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Study Explores Potential of Direct-fed Microbials for Broilers

04 September 2013

GLOBAL - Supplementing a broiler diet with direct-fed microbials (DFM)improved early performance and demonstrated some health benefits.

Dietary supplementation of DFM improved the growth performance of birds at an early age, stimulated the immune response, decreased the number of E. coli and improved the ileal morphology of broiler chickens.

Those are the conclusions drawn by H.M. Salim of the University of Manitoba in Canada and co-workers of a paper published in Poultry Science.

In a study with scientists at the Department of Livestock Services in Dhaka, Bangladesh and the National Institute of Animal Science in the Republic of Korea, they examined the supplementation of DFMs as an alternative to antibiotic on growth performance, immune response, caecal microbial population and ileal morphology of broiler chickens.

A total of 800 one-day-old male broiler chicks (Ross × Ross) were randomly allotted to four dietary treatments with four replicate pens per treatment (50 birds per replicate pen). The four dietary treatments fed for 35 days were a corn-soybean meal basal diet (control); control plus 0.1 per cent virginiamycin, as an antibiotic growth promoter (AGP); control plus 0.1 per cent direct-fed microbials that contained Lactobacillus reuteri (DFM1); and control plus 0.1 per cent direct-fed microbials that contained a mixture of L. reuteri, Bacillus subtilis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (DFM2).

Results showed that dietary AGP and DFM supplementation significantly increased (P<0.05) the bodyweight gain of broilers during 0 to 21 days. Feed intake was reduced, whereas feed conversion was improved significantly when birds were fed DFM2 at 0 to 7 days of age.

The white blood cell and monocyte levels were significantly higher in the DFM2 group than the control. In addition, feeding DFM significantly (P<0.05) increased plasma immunoglobulin levels, which were higher for birds in the DFM2 group than in the other treatments.

Neither DFM nor AGP treatments affected the caecal Lactobacillus and Salmonella content; however, caecal Escherichia coli content significantly decreased in broiler chickens fed DFM and AGP.

The ileal villus height, and width and total thickness of muscularis externa were significantly increased in birds fed DFM compared with AGP and control.

These results indicate that the dietary supplementation of DFM increases the growth performance of birds at an early age, stimulates the immune response, decreases the number of E. coli and improves the ileal morphology of broiler chickens, concluded Salim and co-authors.

They added that DFM that contained a mixture of several beneficial microorganisms could be a viable alternative to antibiotics in the broiler diets.

Reference

Salim H.M., H.K. Kang, N. Akter, D.W. Kim, J.H. Kim, M.J. Kim, J.C. Na, H.B. Jong, H.C. Choi, O.S. Suh and W.K. Kim. 2013. Supplementation of direct-fed microbials as an alternative to antibiotic on growth performance, immune response, cecal microbial population, and ileal morphology of broiler chickens. Poult. Sci. 92(8):2084-2090.  doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02947

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

ThePoultrySite News Desk



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