As the poultry industry discontinues the use of antibiotics, effective use of alternative strategies such as prebiotics are being investigated. The primary problems historically addressed by antibiotic use in the poultry industry are key parameters used to determine the effect of antibiotic alternatives. A measure of efficacy in broilers or meat-producing birds is growth promotion; whereas in longer-lived, broiler breeder birds, disease prevention and egg production are important. A key benefit of antibiotics was the broad spectrum use in birds of different ages and purposes to improve bird production. In this study, we evaluate the effect of a multi-pronged prebiotic approach using a water additive biopromoter composed of inactivated fermented Bacillus subtilis fragments and yeast cell wall extracts, in addition to, a feed additive mannan oligosaccharide (MOS) composed of betaglucans from yeast cell wall extracts on a mineral carrier. Both of these prebiotics have demonstrated immunomodulatory capabilities, and we hypothesize that the combination will improve the production of both broilers and breeders as the use of antibiotics becomes less of an option.
A series of two trials were done to evaluate the effect of the biopromoter and MOS in both broilers and broiler breeders. A randomized controlled broiler study consisted of 215 broilers per treatment group raised in floor pens. The broiler trial compared birds administered a commercial diet, a diet with 0.5 kg/ton antibiotic (BMD) or a diet of MOS at 2kg/ton and biopromoter in the water at 0.2 mL/bird on days 3 and 17 of life. The broiler breeder study compared two 20,000 bird commercial houses of broiler breeders with a known farm history of colibacillosis. On this farm, one house was a control and received no treatment, and the second house received MOS at 2 kg/ton continuously during weeks 25-34 of life and 0.2 mL/bird biopromoter in the water weeks 24 and 26 of life.
In the broiler trial, MOS and biopromoter treated birds (2,388 g) had a 42-day body weight greater than untreated (2,243 g) or BMD treated (2,295 g) birds. Feed conversion ratio was also improved in broilers treated with MOS and biopromoter at 1.585 when compared to both untreated and BMD treated birds, 1.744 and 1.704, respectively.
Broiler breeders not administered the prebiotic combination experienced a spike in mortality and decreased production diagnostically associated with colibacillosis. MOS and biopromoter treated broiler breeders remained healthy and had an average egg production rate 23% higher than the control flock. Peak egg production was 84.48% in the treated flock and 67.03% in the control flock. The improvement in health, egg production and peak resulted in the treated flock producing a total of 899,230 eggs, which was 1.8X the total number of eggs produced by the control flock (497,425 eggs).
In conclusion, using a feed administered MOS product and a water applied biopromoter improved the beneficial production parameters of both broiler and broiler breeder production.
Keywords: mannan oligosaccharide, Bacillus subtilis, prebiotics, broilers, broiler breeders.
Abstract presented at the 3rd International Symposium on Alternatives to Antibiotics 2019.