The approach of supplementing poultry feed with a combination of xylanase and direct-fed-microbials (DFMs), along with other management practices, to improve gut health is gaining increased attention as feed-additive alternatives to replace growth promoting antibiotics (AGP).
The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of various combinations of different endo-xylanases and multi-strain Bacillus spp. products from different commercial sources upon supplementation to corn-soy-based broiler diets based on live performance, gut lesion score, and microbial load of broilers challenged with Clostridium perfringens and Eimeria Spp.
A total of 3,120 Ross 708 mixed-sex broiler chicks were randomly assigned to 1 of 6 dietary treatments with 10 floor pens per treatment, and 52 birds per pen. The 6 treatment were:
(PC) Standard control diet with no disease challenge;
(NC) Standard control diet with disease challenged;
(NC+A) the NC diet with Disease challenge + Xylanase 1 + DFM blend 1;
(NC+B) the NC diet with Disease challenge + Xylanase 1 + DFM blend 2;
(NC+C) NC diet + Xylanase 2+ DFM blend 1;
(NC+D) NC diet + xylanase 2 + DFM blend 2.
A one-way ANOVA analyses was performed, and the significance was accepted at P < 0.05 for all parameters. NC + A and NC + D increased (P<0.01) BW, improved FCR and flock uniformity, and reduced mortality, as well as reduced (P<0.01) lesion score, and microbial load (E. Coli, APC, Salmonella incidence, and digesta C. Perfringens) at 42 days of age compared with NC, while NC+B and NC+ C demonstrated intermediate outcomes.
The findings in this study confirm that supplementation of the proper endo-xylanase and multi-strain Bacillus spp. combination is an effective technology to improve gut function and gut protection, reduce the pathogen load and environmental contamination, while alleviating the negative effects on growth performance, feed efficiency, and mortality in the presence of a disease challenge scenario such as Clostridium perfringens and Eimeria Spp. The selection of the correct xylanase and DFM to use in combination is key to achieve such functions.
Key words: Xylanase, DFM, lesion score, pathogen load, antibiotic free.