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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #310358

Research Project: Novel Therapeutic, Diagnostic, and Management Stratigies to Reduce Antibiotic Use in Poultry Production

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Title: Efficacy of a novel prebiotic and a commercial probiotic in reducing mortality and production losses due to cold stress/Escherichia coli challenge in broiler chickens

Author
item Huff, Geraldine
item Huff, William
item Rath, Narayan
item El-gohary, Fatma - Mansoura University
item Zuoyong, Zhou - Chongqing University
item Shini, S - University Of Queensland

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/8/2014
Publication Date: 3/5/2015
Citation: Huff, G.R., Huff, W.E., Rath, N.C., El-Gohary, F.A., Zuoyong, Z.Y., Shini, S. 2015. Efficacy of a novel prebiotic and a commercial probiotic in reducing mortality and production losses due to cold stress/Escherichia coli challenge in broiler chickens. Poultry Science. 94:918-926. https://doi.org/10.3382/ps/pev068.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3382/ps/pev068

Interpretive Summary: Alternatives to antibiotics are needed to help poultry producers manage the effects that stress has on the gut, especially during the first few weeks after hatch. We have studied the effects of three resistant starch compounds and a commercial probiotic as antibiotic alternatives in three challenge studies using cold stress and an oral bacterial infection. One of the compounds, potato starch, was effective in one study but did not improve performance in two studies.The other two resistant starches were not effective. The probiotic was effective in both studies at improving body weight and it improved feed conversion efficiency in one of the studies. However in the second study, in which a higher amount was used, the probiotic increased mortality. The probiotic has potential for development as an alternative to antibiotics to protect against production losses in broiler chicks during the first weeks of life.

Technical Abstract: Prebiotics consisting of resistant starch may alter intestinal ecology, thus modulating inflammation and increasing intestinal health through increased cecal production of short chain fatty acids. Probiotics may directly alter the intestinal microbiome resulting in the same effects. Trials 1, 2, and 3 evaluated the efficacy of treatments for reducing mortality and production losses in a cold stress (CS) and Escherichia coli (EC) oral challenge of 430 day-old broiler chicks in 3 wk studies. In Trial 1, prebiotics were administered as 15% of a standard corn-soy starter diet during wk 1 only and consisted of the following: Hi-Maize resistant starch (HM), potato starch (PS), or chopped raw potato (RP). In Trials 2 and 3, the PS Treatment was identical to Trial 1. In Trial 2, a probiotic treatment (PRO) was administered in feed and water for the first 3 days and in water for 12 h before and 12 h after each weekly weighing. In Trial 3, PRO was administered in water for the first 3 days and was included in feed continuously for 3 wk. In Trial 1, PS protected BW during wk 1 and decreased mortality of CS/EC challenged birds during wks 1 and 3 while RP decreased mortality of warm brooded birds challenged with EC during wk 1. In Trial 2, PS decreased and PRO increased main effect mean (MEM) wk 1 BW and PS tended to decrease and PRO tended to increase wk 3 BW. PS numerically decreased FCR by 23 points and PRO by 29 points in the CS/EC challenge with no effects on mortality. In Trial 3, PS decreased and PRO increased wl 1 amd 3 MEM BW. PS numerically increased FCR by 16 points while PRO decreased FCR by 2 points. Both PS and PRO tended to increase overall mortality and PRO significantly increased mortality in the CS/EC challenge. These results suggest that the effects of PS may be too variable in this challenge model for further study, however the PRO treatment may be optimized as an alternative to antibiotics to protect against production losses in broiler chicks during the first weeks of life.