects of cinnamon powder feeding on some blood metabolites in broiler chicks. Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science 13, 197-201.
  • Lee, J., Choi, Ms., Jeon, Sm., Jeong, T.S., Park, Y.B., Lee, M.K., Bok, S.H., 2001. Lipid-lowering and antioxidative activities of 3,4-di (OH)-cinnamate and 3,4-di (OH)-hydrocinnamate in cholesterol-fed rats. Clinica Chimica Acta 314, 221–229.
  • Lee, K.W., Everts, H., Kappert, H.J., Beynen, A.C., 2004. Growth performance of broiler chickens fed a carboxymethyle cellulose containing diet with supplemental carvacrol and/or cinnamaldehyde. International Journal of Poultry Science 3, 619-622.
  • Lee, M.K., Park, Y.B., Moon, S.S., Bok, S.H., Kim, D.J., Ha, T.Y., Jeong, T.S., Jeong, K.S., Choi, M.S., 2007. Hypocholesterolemic and antioxidant properties of 3-(4-hydroxyl) propanoic acid derivatives in high-cholesterol fed rats. Chemico-Biological Interactions 170, 9–19.
  • Leusink, G., Rempel, H., Skura, B., Berkyto, M., White, W., Yang, Y., Rhee, J. Y., Xuan, S. Y., Chiu, S., Silversides, F., Fitzpatrick, S., Diarra, M. S., 2010. Growth performance, meat quality, and gut microflora of broiler chickens fed with cranberry extract. Poultry Science 89, 1514–1523.
  • Mehdipour, Z., Afsharmanesh, M., Sami, M., 2014. Effects of supplemental thyme extract (Thymus vulgaris L.) on growth performance, intestinal microbial populations, and meat quality in Japanese quails. Comparative Clinical Pathology 23, 1503-1508.
  • Miles, R.D., Butcher, G.C., Henry, P.R., Littlell, R.C., 2006. Effect of antibiotic growth performance on broiler performance, intestinal growth parameters and quantitative morphology. Poultry Science 85, 476–485.
  • National Research Council, 1994. Nutrient Requirements of Poultry. 9th Ed. National Research Council. National Academic Press, Washington, DC. USA.
  • Nazifi, C., 2005. Avian Hematology and Clinical Biochemistry. Shiraz University Publications, Iran (in Farsi).
  • Ojaghian, M.R., Chen, Y., Chen, S., Cui, Z.Q., Xie, C.L., Zhang, J., 2014. Antifungal and enzymatic evaluation of plant crude extracts derived from cinnamon and rosemary against Sclerotinia carrot rot. Annals of Applied Biology 164, 415-429
  • Oussalah, M.; Caillet, S.; Lacroix, M., 2006: Mechanism of action of Spanish oregano, Chinese cinnamon, and savory essential oils against cell membranes and walls of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes. Journal of Food Protection 69, 1046–1055.
  • Penalver, P., Huerta, B., Borge, C., Astorga, R., Romero, R., Perea, R., 2005. Antimicrobial activity of five essential oil against animal origin strains of the Enterobacteriaceae family. Acta Pathologica Microbiologica 113, 1–6.
  • Rolfe, R.D., 2000. The role of probiotic cultures in the control of gastrointestinal health. The Journal of Nutrition 130, 396-402.
  • SAS. 2013. SAS User’s Guide: Statistics. Version 9.4. SAS Institute. Cary, NC, USA.
  • Shim K.F., Vohra, P., 1984. A Review of the nutrition of Japanese quail. World's Poultry Science Journal 40, 261-274.
  • Si, W., Gong, J., Tsao, R., Zhou, T., Yu, H., Poppe, C., Johnson, R., Du, Z., 2006. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and structurally related synthetic food additives towards selected pathogenic and beneficial gut bacteria. Journal of Applied Microbiology 100, 296–305.
  • Toghyani, M., Toghyani, M., Gheisari, A., 2011. Evaluation of cinnamon and garlic as antibiotic growth promoter substitutions on performance, immune responses, serum biochemical and haematological parameters in broiler chicks. Livestock Science 138, 167-173.
  • Visek, W.J., 1978. The mode of growth promotion by antibiotics. Journal of Animal Science 46, 1447-1469.
  • Windisch, W., Schedle, K., Plitzner, C., Kroismayer, A., 2008. Use of phytogenetic products as feed additives for swine and poultry. Journal of Animal Science 86, 140–148.