- Animals: poultry
- Animal Production: feed/forage, feed additives, probiotics
Increasing concerns over antibiotic use in food animals and the emergence of antibiotic resistant pathogens resulted in the U.S Food and Drug Administration directive curbing the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in poultry production. This has led to an urgent need for safe and natural alternatives to AGPs in promoting poultry health and performance. In this regard, several researchers have demonstrated the efficacy of probiotic supplementation to day-old chicks in improving performance in market birds. However, the period of embryonic growth and immediate post-hatch development account for almost 50% of the productive life of modern broilers. Furthermore, this developmental period is critical to attaining quality broiler performance at marketing. Therefore, in-ovo probiotic administration would provide for an effective means to influence embryogenesis, post-hatch growth, performance and health in chicken.
Project objectives from proposal:
The overall objective of the study is to promote growth, health and performance in broiler chicken through the early administration of probiotics. The specific objective includes:
- To investigate the efficacy of in-ovo supplementation of probiotics on growth and performance in broiler chicken. We will evaluate probiotic effect on (a) broiler hatchability b) growth performance (embryonic and post-hatch), (b) organ weights, abdominal fat, serum lipids and (c) intestinal histomorphology
Through this research we will provide an economical, safe and practical alternative to AGPs that can promote embryonic growth. Further, it is anticipated that the embryonic growth will translate into increased growth in broiler chickens, better disease prevention and improved economic opportunities for the poultry industry.