Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of oregano and garlic essential oils dietary supplementation on the feeding behavior of two different sheep breeds (Anatolian Merino sheep (Anatolian Merino) and Polatli sheep (Polatli)). Twenty male sheep (ten from each breed) were randomly assigned in two groups: oregano and garlic. The experiment was divided into pre-experiment and main experiment periods. The same organic concentrate was offered for all animals all over experimental period while organic concentrate was supplemented with oregano or garlic essential oils supplementation only (5000 ppm kg-1) during the main experiment stage. The organic concentrate was offered to sheep in the 2 times day-1 (morning feeding at 8:00, afternoon feeding at 16:00). Individual feeding behaviors (number of meals and meal duration) were recorded using digital camera all over 24 h. The number of meals and meal duration had been increased in oregano group at the main experiment compared to the pre-experiment (p<0.01). At the main experiment, sheep of oregano group were unwilling to eat and had higher number of meals in comparison to sheep of garlic group (p<0.01). Moreover, Polatli group fed oregano oil had higher number of meals compared to Anatolian Merino (p<0.01). Sheep fed oregano consumed the offered concentrate feed but in longer time compared to sheep of garlic group (p<0.01) at the main experiment. Essential oil did not affect the number of meals at the morning and afternoon feeding times as well as sheep from different breeds showed similar response. Anatolian Merino fed on oregano oil showed shorter meal duration during morning feeding compared to afternoon feeding (p<0.01). Researchers concluded that the feeding behaviors of sheep had been affected by essential oil the dietary supplementation, especially oregano oil. It can be say that Polatli sheep had higher sensitivity to the changes in the diet compared to Anatolian Merino.
Muazzez Polat and Mohamed Ibrahem El Sabry, 2014. The Effects of Essential Oils Dietary Supplementation on Feeding Behavior of Sheep under Organic Animal Husbandry. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 13: 344-349.