Location: Poultry Research
Project Number: 6064-32630-011-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated
Start Date: Sep 12, 2022
End Date: Sep 11, 2027
1. Determine the effectiveness of altering the balance and concentration of dietary nutrients to reduce incidence, severity, and adverse performance associated with enteric infections. 1.A. Assess effects of dietary mineral sources and concentrations on necrotic enteritis infections in broilers. 1.B. Determine effects of dietary fiber types and concentrations on susceptibility and severity of necrotic enteritis infections in broilers. 1.C. Evaluate dietary amino concentrations and feed ingredients and the interactive effects of dietary minerals, fiber, and amino acid concentrations on broiler resiliency during enteric infections. 2. Characterize the physical and chemical components of feed ingredients and diets and their effect on feed utilization and gastrointestinal function of healthy and enteric infection affected broilers. 2.A. Determine the effect of ingredient particle size and dietary pellet quality on nutrient utilization and gastrointestinal function in broilers with and without enteric infections. 2.B. Determine the physical and chemical composition effects of alternative ingredients on broiler nutrient utilization and gastrointestinal function in broilers with and without enteric infections. 3. Identify physiological and microbiological biomarkers associated with subclinical enteric infections. 3.A. Conduct hematological, tissue, bacterial, and short chain fatty acid analyses to determine physiological and microflora differences in broilers with and without subclinical enteric infections. 3.B. Evaluate the effects of subclinical enteric infections on muscle protein degradation rate in broilers.
Approximately 9 billion broilers are produced annually in the United States. For decades boilers have been fed diets with sub-therapeutic levels of antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) to enhance growth rate and efficiency. The human medicine community has raised concerns of antimicrobial resistance with the consumption of poultry products originating from broilers fed diets with AGP. Consequently, consumers have placed demands to reduce the use of AGP. The removal of AGP from broiler diets has led to increased incidences of subclinical enteric infections such as coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis which has decreased animal productivity resulting in increased economic losses. Anticoccidial vaccines are live vaccines, and most anticoccidial vaccines on the American market are fully virulent. Their use requires careful management, and vaccine strains themselves can negatively affect broiler performance. Therefore, comprehensive nutritional research exploring factors such as optimal balance and concentrations of nutrients, physical and chemical components of ingredients and diets, and biomarkers of subclinical enteric infections are warranted to optimize gastrointestinal health, nutrient utilization, and performance of broilers without in-feed AGP. This research will explore the effectiveness of altering the balance and concentration of dietary nutrients (calcium, amino acids, and fiber) to reduce the incidence and severity of enteric infections. Additionally, this research will characterize the physical (ingredient particle size and pellet quality) and chemical (alternative ingredients) components of feed ingredients and diets on nutrient utilization and gastrointestinal function of healthy and enteric infected broilers. Lastly, this research will identify physiological (gastrointestinal structure and function, immune responses, genetic expression, and protein turnover rate) and microbiological (gastrointestinal microbiome) biomarkers associated with subclinical enteric infections to help refine nutritional strategies. Determining optimal balance and concentration of nutrients for gastrointestinal health and performance will equip industry nutritionists with formulation strategies to reduce the incidence and severity of enteric infections. Characterizing physical and chemical components of feed ingredients and diets will assist feed mill managers in developing processing techniques to optimize nutrient utilization. Identifying physiological and microbiological biomarkers associated with subclinical enteric infections will benefit the poultry industry and scientific community at large by generating information to refine nutritional strategies. Overall, this research will benefit consumers by meeting their demands while providing a healthy, cost-effective, high quality protein source.