This study was conducted to determine the effect of diets containing different levels of thyme essential oil (TEO) on performance, some serum parameters and the antioxidative metabolism of the serum and liver tissues in quails. A total number of 200 sixteen-days-old Japanese quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) were used in the study. The animals were divided into 4 groups; the control group was fed only basal diet but groups TEO1, TEO2 and TEO3 had thyme essential oil of 150, 300 and 450 mg/kg, respectively, added to their diets. Body weight and daily weight gain increased with higher levels of thyme essential oil in the feed, yet a statistically significant increase was detected in only group TEO3 (p<0.05). Furthermore, in all of the groups that were fed on TEO, feed intake was significantly higher than that of the control group (p<0.05). In the groups that received thyme essential oil, serum creatinine and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels were low, whereas serum magnesium levels were high (p<0.05). Thyme essential oil significantly increased in liver catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities and serum CAT and GSH-Px activities, and significantly reduced both liver and serum lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde=MDA) levels (p<0.01). In result, while thyme essential oil partially affected the performance and serum parameters, it had a marked effect on the antioxidant metabolism.