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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of Prebiotic on Gut Development and Ascites Incidence of Broilers Reared in a Hypoxic Environment

Authors
item Santos, Fausto - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Farnell, Morgan
item Tellez, Guillermo - UNIVERSITY OF AKKANSAS
item Balog, Janice
item Anthony, Nicholas - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Torres, Alberto - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Higgins, Stacy - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Hargis, Billy - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Donoghue, Ann

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 8, 2005
Publication Date: July 1, 2005
Citation: Santos, F.S., Farnell, M.B., Tellez, G., Balog, J.M., Anthony, N.B., Torres, A., Higgins, S., Hargis, B.M., Donoghue, A.M. 2005. Effect of prebiotic on gut development and ascites incidence of broilers reared in a hypoxic environment. Poultry Science. 84(7):1092-1100.

Interpretive Summary: Modern broilers have been genetically selected for an increased growth rate and improved feed conversion, but they are also more susceptible to ascites. Ascites occurs when there is an imbalance between the available oxygen and the oxygen demand of the broiler. We hypothesized that promoting neonatal gut development with a prebiotic, such as Aspergillus meal (Prebiotic-AM), would enhance gut efficiency, decrease the oxygen demand of the gut and reduce ascites incidence. In this study we compared the effect of Prebiotic-AM on ascites incidence and gut development in commercial broilers reared at a local altitude (1,300 feet above sea level) and a simulated high altitude (9,500 feet above sea level). Half of the birds received a National Research Council recommended corn-soybean ration, and the other half received the same ration supplemented with 0.2% Prebiotic-AM. These two groups were further divided into a local altitude and a simulated high altitude group for a total of four groups. Tissues were collected on days 1, 3, 7, 14 and 21 from the duodenum and lower ileum and placed in 10% buffered formalin for morphometric analysis. We observed that ascites incidence was reduced (P<0.05) by 23% in high altitude birds fed Prebiotic-AM supplemented feed compared to controls reared in the same environment. The simulated high altitude decreased (P<0.05) gut development, but prebiotic treated birds reared in hypoxic conditions had similar gut development to control birds reared at sea level. These data suggest that a feed ration supplemented with prebiotic-AM significantly reduces the effect of hypoxia on broiler gut development and ascites incidence.

Technical Abstract: Modern broilers have been genetically selected for an increased growth rate and improved feed conversion, but they are also more susceptible to ascites. Ascites occurs when there is an imbalance between the available oxygen and the oxygen demand of the broiler. We hypothesized that promoting neonatal gut development with a prebiotic, such as Aspergillus meal (Prebiotic-AM), would enhance gut efficiency, decrease the oxygen demand of the gut and reduce ascites incidence. In this study we compared the effect of Prebiotic-AM on ascites incidence and gut development in commercial broilers reared at a local altitude (1,300 feet above sea level) and a simulated high altitude (9,500 feet above sea level). Half of the birds received a National Research Council recommended corn-soybean ration, and the other half received the same ration supplemented with 0.2% Prebiotic-AM. These two groups were further divided into a local altitude and a simulated high altitude group for a total of four groups. Tissues were collected on days 1, 3, 7, 14 and 21 from the duodenum and lower ileum and placed in 10% buffered formalin for morphometric analysis. We observed that ascites incidence was reduced (P<0.05) by 23% in high altitude birds fed Prebiotic-AM supplemented feed compared to controls reared in the same environment. The simulated high altitude decreased (P<0.05) gut development, but prebiotic treated birds reared in hypoxic conditions had similar gut development to control birds reared at sea level. These data suggest that a feed ration supplemented with prebiotic-AM significantly reduces the effect of hypoxia on broiler gut development and ascites incidence.

Last Modified: 12/28/2014
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