|Donoghue, Ann - Annie|
Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2004
Publication Date: 7/25/2004
Citation: Fausto, S., Balog, J.M., Tellez, G., Higgins, S., Torres, A., Donoghue, A.M., Anthony, N.B. 2004. Effects of aspergillus meal prebiotic on gut development and ascites mortality [abstract]. Poultry Science. 83(Suppl. 1):104.
Technical Abstract: We hypothesize that the developing gastrointestinal tract of rapidly growing broilers has a significant impact on the eventual development of ascites syndrome. Since the addition of Aspergillus meal (AM) prebiotic to poultry feed has been shown to improve gut development, the objective of this study was to determine if AM would reduce the negative effects of hypoxia on the gut and reduce ascites incidence. Four hundred (200 commercial and 200 susceptible) day old chicks were randomly assigned to either a control feed or a feed with 0.2% AM added. Groups were reared at either local altitude (390 meters above sea level) or simulated high altitude (2900 meters above sea level). Mortality was checked twice daily and necropsied for ascites. Birds and feed were weighed weekly. At 6 wk the remaining birds were weighed, killed and organs were weighed. There were no significant effects due to prebiotic feeding for any of the variables evaluated. As previously shown, chickens reared at sea level were heavier (2.01 kg) than those at high altitude (1.13 kg). Also, chickens grown at high altitude showed 84.8% ascites mortality compared with 1.3% at local altitude. Of particular interest in this study was the finding that susceptible chickens had heavier relative gut weights (0.0575), when compared to the commercial birds (0.0511, P< 0.05). Interestingly, when measurements were made of the villi length, it became apparent that although susceptible birds have heavier relative gut weights, the duodenal villi were significantly shorter (204.4 µ at high altitude), when compared with the commercial birds (229.4 µ at high altitude). Villi height was also influenced by altitude alone, with both commercial and susceptible birds combined mean duodenal villi height at high altitude was 195.1 µ, while at sea level the mean was 227.4 µ. The results showed that hypobaric hypoxia results in a significant reduction in gut development.