ENP Newswire -
Release date- 27082013 - Feeding young broiler chickens a prebiotic yeast supplement could have positive effects on their development and increase their defences against gut infections according to
Reducing infectious disease in the gut of broilers without relying on antibiotics is a major challenge for individual farmers and the poultry industry, both in terms of animal welfare and to reduce the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
The work - funded by the
The findings suggest that a feed supplement containing a carbohydrate found in yeast resulted in the birds having greater natural defences to harmful bacteria entering their guts and that younger broilers gained the most benefit from the supplement
'This will have the knock on benefit of reducing the need for treatment with costly antibiotics and help tackle the serious issue of antibiotic resistance in poultry.'
The research, published in the
The natural carbohydrate fraction investigated is a feed supplement already used in some commercial broiler diets but there is uncertainty as to how it works. Although the supplement is likely to work through several mechanisms, these findings help clarify how the supplement improves the immune defences of the bird through altered mucin production.
These new findings may lead to more widespread use of yeast-derived supplements in broiler feeds to improve gut health and immunity.
The next stage of the project is to investigate the effects of this natural carbohydrate fraction on gene expression of the bird to investigate at a molecular level how the supplement induces change in bird development and gut health, said
The project will continue in the recently established
BBSRC CASE studentships are collaborative training grants that give top bioscience PhD students the chance to experience first-rate research at both an academic institution and a partner organisation, usually from industry.
'The CASE studentship has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the poultry industry it has also raised the profile of the new NTU poultry unit and the high quality research which is carried out there and as a result the facilities are now used for contract research by several companies working in the
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