Maternal Consumption of Original XPC Improves Progeny Performance

US - It has been established that feeding Diamond V Original XPC to livestock and poultry improves reproductive performance.
calendar icon 29 May 2013
clock icon 6 minute read

From sows to broiler breeders, improvements have been demonstrated in reduced days from wean to successful breeding (Kim et al., 2010) and by the increased number of eggs per hen (Berry et al., 2012), according to Don McIntyre, (PhD, PAS), Director, North American Poultry Research & Technical Service for Diamond V.

Evidence also exists that feeding the metabolites in Original XPC positively influences progeny performance, i.e. pig weaning weight (Shen et al., 2011) and egg hatchability (unpublished data).

Feeding Original XPC has proven to improve gut morphology characteristics, such as villus height and density, which could support improved nutrient absorption and utilisation (Gao et al., 2008; Akhavan-Salamat et al., 2011). It could also be postulated that improvements in shell quality and egg size may be influenced by the same mechanism (Anderson et al., 2011).

Recent data suggest other maternal mechanisms might be activated, which subsequently influence progeny performance when hens are fed Original XPC. Berry et al. (2012) showed that feeding Original XPC to broiler breeder hens improved carcass and breast meat weight in their progeny.

To investigate further the possibility of maternal carry-over of Original XPC, a study was designed and conducted using Cobb 500 broiler breeder hens at Mississippi State University.

Experimental Design

Breeder candidates were reared together under a common programme. Starting at 20 weeks of age, hens were assigned to one of two dietary treatments to produce eggs for progeny trials.

Egg sources

  • Two treatments:
    • T1 = Control breeder diets
    • T2 = T1 + Original XPC (1.5 lb/t)
  • Typical corn/ SBM diet & nutrient specifications (Table 1)
  • Eight replicate pens per treatment
  • Three hens per pen
  • Hens mated by artificial insemination (AI) from pooled semen
  • Eggs collected for eight days at both 32 weeks and 39 weeks of lay
  • Hatchability, embryo mortality, and chick quality were reported

Chick sources

Eggs from hen pens were pedigree hatched such that chicks assigned to each treatment pen were generated from hens of a common pen. All progeny, from both control and Original XPC fed breeder hens, were fed the same diets (Starter, Grower, Finisher 1, Finisher 2) with no Original XPC included. Therefore, breeder hen diet (with or without Original XPC) is considered the treatment for broiler (progeny) evaluation.

Broiler Evaluation

  • Two treatments:
    • Hen Control (HCON)
    • Original XPC hens (HORIGINAL XPC)
  • Eight pens of broilers per treatment (from eight laying pens)
  • 12 broilers per pen, straight run
  • Age: grown to 46 days
  • Basal diet: identical (Table 1)
  • Bodyweight (BW) and feed consumption (FC) measured at 46 days
  • Six birds per pen processed (three males, three females)
Table 1. Calculated analyses for experimental diets
BreederBroiler Feeds by Age
Calc. Analysis (%) Feed 0-14d 15-26d 27-35d 36-46d
ME (kcal/kg) 2,900 3,042 3,141 3,196 3,218
Crude Protein 15.00 22.00 20.00 18.00 17.00
Calcium 3.25 1.00 0.90 0.85 0.76
Avail Phosphorus 0.42 0.50 0.45 0.42 0.37
Methionine 0.39 0.46 0.41 0.38 0.37
Lysine 0.80 1.21 1.05 0.97 0.93
Threonine 0.55 0.77 0.67 0.64 0.63


This trial was designed to observe progeny performance based upon maternal influence. Therefore the protocol was organized to produce eggs from replicated hen pens within each treatment. With eight replicate pens per feed type (Control vs. Original XPC), only three breeder hens were required per pen to produce the eggs needed for progeny evaluation. Therefore, egg production per pen was not reported since the test design was not intended for this comparison.

Feeding Original XPC to broiler breeder hens in this study significantly increased (P<0.05) hatch of fertile eggs compared to control hens (Figure 1). No differences were observed between treatments for embryonic mortality (data not shown), but Original XPC hens at 32 weeks produced eggs with significantly less contamination (P<0.05) compared to the controls (0.00 per cent versus 1.97 per cent, respectively).

All broilers were grown in the same barn, with the same feed and were segregated only by the designation of their maternal treatment/pen in two separate progeny evaluation studies (eggs from 32 weeks to 39 weeks of dam age). Body weight gain was similar for both treatments in each progeny trial. Livability was not statistically different (P>0.05) between treatments. Feed conversion was lowest in broilers from Original XPC hens and was highly significant (P<0.01) during Trial 2 (eggs laid when hens were 39 weeks of age; Table 2).

Breast meat yield (fillet + tender) was improved in progeny from Original XPC fed hens and was highly significant (P<0.001) during Trial 2 (eggs laid when hens were 39 weeks of age; Table 2). Berry et al. (2012) also reported a maternal breast meat yield response in progeny from Cobb broiler breeders fed Original XPC. Observations of improved production performance in the progeny of Original XPC fed hens would imply that maternal factors are passed to the offspring that could influence bird physiology to produce improved nutrient utilisation, as demonstrated by feed efficiency and muscle deposition.

Table 2. Progeny growth and processing data
ObservationHCON BroilersHORIGINAL XPC Broilers
Progeny Trial 1 (32-week hatch)
Body Weight gain (lb) 6.42 6.43
Feed: gain 1.90 1.87
Livability (%) 94.79 97.92
Carcass (%) 72.51 72.69
Breast (%) 22.09 22.58
Progeny Trial 2 (39-week hatch)
Body Weight gain (lb) 7.09 7.10
Feed: gain 1.94a 1.86b
Livability (%) 93.75 97.92
Carcass (%) 73.24 72.90
Breast (%) 24.24b 26.19a
ab Values with different letters are statistically significant (P< 0.01)


  • Feeding Original XPC to broiler breeder hens improved hatch of fertile eggs
  • Original XPC fed hens produced fewer contaminated eggs
  • Progeny from Original XPC fed hens exhibited improved feed conversion ratio (FCR)
  • Breast meat yield was improved in broilers hatched from hens fed OriginalXPC


Akhavan-Salamat, H., H.A. Ghasemi, A.H. Khaltagadi-Farahani and M. Kazemi- Bonchenari. 2011. The effects of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on performance and nutrients digestibility in broilers fed with diet containing different levels of phosphorous. African J. Biotech. 10:7526-7533.

Anderson K.E., J.N. Broomhead and W. Michael. 2011. Performance of layers fed Original XPC for 24 weeks. Poult. Sci. 90 (E-suppl. 1):16.

Berry, W., S. Oates, J. Hess and J. Broomhead. 2012. The effects of Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation products on broiler breeder and progeny performance. Poult. Sci. 91 (Suppl.1):205.

Gao, J., H.J. Zhang, S.H. Yu, S.G. Wu, I. Yoon, J. Quigley, Y.P. Gao, and G.H. Qi. 2008. Effects of yeast culture in broiler diets on performance and immunomodulatory functions. Poult. Sci. 87:1377-1384.

Kim, S.W., M. Brandherm, B. Newton, D.R. Cook, I. Yoon and G. Fitzner. 2010. Effect of supplementing Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product in sow diets on reproductive performance in a commercial environment. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 90: 229-232.

Shen, Y.B., J.A. Carroll, I. Yoon, R.D. Mateo and S.W. Kim. 2011. Effects of supplementing Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product in sow diets on performance of sows and nursing piglets. J. Anim. Sci. 89:2462-2471.

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