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Statistical correlations of Lactobacilli counts in fresh fecal samples with live performance of broiler chickens at different ages when fed diets without or with antibiotic and/or bacillus spores.

N. Otomo1, T. Lohrmann2, D. M. Hooge*3
1Calpis USA, Inc., Mt. Prospect, IL, USA, 2Quality Technology International, Inc., Elgin, IL, USA, 3Hooge Consulting Service, Inc., Eagle Mountain, UT, USA

Abstract

Increasing counts of intestinal lactic acid producing bacteria is considered beneficial to gut health and performance of commercial broiler chickens. Fresh fecal microbial assays from a broiler pen trial were used to calculate correlations between Lactobacilli (LAC) counts and live performance. A total of 1,240 Cobb 500 male chicks were randomly assigned to 6 dietary treatments with 10 replicate pens of 19 chicks each. Diets included negative control basals (starter, grower, and finisher) and basals plus antibiotic and/or bacillus spores from 0-42 d. All diets were steam pelleted (crumbles/pellets). Bacteria enumerated in fresh fecal samples (log10 cfu/g sample) from most but not all pens included Enterobacteriaceae (ENT), Lactobacilli, and total anerobes (TAN). The BW, feed conversion ratio (FCR), and mortality % (MORT) were measured at 14, 21, 35, and 42 d. Pearson correlations (Statistix 8) were calculated between LAC or LAC/TAN % and BW, FCR, or MORT. Using treatment means, significant (P≤0.10) correlations (r) were found between: 21-d BW and 15-d LAC, 0.765; 0-14 d FCR and 15-d LAC, -0.807; and 0-35 d MORT and 29-d ENT, 0.742. Using pen means, correlations were: 14-d FCR and 15-d LAC, -0.389; 21-d FCR and 15-d LAC, -0.276; 35-d MORT and 29-d LAC, -0.211; 42-d BW and 42-d LAC, 0.221; 42-d FCR and 42-d LAC/TAN %, 0.246; and 42-d MORT and 42-d LAC/TAN %, 0.221. Using pen means, a correlation was found between 15-d LAC/TAN % and 15-d ENT, -0.290. In conclusion, evidence was presented that fresh fecal counts, indicative of intestinal microflora populations, for LAC or LAC/TAN % had a positive correlation with BW and negative correlations with FCR or MORT, and LAC/TAN % had a negative correlation with ENT, which were all beneficial effects. Therefore, efforts to increase fecal (intestinal) LAC and LAC/TAN % counts should improve broiler chicken live performance.

Key Words:antibiotic, broiler, bacillus, correlation, lactobacilli
Abstract for International Poultry Scientific Forum, Atlanta, GA, January 25-26, 2010