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Strategies for Improving Intestinal Integrity to Enhance Food Safety and Health in Poultry


<OL> <LI> To evaluate feed, non-feed and water additives (mushroom and pokeweed) in molting laying hens for Salmonella enteritidis control. <LI> To evaluate nutritional (synbiotics), sanitation practices, phytobiotics (mushroom and pokeweed), used/unused litter and other management approaches aim to counteract the effect of stress and infection in broiler chicken in different grow-out environments.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Molting laying chickens via long term feed removal increases Salmonella enteristidis. Mushroom and pokeweed extract with alfalfa meal will be utilized to reduce Salmonella. Intestinal health has been challenged without the use of antibiotics, extended litter use and others. This study will modulate gut health through sanitation, phytobiotics and others.
APPROACH: Mature (75 wk old) leghorn chickens will be subjected to fed and non-fed treatment with pokeweed and mushroom extracts. Hens will be molted for 10 days on respected treatments. Weights will take on days 1, 5 and 10. At 10 days, some hens will be sacrificed to collect organ sample for Salmonella evaluation. The remaining hens will be placed back into laying cages and placed on laying rations for egg production assessment. Broiler meat bird will be continually raised on new and used bedding in two different production systems to monitor gut health and its impact on foodborne organisms.

PROGRESS: 2008/01 TO 2008/12 <BR>
OUTPUTS: Experimental trials were conducted to evaluate the administration of mushroom extract on bifidobacteria and Salmonella populations in broiler chicken feces. Secondly, studies were conducted with old hens to evaluate the use of fungus myceliated sorghum grain in a molt induction process for weight loss, Salmonella reduction, postmolt egg production and health. All studies utilized undergraduate and graduate students for work study experiences, research and industry training, and thesis development. The PI attended and presented a paper at the 97th Poultry Science Association meeting in Canada, and another presentation was made at the AEA/ARD Land Grant Conference in Tennessee. Two undergraduate student presented papers at the McNair Symposium on the A&T campus. Two graduate students developed their theses from different components of these studies. The results from this work enabled us to enhance the knowledge of poultry producers, research scientists and others on improving gut health and well-being of laying hens and broiler chickens both commercially and small pastured flocks.
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IMPACT: 2008/01 TO 2008/12<BR>
The results from these studies provided knowledge that could be applied to reducing the foodborne pathogen Salmonella and others in broiler chickens, especially, those not receiving antibiotics. The continual administration of mushroom extract to broiler chickens significantly increase the population of good bacteria (bifidobacteria) and lowered Salmonella populations in pastured broilers raised without drugs or medication. This information presented and published will provide alternative to producers that commonly rely on antibiotics for poultry health. Additionally, the inclusion of fungus myceliated sorghum grain meal to molting laying hens is showing great promises as an alternative method for molt induction of older laying hens.

Willis, Willie
North Carolina A&T State University
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