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Study Examines Benefits of Probiotics for Broilers

18 February 2014
Poultry Science journal

SOUTH KOREA & CHINA - New research reveals that supplementing broiler diets with multi-strain probiotics improved performance and immunity, while decreasing ammonia in the litter and E. coli in the caecum.

Dietary supplementation with multistrain probiotics improved broiler growth performance, ileal amino acids digestibility and humoral immunity, while decreasing caecal numbers of E. coli and the ammonia content of excreta.

In the current issue of Poultry Science, Z.F. Zhang (Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu, China) and I.H. Kim (Dankook University in Cheonan in South Korea) report on their experiment conducted to investigate the efficacy of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis and Clostridium butyricum supplementation in broilers.

A total of 400 day-old mixed sex Ross 308 broilers with an initial average bodyweight of 46±0.5g were randomly allotted to four treatments with five replicate pens per treatment and 20 broilers in each pen for 35 days.

Dietary treatments were:

  1. an antibiotic-free diet (CON)
  2. CON + 5mg per kg of avilamycin
  3. CON + 1 × 105 colony-forming units (cfu) of multistrain probiotics per kg of diet (P1) and
  4. CON + 2 × 105 cfu of multistrain probiotics per kg of diet (P2).

Broilers fed the P1 and P2 diets had greater bodyweight gain than broilers fed the CON diet during the period from day 22 to day 35 (P=0.01) and overall (P=0.02).

Feed conversion ratios in P1 and P2 were decreased (P=0.03) compared with that in CON from days 22 to 35.

Ileal digestibility of most essential amino acids - with the exception of His and Phe, were higher (P<0.05) in P1 and P2 than CON.

Serum IgA and IgM concentrations in P2 were higher (P<0.05) than those in CON.

Caecal Lactobacillus numbers were increased (P=0.02), and the counts of E. coli were decreased (P=0.03) in P1 and P2 than with CON.

Dietary supplementation with multistrain probiotics decreased (P<0.05) the excreta ammonia content compared with the CON.


Zhang Z.F. and I.H. Kim. 2014. Effects of multistrain probiotics on growth performance, apparent ileal nutrient digestibility, blood characteristics, cecal microbial shedding, and excreta odor contents in broilers. Poultry Science. 93(2): 364-370. doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03314

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

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