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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #198410

Title: Performance and Condemnation Rate Analysis of Commercial Turkey Flocks Treated with a Lactobacillus spp. - Based Probiotic

Author
item TORRES-RODERIGUEZ, A
item Donoghue, Ann - Annie
item DONOGHUE, DAN
item BARTON, J
item TELLEZ, G
item HARGIS, BILLY

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/13/2006
Publication Date: 3/1/2007
Citation: Torres-Roderiguez, A., Donoghue, A.M., Donoghue, D.J., Barton, J.T., Tellez, G., Hargis, B.M. 2007. Performance and Condemnation Rate Analysis of Commercial Turkey Flocks Treated with a Lactobacillus spp. - Based Probiotic. Poultry Science. 86(3):444-446.

Interpretive Summary: The use of selected probiotic cultures in the poultry industry has recently become more common. However, few conclusive studies regarding their efficacy under commercial conditions have been reported in the scientific literature. We conducted a study which included 118 commercial turkey hen lots, ranging from 1,542 to 30,390 hens per lot, to look at the effect of a selected commercial Lactobacillus-based probiotic on turkey body weight, performance and health. Sixty lots received the probiotic whereas 58 lots were controls without probiotic. The probiotic was administered for three consecutive days at placement and at move-out (around 6 weeks of age, movement from brooder to grower houses). Parameters collected, calculated, and analyzed were market body weight, average daily weight gain, feed conversion ratio and cost of production. The probiotic significantly improved market body weight and average daily. Feed conversion ratio was not statistically significant between treatments; however, cost of production was lower in the probiotic lots (58.37 cents/kg live turkey) as compared to the controls (59.90 cents/kg live turkey) lots. Condemnation rates were not significantly different between lots. When compared by level of performance as Good, Fair and Poor (arbitrary grouping based on historical analysis of five previous flocks by the integrator), the probiotic appeared to increase performance of Poor and Fair farms. Increased market body weight and reduced cost of production was observed in commercial flocks fed a selected probiotic and the enhanced performance of turkeys raised on historically Fair and Poor farms may provide insight into the potential health/production benefits of probiotics in real world conditions.

Technical Abstract: The use of selected probiotic cultures in the poultry industry has recently become more common. However, few conclusive studies regarding their efficacy under commercial conditions have been reported in the scientific literature. We conducted a study which included 118 commercial turkey hen lots, ranging from 1,542 to 30,390 hens per lot, of either Nicholas or Hybrid genetic line, to look at the effect of a selected commercial Lactobacillus-based probiotic on turkey body weight, performance and health. Sixty lots received the probiotic whereas 58 lots were controls without probiotic. The probiotic was administered for three consecutive days at placement and at move-out (around 6 weeks of age, movement from brooder to grower houses). Parameters collected, calculated, and analyzed were market body weight, average daily weight gain, feed conversion ratio and cost of production. There was no interaction effect between genetic line and probiotic effect. Therefore, data from the two genetic lines were combined for the statistical analysis of the probiotic effect. The probiotic significantly improved market body weight and average daily gain by 190 g and 1.63 g, respectively. Feed conversion ratio was not statistically significant between treatments; however, cost of production was lower in the probiotic lots (58.37 cents/kg live turkey) as compared to the controls (59.90 cents/kg live turkey) lots. Condemnation rates were not significantly different between lots. When compared by level of performance as Good, Fair and Poor (arbitrary grouping based on historical analysis of five previous flocks by the integrator), the probiotic appeared to increase performance of Poor and Fair farms. Increased market body weight and reduced cost of production was observed in commercial flocks fed a selected probiotic and the enhanced performance of turkeys raised on historically Fair and Poor farms may provide insight into the potential health/production benefits of probiotics in real world conditions.