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Effect of Multi-enzymes in Combination with a Direct-fed Microbial on Performance and Welfare in Commercial Broilers

26 May 2015

This experiment conducted by a multinational team revealed that a combination of feed enzymes and direct-fed microbial improved the feed efficiency, health and welfare of broilers reared under conditions similar to those used commercially.

The objective of this study published in the Journal of Applied Animal Research was to determine the response of broilers to the combination of multi-enzymes and direct-fed microbial (DFM) under commercial production settings.

Yueming Dersjant-Li of Danisco Animal Nutrition in the UK and co-authors there, at Schothorst Feed Research and Alimetrics Ltd explain in their paper that they distributed a total of 7,000 day-old male broilers (Ross 308) over 10 pens (700 broilers per pen).

Two dietary treatments were tested using complete randomised design, including a control diet and a test diet with addition of multi-enzymes (xylanase, amylase and protease; XAP) and DFM (a combination of spores from three strains of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens).

Pelleted diets were offered ad libitum in three phases and water was freely available.

During starter and grower phases (0 to 21 days of age), the enzyme and DFM combination resulted in improved feed efficiency (P<0.05).

During the finisher phase, higher feed intake and bodyweight gain (P<0.05) were observed for the test group.

Overall, there were significantly higher feed intake, bodyweight gain and lower water-to-feed ratio in test group than in the control group.

This was related to improved (P<0.05) modified production efficiency factor, which was calculated based on final bodyweight, survival rate, feeding period and mortality-weight-corrected feed conversion ratio.

The test group had improved litter quality and a reduced foot-pad lesion score compared to the control.

In addition, there was a tendency (P<0.1) of reducing Clostridium perfringens population in caecal digesta and higher lactic acid content in the ileal digesta, when expressed on an as-is basis, in the test group.

In this study, the researchers report they demonstrated that using a multi-enzymes and DFM combination in the diet for broilers can result in improved feed efficiency in starter/grower phases and animal welfare parameters, and lead to improved production efficiency under commercial settings.


Dersjant-Li Y., K. van de Belt, J.D. van der Klis, H. Kettunen, T. Rinttilä and A. Awati. 2015. Effect of multi-enzymes in combination with a direct-fed microbial on performance and welfare parameters in broilers under commercial production settings. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 24:80-90.

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

May 2015

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