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Maternal flaxseed diet had sex specific effects on the weight of broiler chickens diagnosed with novel avian reovirus and infectious bronchitis

2021 CPRF,Nutrition
Maternal feeding of omega 3 fatty acids (n-3 FA) can modulate offspring immune responses by directly affecting immune cells and mediators. During a research trial, broiler chickens were diagnosed with novel avian reovirus (runting and stunting syndrome) and infectious bronchitis. The objective was to assess whether maternally fed n-3 FAs affected the growth rate or uniformity of immune challenged broiler chickens. Ross 708 broiler breeders obtained at 1 day of age were fed control or “LinPro” flaxseed enriched Maternal Rearing Diet (MRD) or Maternal Laying Diet (MLD) in a 2×2 factorial design. The breeders were housed in 8 parental pens. Broiler chicks were hatched in two trials, in the same hatchery at the University of Guelph poultry research station. Trials overlapped, with trial 2 starting 3.5 weeks after trial 1. Broiler chicks were housed in mixed-sex groups of 20 chicks (from the same parental pen), in 2 rooms per trial, each containing 12 floor pens following a randomised complete block design (N=960; n=12 pens of 20 birds per treatment combination). Chickens were weighed weekly up until 6 weeks of age (WoA); low body weight (BW) compared to breed guidelines were recorded from the onset of the trials and infectious bronchitis symptoms were recorded from 1.5-4 WoA . Post-mortem diagnostics were conducted by a specialist poultry veterinarian. A linear mixed effect model in R using repeated measures was used to analyse the weight data and coefficient of variation (uniformity). The mean BW (g) of broiler chickens with, Ross 708 target weights in parentheses, for week 1-6 respectively; 125.85 (198), 318.06 (490), 534.85 (928), 810.34 (1486), 1117.10 (2120), 1642.27 (2782). There were no significant 3- or 4-way interactions between MRD, MLD, sex and week. There was a significant interaction between MRD and sex (F=5.7667, p=0.0165), MRD and week (F=3.7598, p=0.0021), MLD and week (F=8.2008, p<0.001), and sex and week (F=22.2435, p<0.001). Post hoc analyses showed a significant contrast between sexes in the n-3 FA MRD (t=4.254 p=0.0001), with females weighing more than males. The post hoc also found that, across all treatments females weighed significantly more than males for the first 4 WoA (p<0.001). For uniformity there tended to be an interaction between MRD, MLD, sex and week on the uniformity of broilers (F=1.9485, p=0.0855), as well as a tendency for an interaction between MLD, sex and week to affect the uniformity of broilers (F=2.050, p=0.0709). There were no significant contrasts between factors. However, WoA had a significant effect on uniformity (F=13.879, p<0.001). In conclusion, a maternal diet enriched with n-3 FA had sex specific effects on the weight of broilers, but week of age had the largest effect on the uniformity of broilers diagnosed with novel reovirus and infectious bronchitis.
Tags :
avian reovirus,flaxseed,infectious bronchitis,maternal diet
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PhD Candidate

University of Guelph

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