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Alternatives to Antibiotic Growth Promoters for Broilers


The use of antibiotic growth promoters in broiler diets has been almost eliminated within UK from a combination of EU legislation and consumer (supermarket) pressure. A range of possible alternatives is being marketed, including probiotics, organic acids, herbs etc. Feed enzymes have been shown to modify the gut microflora and it has been suggested that this may be beneficial in protecting against Coccidiosis. Studies on the effects of feed enzymes in combination with organic acids as part of a postgraduate project have shown up interactions affecting microflora and bird performance. There is anecdotal evidence that increasing the dissolved oxygen level in drinking water may alter gut microflora and bird performance. The proposed project will develop these aspects and evaluate the efficacy of lactobacilli strains which have been isolated as potential probiotics.
<UL> <LI> Evaluate the changes in gut flora and histology associated with the use of alternatives to antibiotics
<LI> Relate such changes to observed performance of broilers (gain:feed, AME of diets, meat yield)
<LI>Determine the interactions (if any) between feed enzymes (particularly xylanase and phytase) and other additives such as beneficial yeasts & bacteria, organic acids
<LI>Evaluate lactobacilli strains as potential probiotics

Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
Start date
End date
Project number
DARD 0440