Thermal treatments and organic acid supplementation to broiler diets influences the bacterial status in the crop of broilers. This was one of the conclusions from a German study.
Researchers at the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany carried out a study to investigate the The effects of different thermal treatments and organic acid levels in feed on microbial composition and activity in gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of broilers.
Thermal treatments of feed and organic acids are known to affect the gastrointestinal microbiota in chickens. The present study evaluated the effect of different thermal processes including pelleting (P), long-term conditioning at 85°C for 3 min (L), expanding at 110°C (E110), and 130°C for 3 to 5 s (E130) as well as organic acid (63.75% formic acid, 25.00% propionic acid, and 11.25% water) inclusion levels (0, 0.75, and 1.5%) on gastrointestinal microbiota in broilers.
In total, 960 one-day-old chicks were randomly assigned to 8 replicates using a 3 × 4 factorial arrangement. At d 35, bacterial cell numbers in the crop, ileum, and caecum, and bacterial metabolites in the crop, gizzard, ileum, and caecum were determined. The inclusion of 1.5%organic acids increased cell numbers of all clostridial clusters in the crop. The organic acid supplementation increased the propionic acid concentration in the crop and gizzard and there was a decrease in lactic acid concentration. In the ileum, the 0% organic acid group had the highest numbers of Lactobacillus spp. and enterobacteria. Inclusion of 1.5% organic acids increased ileal acetate concentration.
Increasing the feed processing temperature led to an increase of lactobacilli in the crop and ileum, whereas clostridia and enterobacteria seemed unaffected. Similarly, lactate concentrations increased in the ileum, but short-chain fatty acids remained identical. In the crop, an increase for acetate was found for the E130 group compared with all other thermal treatments.
In conclusion, this study demonstrated that thermal treatments and organic acid supplementation to broiler diets more markedly influenced the bacterial status of the crop compared with the downstream segments and their effects decreased along the length of gastrointestinal tract.
Whereas organic acids markedly modified bacterial composition and activity in the crop, expansion increased lactobacilli and lactate in the crop and ileum.
This study was published in the June issue of Poultry Science.