Effect of nutritional interventions with quercetin, oat hulls, β-glucans, lysozyme and fish oil on performance and health status related parameters of broilers chickens
1. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of technical feed ingredients between 14 and 28 d of age on performance and health status of broilers (d 14–35) fed diets with a high inclusion rate of rapeseed meal as a nutritional challenge. It was hypothesized that the feed ingredients would improve health status related parameters.
2. A total of 1008 one-day-old male Ross 308 chicks were distributed over 36 floor pens and allocated to one of six iso-caloric (AMEN 13 MJ/kg) growing diets (d 15–28): a control and five test diets supplemented with quercetin (400 mg/kg), oat hulls (50 g/kg), β-glucan (100 mg/kg), lysozyme (40 mg/kg) or fish oil ω-3 fatty acids (40 g/kg), with six replicate pens per treatment.
3. Dietary inclusion of oat hulls and lysozyme resulted in a reduction in broiler performance during the first week after providing the experimental diets.
4. No effect of interventions on the microbiota diversity in the jejunum and ileum was observed. Ileal microbiota composition of birds fed oat hulls differed from the other groups, as shown by a higher abundance of the genus Enterococcus, mainly at the expense of the genus Lactobacillus.
5. In the jejunum, villus height and crypt depth of lysozyme-fed birds at d 28 were decreased compared to the control group. Higher total surface area of villi occupied by goblet cells and total villi surface area in jejunum (d 21 and 28) were observed in chickens fed oat hulls compared to other groups.
6. Genes related to the growth-factor-activity pathway were more highly expressed in birds fed β-glucan compared to the control group, while the genes related to anion-transmembrane-transporter-activity pathway in the quercetin- and oat hull-fed birds were less expressed. The genes differently expressed between dietary interventions did not seem to be directly involved in immune related processes.
7. It was concluded that the tested nutritional interventions in the current experiment only marginally effected health status related parameters.