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Chitosan oligosaccharides as potential antibiotic replacements in broiler diets

2021 CPRF
The removal of antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) from animal diets impairs control of necrotic enteritis (NE) and thus broiler chicken performance, resulting in economic losses. Dietary shellfish chitosan oligosaccharides (COS) were screened as potential AGP replacements on performance, NE intestinal lesion scores, and carcass traits of broilers from 0 to 38 d of age. A total of 1,152 birds were randomly distributed across 8 treatments with 8 replicates of 18 birds each. Following a pilot study, treatments were COS 95 kDa at 0.2 and 5 g/kg, COS 180 kDa at 0.2, 2, and 5 g/kg, COS 110 kDa at 5 g/kg of the diet, a positive control (PC; with antibiotic and coccidiostat) and negative control (NC; without antibiotic and coccidiostat). A natural sub-clinical NE challenge model was applied to all birds, with a 15X oral coccidiosis vaccine dose at 12 d and a 24-hour feed removal at 18 d. Feed intake (FI), body weight gain (BWG), and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were measured at 10, 25, and 38 d of age. Intestinal NE lesion scores were measured at 22 and 38 d, and carcass yield at 38 d. Parametric data were analyzed by ANOVA with means compared by Tukey’s test at P < 0.05, and non-parametric data by Kruskal-Wallis. There were no significant differences between the PC and NC treatment for performance, NE lesions, or carcass traits. After the challenge, animals fed COS 95 kDa at 5 g/kg had a higher BW (904.77 ± 34.33 g) than those fed COS 180 kDa at 5 g/kg (838.99 ± 43.24 g; P = 0.03). PC treatment had higher BWG (44.41 ± 1.95 g/day/bird; P = 0.02) and lower FCR (1.573 ± 0.07; P = 0.05) than birds from COS 180 at 5 g/kg group (39.82 ± 2.96 g and 1.703 ± 0.13, respectively), but were similar to the other treatments. From 0 to 38 d, birds fed COS 95 kDa at 5 g/kg were nearly significantly heavier by 81.6 g than birds from the NC group and by 45.6 g than birds from the PC group (P < 0.08). No significant treatment effects were found for NE gross lesion scores at 20 d or 40 d. Birds from the NC group had a higher drumstick yield (16.03%; P = 0.03) than those fed COS 110 kDa (14.56%), but similar to the other treatments. COS 95 kDa may show some promise to replace AGP; however, complementary analyses and further studies are required to understand the mechanism of action.
Tags :
antibiotic alternative,Chitosan oligosaccharides
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PhD Student

University of Alberta

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