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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Poultry Research » Research » Research Project #433292

Research Project: Nutrition and Management of Heavy Broilers: Emphasis on Gut Health Effects of Dietary and In Ovo Alternatives to Antibiotics

Location: Poultry Research

Project Number: 6064-32630-009-04-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 4, 2017
End Date: Aug 3, 2022

Objective:
Through dietary or in ovo administration of antibiotic alternatives (pre- and pro-biotics and feed additives), to determine: 1) effects on growth performance, intestinal integrity (structure, development, microflora metagenomics), alone or under pathogen challenge; 2) immune responses; 3) nutritional profiles of alternative feed ingredients as they relate to diet formulation and optimum inclusion levels at different stages of growth; 4) effects on processing yields as indicators of carcass characteristics; and 5) interactions among ingredients and gut responses.

Approach:
Various feed additives and antibiotic alternatives alone and in combination, supplied in the diet or in ovo, will be investigated in comparison with antibiotics in broilers with or without pathogen challenge. Overall growth performance will be determined at multiple time points (carcass and debone weights; feed conversion ratios). Gut samples will be obtained at each time point and the following will be evaluated: gross and microscopic morphologies (villus:crypt length and area), SEM/TEM scans, ileal viscosities and pH, and microflora metagenomic analysis. Nutritional profiles of various feed ingredients will be determined using AME, TAAD, and AA digestibilities, for use in diet formulation and subsequent growth performance and carcass characteristics determinations. In addition, known amounts of amino acids will be gavaged at different intervals and digestibilities relative to histomorphometric analysis. Interactions between ingredients and microbiota will be determined and economic models, based on bird performance and cost, will be developed.