Submitted to: International Journal of Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/23/2006
Publication Date: 7/21/2006
Citation: Murry, A.C., Hinton Jr, A., Buhr, R.J. 2006. Effect of botanical probiotic containing lactobacilli on growth performance and populations of bacteria in the ceca, cloaca, and carcass rinse of broiler chickens. International Journal of Poultry Science. 5:344-350.
Interpretive Summary: This study was conducted to compare weight gain and bacterial populations in chickens provided a diet supplemented with antibiotics and in chickens provided an antibiotic-free diet supplemented with beneficial bacteria. Newly hatched chicks were provided either a diet containing antibiotics or an antibiotic-free diet supplemented with beneficial bacteria for 56 days. Chickens were weighed on day 42 and processed on day 56. Results showed that there was no difference in the weight of chickens provided either diet, although chickens provided a diet supplemented with beneficial bacteria consumed less feed than chickens provided a diet supplemented with antibiotics. Chickens provided the diet supplemented with beneficial bacteria also had more beneficial bacteria and fewer harmful bacteria in their intestinal tract than chickens provided the regular feed. Also, there was no difference in the number of harmful bacteria recovered from carcasses of the broilers that had been fed either diet. Results show that diets supplemented with beneficial bacteria support the growth of broilers as well as diets supplemented with antibiotics. Furthermore, beneficial bacteria reduce contamination of chickens by bacteria that cause human foodborne diseases. Findings indicate that these beneficial bacteria deserve further study as replacements for antibiotics in chicken feed.
Technical Abstract: This study was conducted to examine the effect of feeding a botanical probiotic containing Lactobacillus on growth performance of broiler chickens from 1 to 42 d of age. At 56 d, five broilers per pen were killed and processed to determine bacteria populations in the ceca, cloaca, and carcass rinse. The dietary treatments were the basal diet with coccidiostat and antibiotic (control), basal diet without coccidiostat and antibiotic (negative control) and basal diet supplemented with 0.10% probiotic. The results showed that body weights and average weight gain were not different due to treatment. Feed intake and feed to gain ratio from 22 to 42 d of age were lower for broilers fed 0.10% probiotic than broilers fed the control diets. The population of Lactobacilli recovered from cloaca contents was higher and the population of Clostridium perfringens recovered from cloaca contents was lower for broilers fed the 0.10% probiotic diet than for those fed the control diets. The population C. jejuni recovered from carcass rinses for broilers fed the diet supplemented with the probiotic tended to be lower when compared to the negative control. These results suggest that diets supplemented with the botanical probiotic containing Lactobacillus supports growth for broilers similar to the basal diet supplemented with antibiotic and coccidiostat, and with lower feed to gain ratio. Also, the botanical probiotic may reduce C. perfringens and C. jejuni in market-age broilers.