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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Poultry Research » Research » Research Project #433611

Research Project: Improving Efficiency of Growth and Nutrient Utilization in Heavy Broilers Using Alternatives to Antibiotic Growth Promoters

Location: Poultry Research

2019 Annual Report

1. Evaluation of antimicrobial alternatives through dietary inclusion and in-ovo administration on growth performance and production efficiency. 1.1. Determination of the apparent metabolizable energy (AME) of antimicrobial alternatives in broiler diets with or without antibiotic growth promoters (AGP). 1.2. Evaluation of in ovo injection of antimicrobial alternatives. 1.3. Evaluation of antimicrobial alternatives on broiler gut histology and gut microbiome. 2. Effect of alternative diets on early gut development in broilers raised with and without AGP. 2.1. Determination of the AME and amino acid (AA) digestibility of alternative protein supplements used in broiler diets. 2.2. Evaluation of live performance, carcass characteristics, and gut histology of broilers when fed alternative diets with or without when challenged with a coccidiosis vaccine.

At day of hatch, male broilers will be obtained from a commercial hatchery and raised on common diets in common floor pens in an environmentally-controlled building. On d 14, broilers will be randomly allocated to 60 battery cages in groups of 10. Battery cages will be housed in two identical solid sided research rooms, with separate environmental control. For the coccidiosis vaccine challenge, on day 14, half the broilers (30 cages of 10 birds each) will be inoculated with a commercially available coccidiosis vaccine. Methods will be modified from Adedokun et al. (2016). Briefly, birds will be orally gavaged with 12x coccidial vaccine suspended in distilled water. The remaining birds (unchallenged) will receive a sham treatment via oral gavage of 0.6 mL distilled water. A live oocyst vaccine (COCCIVAC®-B52, Merck Animal Health) isolated from chickens and prepared from anticoccidial-sensitive strains of E. acervlulina, E. mivati, E. maxima, and E. Tenella will be used in this trial. On d 17, after an acclimation period, broilers will be fasted overnight to expel all non-experimental feed and then placed on experimental diets (treatments delineated below) for 72 hours. During this collection period, all feed consumed and refused will be measured in addition to total excreta output; excreta from all birds within a cage will be pooled for analysis. Upon completion of the experimental period on d 21, broilers will be transferred to four floor pens until d 35. Challenged and unchallenged birds will be kept separate between the experimental periods. On d 35, birds will be randomly allocated to battery cages in groups of 5. On d 38, after an acclimation period, broilers will be fasted overnight and begin experimental diets for 72 hours. During this collection period, all feed consumed and refused will be measured in addition to total excreta output. Additionally, upon completion of the experimental periods at 21 and 42 d, birds will be weighed to determine body weight (BW) and BW gain (BWG). During the experimental periods, lighting and temperature will be set at average commercial conditions. Temperatures will be set at 32°C from day 1 to 3, 31°C from day 4 to 6, 29°C from day 7 to 13, 27°C from day 14 to 20, 24°C from day 21 to 27, 21°C from day 28 to 34, and 18°C from day 35 to 42. Lighting will be set as following: from 0 to 7 d, light will be set at 23 light: 1 dark at 3 foot candles, from 8 to 11 d, 23L:1D at 3 foot candles, from 12 to 42 d 23L:1D, 1 foot candles.

Progress Report
Several studies examined changes to the gastrointestinal tract and yolk sac of broilers previously in ovo injected with different concentrations of GalliPro Hatch® which is a probiotic formulation for poultry that is advocated to help chicks get a healthier start in life. It is formulated for in ovo injection and is based on a unique strain of Enterococcus faecium. Various concentrations of GalliPro Hatch® were utilized in these studies and with some concentrations broiler hatchability and live performance were shown to be enhanced. In addition, Bacillus subtilis and zinc were investigated as antimicrobial alternatives in male broiler chickens. Growth performance, internal organ development, and intestinal morphology of male broilers with or without subclinical coccidia-challenge were evaluated and showed an enhancement of gut morphology which was associated with a positive growth promotion.