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International Journal of Poultry Science
Year: 2012  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 408 - 416

Influence of Dietary Prebiotic Addition on Digestibility and Intestinal Microflora of Young Male Broiler Chickens Exposed to Delayed Feed Access after Hatch

Ozcan Cengiz, Bekir Hakan Koksal, Orcun Yagin, Asli Sultan Bakirci, Devrim Beyaz, Sadik Buyukyoruk and Ahmet Gokhan Onol    

Abstract: A trial was conducted to investigate the effects of a dietary prebiotic for a period of 14 d on the intestinal microflora, Dry Matter (DM) and Organic Matter (OM) digestibility and growth performance of male broiler chicks Delayed to Feed Access (DFA) after hatch. One hundred forty four 1-d-old broiler chicks (ROSS 308) were randomly distributed into 6 groups with 8 replicate pens having 3 birds in each. A 2 x 3 factorial design was implemented. Six experimental groups were formed by two levels of dietary prebiotic supplementation (Control and Agrimos®, 1 kg/ton) and three periods of DFA (0-, 24- and 48- h). Depending on the time interval between arrival to the experimental site and feeding, holding chicks prior to free access to water and feed had a negative impact (p<0.001) on the body weight. At the end of the trial, these differences remained significant for body weight (p<0.05) and feed consumption (p<0.001) of chicks with DFA. DM digestibility reduced significantly (p<0.05) in birds exposed to 24- and 48-hour delay prior to feeding. A significant decrease (6.2 vs. 5.5 log10cfu/g) in Enterobacteriaceae (p<0.01) and increase (5.5 vs. 5.9 log10cfu/g) in Lactobacilli count was noted in prebiotic supplemented groups on d 7. Dietary prebiotic supplementation improved DM (p<0.05) and OM (p<0.05) digestibility significantly. Relative weight of intestine was reduced (p<0.05) in birds fasted for 24- and 48-h after hatch. Overall, dietary prebiotic supplementation helped broiler chicks to develop a healthier intestinal microflora and this may, in turn, inhibit the DFA resulted decrease of dry matter digestibility in early growing period. However, prebiotic inclusion to broiler diets may not be a protective management practice in preventing DFA-related growth depression of broiler chickens.

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