Special Issue "Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Farm Animal Production".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 October 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. István Komlósi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Animal Science, Biotechnology and Nature Conservation, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and Environmental Management, University of Debrecen, 138 Böszörményi Street, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary
Interests: animal breeding; design and evaluation of breeding program; biotechnology; livestock farm management; biostatistics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Being the largest animal protein producer, the poultry industry is in the focus of the mixed-diet consumers (from a welfare point of view, as a medium of functional foods, environmental issues, antibiotics use, etc.), as well as the livestock industry in general. The poultry industry is also extremely fast to uptake new technologies (such as biotechnology, mechanisation, robotics, and climate and nutrient control) in order to be economically efficient and sustainable. There is constant pressure of pathogens and new threats, like avian flu, that require new treatments and biosecurity measures. There are many novel approaches and answers to these challenges. This Special Issue would like to present a complex overview of the latest advancements in poultry science. In breeding, molecular genetic tools (genomic selection and genome editing) can be used to increase production efficiency and fitness, especially immunity traits, or to characterize local genetic pools. The One Health approach, which requires a holistic approach, where genetics, nutrition, health treatment, and management need to be considered together, has gained ground in the poultry industry. The gut microbiom seems to be a good indicator of the balanced health of an animal. Artifical intelligence built in robotic supervision and handling helps to increase animal comfort, and saves in the workforce. Organic farming takes a different approach and faces different challenges. What could the possible answers be? We are facing a new era in poultry science. The aim of this Issue is to highlight the importance of new findings. All types of articles, such as original research, reviews, and opinions, are welcome.

Prof. Dr. István Komlósi
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • molecular breeding
  • local genetic resources
  • poultry products as functional foods
  • breeding for immunity
  • biosecurity
  • minimizing antibiotic use
  • one health
  • animal welfare
  • nutrition for a balanced microbiome
  • microbiome as an indicator
  • robotics and artificial intelligence in poultry farming
  • organic farming
  • environmental load

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Article
Assessment of Composted Pelletized Poultry Litter as an Alternative to Chemical Fertilizers Based on the Environmental Impact of Their Production
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1130; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11111130 - 11 Nov 2021
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Abstract
Reducing the use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture is one of the EU Green Deal’s priorities. Since poultry production is increasing worldwide, stabilized poultry litter such as composted pelletized poultry litter (CPPL) is an alternative fertilizer option. On the contrary, compared to chemical [...] Read more.
Reducing the use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture is one of the EU Green Deal’s priorities. Since poultry production is increasing worldwide, stabilized poultry litter such as composted pelletized poultry litter (CPPL) is an alternative fertilizer option. On the contrary, compared to chemical fertilizers, the environmental impacts of composted products have not been adequately studied, and no data are currently available for CPPL produced by a closed composting system, such as the Hosoya system. The aim of this research was to assess the role of CPPL as a potential alternative for chemical fertilizer by evaluating the environmental impact of CPPL production via the Hosoya system using common chemical fertilizers. Based on life cycle assessment (LCA), the environmental impact (11 impact categories) was determined for the production of 1 kg of fertilizer, as well as for the production of 1 kg of active substances (nitrogen (N), phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5), and potassium chloride (K2O)) and the theoretical nutrient (NPK) supply of a 100 ha field with CPPL and several chemical fertilizer options. The production of CPPL per kilogram was smaller than that of the chemical fertilizers; however, the environmental impact of chemical fertilizer production per kilogram of active substance (N, P2O5, or K2O) was lower for most impact categories, because the active substance was available at higher concentrations in said chemical fertilizers. In contrast, the NPK supply of a 100 ha field by CPPL was found to possess a smaller environmental impact compared to several combinations of chemical fertilizers. In conclusion, CPPL demonstrated its suitability as an alternative to chemical fertilizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
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Article
Examination of the Usage of a New Beak-Abrasive Material in Different Laying Hen Genotypes (Preliminary Results)
Agriculture 2021, 11(10), 947; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11100947 - 29 Sep 2021
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Abstract
The aim of the experiment was to investigate the use and effect of a new beak-abrasive material not yet examined on mortality of non-beak trimmed laying hens of different genotypes housed in an alternative pen. The study was performed on 636 females belonging [...] Read more.
The aim of the experiment was to investigate the use and effect of a new beak-abrasive material not yet examined on mortality of non-beak trimmed laying hens of different genotypes housed in an alternative pen. The study was performed on 636 females belonging to three genotypes of Bábolna TETRA Ltd. (a1 = commercial brown layer hybrid (C); a2 = purebred male line offspring group (maternal); a3 = purebfigure ed female line offspring group (paternal)). A total of 318 hens, i.e., 106 hens/genotype distributed in six pens (53 hens/pen), were evaluated. Cylindrical beak-abrasive blocks of 5.3–5.6 kg were suspended (0.1–0.4 mm diameter gravel, limestone grit, lime hydrate, and cement mixture) in six alternative pens. In six control pens without abrasive material, 318 hens, i.e., 106 hens/genotype (2 pens control group/genotype, i.e., C1 = commercial brown layer hybrid, C2 = purebred male line offspring group, C3 = purebred female line offspring group; 53 hens/pen;) were placed where there were no beak-abrasive materials. The rate of change in the weight of the beak-abrasive materials and the mortality rate were recorded daily. In the six pens equipped with beak-abrasive materials, infrared cameras were installed, and 24 h recordings were made. The number of individuals pecking the beak-abrasive material, the time and duration of dealing with the material were recorded. Data coming from one observation day are given. During the 13 experimental weeks of observation, the weight loss of beak-abrasives differed significantly in the different genotypes (a1 = 27.4%; a2 = 29.6%; a3 = 56.6%). During the only day analyzed, the hens from all the genotypes mostly stayed between 17:00 and 21:00 h in the littered scratching area where the beak-abrasive material was placed (a1 = 48.4%; a2 = 49.2%; a3 = 54.4%). In the case of each genotype, the rate of the hens dealing with beak-abrasives in the first two periods of the day was relatively low (0.2%–0.7%). Peaks of the activity were between 17:00 and 21:00 (a1 = 0.8%; a2 = 1.3%; a3 = 1.8%). The a3 dealt with the beak-abrasive materials to a significantly greater extent in the period from 13:00 to 17:00 (0.8%) and from 17:00 to 21:00 (1.8%) than the a1 (0.2% and 0.8%, respectively). Due to the use of the beak-abrasive materials, the mortality rate decreased the most in the genotypes that used them (a1 with beak-abrasive material 0.0% vs. C1 9.4%; a2 with beak-abrasive material 2.9% vs. C2 12.4%; a3 with beak-abrasive material) 15.4% vs. C3 5.7%). It can be concluded that the insertion of beak-abrasive materials increased the behavioral repertoire of hens, which is particularly beneficial from an animal welfare point of view. Further and longer-term research is needed to determine whether the insertion of the beak-abrasive material has a beneficial effect on the mortality data of the experimental groups through enrichment, either through physical abrasion of the beak or both. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
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Article
Evolutionary Subdivision of Domestic Chickens: Implications for Local Breeds as Assessed by Phenotype and Genotype in Comparison to Commercial and Fancy Breeds
Agriculture 2021, 11(10), 914; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11100914 - 24 Sep 2021
Viewed by 389
Abstract
To adjust breeding programs for local, commercial, and fancy breeds, and to implement molecular (marker-assisted) breeding, a proper comprehension of phenotypic and genotypic variation is a sine qua non for breeding progress in animal production. Here, we investigated an evolutionary subdivision of domestic [...] Read more.
To adjust breeding programs for local, commercial, and fancy breeds, and to implement molecular (marker-assisted) breeding, a proper comprehension of phenotypic and genotypic variation is a sine qua non for breeding progress in animal production. Here, we investigated an evolutionary subdivision of domestic chickens based on their phenotypic and genotypic variability using a wide sample of 49 different breeds/populations. These represent a significant proportion of the global chicken gene pool and all major purposes of breed use (according to their traditional classification model), with many of them being characterized by a synthetic genetic structure and notable admixture. We assessed their phenotypic variability in terms of body weight, body measurements, and egg production. From this, we proposed a phenotypic clustering model (PCM) including six evolutionary lineages of breed formation: egg-type, meat-type, dual purpose (egg-meat and meat-egg), game, fancy, and Bantam. Estimation of genotypic variability was carried out using the analysis of five SNPs, i.e., at the level of genomic variation at the NCAPG-LCORL locus. Based on these data, two generally similar genotypic clustering models (GCM1 and GCM2) were inferred that also had several overlaps with PCM. Further research for SNPs associated with economically important traits can be instrumental in marker-assisted breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
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Article
Evaluation of Methionine Sources in Protein Reduced Diets for Turkeys in the Late Finishing Period Regarding Performance, Footpad Health and Liver Health
Agriculture 2021, 11(9), 901; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11090901 - 19 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Footpad dermatitis and hepatic lipidosis are health problems in fattening turkeys where a positive influence of higher methionine content in feed is discussed. The effects of the methionine supplements DL-methionine (DLM) and liquid methionine hydroxyl analogue free acid (MHA-FA) under the aspect of [...] Read more.
Footpad dermatitis and hepatic lipidosis are health problems in fattening turkeys where a positive influence of higher methionine content in feed is discussed. The effects of the methionine supplements DL-methionine (DLM) and liquid methionine hydroxyl analogue free acid (MHA-FA) under the aspect of low protein diets were investigated in this study based on performance parameters, footpad health, liver health and oxidative stress. In this study, 80 female turkeys (B.U.T. Big 6) of 63 day-old, were randomly assigned to four groups characterising a 2 × 2 factorial design with five replicates each over five weeks. The groups were fed with diets differing in methionine source (DLM vs. MHA-FA, assuming a biological activity of MHA-FA of 65%) and crude protein content (15% vs. 18%) for 35 days. The results showed no significant interactions between the protein content and methionine source. Strong protein reduction significantly impaired water intake, feed intake, weight gain and feed conversation ratio, but improved footpad health. DLM and MHA-FA addition had no significant effect on weight gain, crude fat and protein contents in the liver, but DLM resulted in a significant increase in livers antioxidative capacity compared to MHA-FA. Although the protein reduction resulted in reduced performance, the study showed that MHA-FA can be replaced by DLM in a 100:65 weight ratio without compromising performance but with certain advantages in the antioxidative capacity of the liver. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
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Article
Preliminary Study of Slaughter Value and Meat Characteristics of 18 Months Ostrich Reared in Hungary
Agriculture 2021, 11(9), 885; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11090885 - 15 Sep 2021
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Abstract
The study aimed to evaluate the slaughter value and meat characteristics of ten ostrich females reared and slaughtered at the age of 18 months in Hungary. The ratio of selected body parts, the main organs and the lean meat parts were examined. The [...] Read more.
The study aimed to evaluate the slaughter value and meat characteristics of ten ostrich females reared and slaughtered at the age of 18 months in Hungary. The ratio of selected body parts, the main organs and the lean meat parts were examined. The nutritive composition, the colour, the technological and organoleptic characteristics of five valuable meat parts (outside strip—M. flexor cruris lateralis, oyster—M. iliofemoralis externus, tip—M. femorotibialis medius, outside leg—M. gastrocnemius pars externa, medal—M. ambiens) and the amino acid, fatty acid and mineral composition of outside strip (M. flexor cruris lateralis) were also evaluated. The ratio of body parts and the main organs as the percentage of live weight, and the lean meat part as the percentage of carcass weight showed 16.74 ± 0.01%, 6.16 ± 0.01% and 57.29 ± 0.59%, respectively. The dry matter content of the examined valuable meat parts ranged between 24.89 ± 0.08 and 26.23 ± 0.13%, the protein ratio took on values between 18.40 ± 0.09 and 20.62 ± 0.16%, the fat content showed values between 2.36 ± 0.07 and 4.50 ± 1.09% and the hydroxyproline content ranged between 0.01 ± 0.001 and 0.08 ± 0.001%. The amino acid content of the outside strip showed a range between 0.15 and 3.33%. The ratio of SFA, MUFA and PUFA was 35.10 ± 0.53, 37.37 ± 1.52 and 27.54 ± 1.01. The n-6/n-3 ratio showed 3.91 ± 0.43 and the SFA/UFA ratio was 0.54 ± 0.02. Among the examined minerals, the content of Ca, K, Mg, Na and P was the highest in the meat. In the case of the colour, regarding L* value, we could reveal no significant difference between the examined meat parts. For a* and b* values, the outside leg had the lowest data of all. We could not reveal a significant difference between the pH values of the meat parts. Regarding technological parameters, meat differed only in thawing loss. The significantly lowest thawing loss could be detected in the outside leg (2.72 ± 0.01%) and in the medal (2.32 ± 0.01%). The results of the organoleptic evaluation showed that the outside strip and the tip had the best flavour and tenderness. In comparison with the younger birds (10–14 months of age) in the literature, the 18-month-old ostriches in our study showed similar or slightly lower slaughter weight, skin weight and head ratio, greater liver weight, lighter meat, lower protein and higher fat content, higher essential amino acid and lower non-essential amino acid content and higher SFA content in some cases. However, data on nutrition and population size were not always available. In comparison with other ratites (emu and rhea), ostrich meat has lower dry matter and protein, but higher fat, SFA, MUFA and PUFA content and lower n-6/n-3 ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
Article
Inclusion of Citrullus colocynthis Seed Extract into Diets Induced a Hypolipidemic Effect and Improved Layer Performance
Agriculture 2021, 11(9), 808; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11090808 - 26 Aug 2021
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Abstract
Citrullus colocynthis (CC) has been known as a natural medicinal plant with wide biological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antilipidemic effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of inclusion of the ethanolic extract of CC seeds (ECCs) into layer [...] Read more.
Citrullus colocynthis (CC) has been known as a natural medicinal plant with wide biological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antilipidemic effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of inclusion of the ethanolic extract of CC seeds (ECCs) into layer diets on the lipid profile, stress indicators, and physiological and productive performance of laying hens. A total of 216 forty-week-old commercial Hy-Line brown laying hens were randomly assigned into four equal groups (3 birds × 18 replicates per group) that received a basal diet supplemented with 0, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 g/kg of ECCs for 12 consecutive weeks. The first group served as a control. The results showed that ECCs at 1.0 and 2.0 g/kg significantly (p < 0.05) improved the productive and physiological performance compared to the other groups. In addition, stress indicators examined in the laying hens, including lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde (MDA)), corticosterone hormone (CORT), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), were significantly alleviated after inclusion of ECCs into layer diets at the three levels compared to the control group. Furthermore, all ECC levels induced a significant reduction in plasma triglyceride (TG) and cholesterol (CH) levels in the plasma, liver, and egg yolk, whereas the highest levels were obtained with 2.0 g/kg of ECCs. Particularly important, a high linear correlation (R2 = 0.60–0.79) was observed between increasing doses of ECCs and MDA, liver CH, and egg yolk CH concentrations and egg weight, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio; moreover, the correlation was extremely high (R2 = 0.80–0.100) with the level of TG, CH, low-density lipoprotein CH, high-density lipoprotein CH, and CORT. These results indicated that dietary supplementation with 2.0 g/kg of ECCs could be considered a successful nutritional approach to producing healthier, lower-cholesterol eggs for consumers, in addition to enhancing the physiological and productive performance of laying hens by alleviating the stress of intensive commercial production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
Article
Effect of Feeding Low Protein Diets on the Production Traits and the Nitrogen Composition of Excreta of Broiler Chickens
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 781; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11080781 - 16 Aug 2021
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Abstract
The main goal of the current study was to investigate the effects of feeding low protein (LP) diets on the performance parameters and excreta composition of broiler chickens. In total, 288 male Ross 308 day-old chickens were divided into two dietary treatment groups [...] Read more.
The main goal of the current study was to investigate the effects of feeding low protein (LP) diets on the performance parameters and excreta composition of broiler chickens. In total, 288 male Ross 308 day-old chickens were divided into two dietary treatment groups using six replicate pens with 24 chickens each. No LP diet was fed in the starter phase. The protein reduction in the grower and finisher phases were 1.8% and 2% respectively. Beside the measurements of production traits, on day 24 and 40 representative fresh excreta samples were collected, their dry matter, total N, NH4+-N and uric acid-N contents determined, and the ratio of urinary and fecal N calculated. Dietary treatments failed to cause significant differences in the feed intake, growth rate, and feed conversion ratio of animals. LP diets decreased the total nitrogen and uric acid contents of excreta significantly. The age of birds had also significant effect, resulting more reduction in the grower phase compared with the finisher. The ratio of urinary N was higher at day 40 compared with the age of day 24. The urinary N content of broiler chicken’s excreta is lower than can be found in the literature, which should be considered in the ammonia inventory calculations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
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Article
Microbiological Effectivity Evaluation of New Poultry Farming Organic Waste Recycling
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 683; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070683 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 777
Abstract
Due to the intensification of the poultry sector, poultry manure is being produced in increasing quantities, and its on-site management is becoming a critical problem. Animal health problems can be solved by stricter the veterinary and environmental standards. The off-site coupled industrial chicken [...] Read more.
Due to the intensification of the poultry sector, poultry manure is being produced in increasing quantities, and its on-site management is becoming a critical problem. Animal health problems can be solved by stricter the veterinary and environmental standards. The off-site coupled industrial chicken manure recycling technology (Hosoya compost tea) fundamentally affects the agricultural value of new organic-based products. Due to the limited information available on manure recycling technology-related microbiological changes, this was examined in this study. A pot experiment with a pepper test plant was set up, using two different soils (Arenosol, slightly humous Arenosol) and two different doses (irrigation once a week with 40 mL of compost tea: dose 1, D1; irrigation twice a week with 40 mL of compost tea: dose 2, D2) of compost tea. Compost tea raw materials, compost tea, and compost tea treated soils were tested. The products (granulated manure, compost tea) and their effects were characterized by the following parameters: aerobic bacterial count (log CFU/g), fluorescein diacetate activity (3′,6′-diacetylfluorescein, FDA, µg Fl/g soil), glucosidase enzyme activity (GlA; PNP/µmol/g), and identification of microorganisms in compost tea with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Furthermore, we aimed to investigate how the microbiological indicators tested, and the effect of compost tea on the tested plant, could be interpreted. Based on our results, the microbiological characteristics of the treated soils showed an increase in enzyme activity, in the case of FDA an increase +0.26 μg Fl/g soil at D1, while the GlA increased +1.28 PNP/µmol/g with slightly humous Arenosol soil and increased +2.44 PNP/µmol/g at D1; and the aerobic bacterial count increased +0.15 log CFU/g at D2, +0.35 log CFU/g with slightly humous Arenosol and +0.85 log CFU/g at W8. MALDI-TOF MS results showed that the dominant bacterial genera analyzed were Bacillus sp., Lysinibacillus sp., and Pseudomonas sp. Overall, the microbial inducers we investigated could be a good alternative for evaluating the effects of compost solutions in soil–plant systems. In both soil types, the total chlorophyll content of compost tea-treated pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) had increased as a result of compost tea. D1 is recommended for Arenosol and, D2 for slightly humous Arenosol soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
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Article
Effect of Inorganic Zinc on Selected Immune Parameters in Chicken Blood and Jejunum after A. galli Infection
Agriculture 2021, 11(6), 551; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11060551 - 16 Jun 2021
Viewed by 503
Abstract
Ascaridiosis in poultry results in a reduction in body weight gain, egg production, as well as microelement levels. Infected poultry have higher demands on feed with the addition of essential elements including zinc. The effects of the infection by Ascaridia galli and the [...] Read more.
Ascaridiosis in poultry results in a reduction in body weight gain, egg production, as well as microelement levels. Infected poultry have higher demands on feed with the addition of essential elements including zinc. The effects of the infection by Ascaridia galli and the supplementation of inorganic zinc on the immune status of broilers were monitored through evaluation of the relative expression of selected genes (interleukins, IFN-γ, and TNF-α) by real-time PCR, haematology parameters by microscopy, and quantitative changes of lamina propria lymphocytes by flow cytometry in day 7 and day 14 of the study. We observed that the enrichment of the diet with inorganic zinc has a positive effect on the relative percentage of CD4+ lamina propria lymphocytes in the jejunum and on heterophil counts in blood. In addition, it was concluded that inorganic zinc has an anti-inflammatory effect (downregulation of TNF-α and IL-17) and activates IgA-producing cells in the jejunum of chicks infected with A. galli. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
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Article
Bacillus-Based Probiotic Treatment Modified Bacteriobiome Diversity in Duck Feces
Agriculture 2021, 11(5), 406; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11050406 - 01 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 638
Abstract
The intestinal health of poultry is of great importance for birds’ growth and development; probiotics-driven shifts in gut microbiome can exert considerable indirect effect on birds’ welfare and production performance. The information about gut microbiota of ducks is scarce; by using high throughput [...] Read more.
The intestinal health of poultry is of great importance for birds’ growth and development; probiotics-driven shifts in gut microbiome can exert considerable indirect effect on birds’ welfare and production performance. The information about gut microbiota of ducks is scarce; by using high throughput metagenomic sequencing with Illumina Miseq we examined fecal bacterial diversity of Peking ducks grown on conventional and Bacillus-probiotic-enriched feed. The probiotic supplementation drastically decreased the presence of the opportunistic pathogen Escherichia/Shigella, which was the major and sole common dominant in all samples. Seventy other bacterial species in the ducks’ fecal assemblages were found to have probiotic-related differences, which were interpreted as beneficial for ducks’ health as was confirmed by the increased production performance of the probiotic-fed ducks. Bacterial α-biodiversity indices increased in the probiotic-fed group. The presented inventory of the duck fecal bacteriobiome can be very useful for the global meta-analysis of similar data in order to gain a better insight into bacterial functioning and interactions with other gut microbiota to improve poultry health, welfare and production performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
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Article
Levels of Firmicutes, Actinobacteria Phyla and Lactobacillaceae Family on the Skin Surface of Broiler Chickens (Ross 308) Depending on the Nutritional Supplement and the Housing Conditions
Agriculture 2021, 11(4), 287; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11040287 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 674
Abstract
The microbiome of animals, both in the digestive tract and in the skin, plays an important role in protecting the host. The skin is one of the largest surface organs for animals; therefore, the destabilization of the microbiota on its surface can increase [...] Read more.
The microbiome of animals, both in the digestive tract and in the skin, plays an important role in protecting the host. The skin is one of the largest surface organs for animals; therefore, the destabilization of the microbiota on its surface can increase the risk of diseases that may adversely affect animals’ health and production rates, including poultry. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of nutritional supplementation in the form of fermented rapeseed meal and housing conditions on the level of selected bacteria phyla (Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and family Lactobacillaceae). The study was performed on 30 specimens of broiler chickens (Ross 308), individually kept in metabolic cages for 36 days. They were divided into 5 groups depending on the feed received. On day 36, skin swabs were individually collected. Temperature and humidity were measured in the room. The temperature was measured every 2 days (18 measurements × 6 points). The results of Real-Time PCR analysis have shown a significant effect of the feed additive on the level of Firmicutes phylum on the skin. On the other hand, a variable level of the tested bacteria was shown depending on the location of the cages. The Firmicutes phylum and Lactobacillaceae family achieved the highest level in the top-window zone. However, in the case of the Actinobacteria phylum, the highest level was found at the top-door and middle-door zones. The obtained results suggest that the conditions in which animals live may affect the microbiota of their skin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
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Case Report
Effect of Feeding a High Calcium: Phosphorus Ratio, Phosphorous Deficient Diet on Hypophosphatemic Rickets Onset in Broilers
Agriculture 2021, 11(10), 955; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11100955 - 01 Oct 2021
Viewed by 467
Abstract
Recently, a P-deficient diet caused rickets in commercial chicks within three days. This study aimed to investigate the duration of onset of rickets in chicks. Data were collected from 3–11 day old chicks raised on 88 commercial farms. Male day-old Arbor Acres Plus [...] Read more.
Recently, a P-deficient diet caused rickets in commercial chicks within three days. This study aimed to investigate the duration of onset of rickets in chicks. Data were collected from 3–11 day old chicks raised on 88 commercial farms. Male day-old Arbor Acres Plus broilers (n = 450) were studied in three trials, with three to four treatments each. Each treatment used one of the following crumbled feeds: control feed (calcium (Ca): phosphorus (P)-1.41), slightly high Ca:P feed (SHCa:P, Ca:P-2.69), high Ca:P ratio, P deficient feed (HCa:P, Ca:P-3.08), and HCa:P feed plus 1.5% dicalcium phosphate (HCa:P + DP). Each treatment had three replicates with 15 birds each. Rickets was induced by HCa:P, and cured by HCa:P + DP, confirmed by gross anatomy, gait score, serum P concentration and growth performance. Lameness was not found in control groups, whereas, observed in the HCa:P groups as early as day 2.7 on commercial farms and day 3 in experimental farm. Serum P was reduced in HCa:P (p < 0.01). Bodyweight and feed intake started decreasing at day 3 on commercial farms and in all trials (p < 0.01). The duration of onset of hypophosphatemic rickets in broiler chicks fed HCa:P crumbled feed is approximately three days. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry: Breeding, Health, Nutrition, and Management)
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