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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: In vitro fermentation response of laying hen cecal bacteria to combinations of fructooligosaccharide (FOS) prebiotic with alfalfa and layer ration

item Donalson, L
item Mcreynolds, Jackson
item Kim, W
item Chalova, V
item Herrera, P
item Gotcheva, V
item Vidanovic, D
item Woodward, C
item Kubena, L
item Nisbet, David - Dave

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/8/2008
Publication Date: 7/11/2008
Citation: Donalson, L.M., McReynolds, J.L., Kim, W.K., Chalova, V.I., Herrera, P., Gotcheva, V.G., Vidanovic, D., Woodward, C.L., Kubena, L.F., Nisbet, D.J. 2008. In vitro fermentation response of laying hen cecal bacteria to combinations of fructooligosaccharide (FOS) prebiotic with alfalfa and layer ration. Poultry Science. 87(7):1263-1275.

Interpretive Summary: Salmonella has been shown to cause health problems in humans that eat adulterated poultry products. There is an increased risk of eggs becoming contaminated with Salmonella after molting. In this study, we looked at an alfalfa diet in combination with a prebiotic to determine the effects of fermentation in the ceca of chickens. In this study many indicators of fermentation such as volatile fatty acids were increased. The data suggest that increased fermentation can be obtained through the addition of a prebiotic. These findings will help the egg industry understand the benefits of feeding a supplemental diet and prebiotic during a molt.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this in vitro study was to evaluate the effects of combining a prebiotic with an alfalfa molting diet on fermentation by laying hen cecal bacteria. Cecal contents from laying hens were diluted to a 1:3000 concentration with an anaerobic dilution solution and added to serum tubes filled with ground alfalfa and layer ration with or without FOS. Samples were processed in an anaerobic hood, pressurized using a pressure manifold and incubated at 37 deg C. Volatile fatty acids (VFA) and lactic acid (LA) concentrations were quantified at 6 and 24 h of substrate fermentation. In this study, fermentation of alfalfa resulted in greater production of acetate, VFA and lactic acid compared to layer ration. Although with a relative inconsistency in data between trials, the amendment of FOS appeared to further increase fermentation as demonstrated by overall higher propionate, butyrate, VFA and lactic acid concentrations. The effect was more pronounced after 24 h of fermentation implying time constrains for the optimal production of fermentation products in chicken gastrointestinal tract. These data indicate that in vitro cecal fermentation can be enhanced by the addition of FOS.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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