|Donalson, L - TX A&M UNIVERSITY|
|Kim, W - TX A&M UNIVERSITY|
|Chalova, V - TX A&M UNIVERSITY|
|Woodward, C - TX A&M UNIVERSITY|
|Kubena, L - USDA RETIRED|
|Ricke, S - TX A&M UNIVERSITY|
Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 8, 2008
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Citation: Donalson, L.M., McReynolds, J.L., Kim, W.K., Chalova, V.I., Woodward, C.L., Kubena, L.F., Nisbet, D.J., Ricke, S.C. 2008. The influence of a fructooligosaccharide (FOS) prebiotic combined with alfalfa molt diets on the gastrointestinal tract fermentation, Salmonella Enteritidis infection and intestinal shedding in laying hens. Poultry Science. 87(7):1253-1262. Interpretive Summary: Understanding the population shifts of the microbial ecology within the gastrointestinal tract during molt is important in understanding Salmonella colonization. Understanding these interactions will help future scientists reduce this foodborne bacteria. In this study, we looked at an alfalfa diet in combination with a prebiotic to determine its fermentation properties as well as evaluating the effects on Salmonella. The results of this study suggest that the combined effects of these products did significantly reduce Salmonella and increase the fermentation properties in the gastrointestinal system. This information will be useful to the commercial egg laying industry because of increasing pressures to reduce food-borne pathogens, as well as addressing animal welfare issues.
Technical Abstract: Molting is a natural process which birds undergo to rejuvenate their reproductive organs. The United States poultry egg production industry have used feed withdrawal to effectively induce molt, however, due to its correlation with increase susceptibility to Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) the development of alternative methods are being sought. Previous research conducted in our laboratory showed that feeding alfalfa is effective at molt induction and provides equivalent post molt production numbers and quality when compared to feed withdrawal. In an attempt to further increase the efficacy of alfalfa molt diets and decrease the susceptibility of chickens to SE during molt, fructooligosaccharide (FOS) was added to a combination of 90% alfalfa and 10%layer ration in two concentrations (0.750 and 0.375%). Ovary and liver colonization with SE in trials 2 and 3 (of the 4 trials respectively) were reduced (P less than or equal to 0.05) in hens fed FOS containing diets compared to hens subjected to feed withdrawal. Significant decreases in cecal SE counts were also observed in 2 of the 4 trials. In 3 of the 4 trials, the same diets did not affect (P > 0.05) the production of cecal total volatile fatty acids (VFA) when compared to hens undergoing feed withdrawal. However, in all three alfalfa molt diets the concentrations of lactic acid were greater (P less than or equal to 0.05) than hens subjected to feed withdrawal but no differences (P > 0.05) were observed among hens fed alfalfa combined with FOS and hens fed alfalfa/layer ration without FOS. Overall, given the similarities between hens fed 0.750% FOS (H) and 0.375% FOS (L), molt diets combined with the lower level of FOS should be sufficient.