Effects of commercial Probiotic preparations on the growth, Egg laying, Haematological and Immunological traits of Chickens

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Two experiments (experiment I and II) were conducted to determine the effects of three commercial probiotic preparations (RE-3, RE-3 plus and P3) on the productive and reproductive performance as well as haematologic characteristics of laying chickens. For experiment I, four hundred 40-week old local-exotic crossbred (96.88% exotic and 3.12% local) layers and forty Lohmann Brown breeder males of the same age were used. They w ere allotted to four (4) treatments. Layers on the control treatment received a layer diet without probiotics; their counterparts on the three other treatments received the same layer diet which contained 1.5mls of RE3™ solution per kg, RE-3 Plus (fermentation product of RE3™ -1.5mls of RE-3 Plus solution per kg and T4 (P3 (Paenebacillus polymyxa-based probiotic) – 1.0mls of RE-3™ + 0.5mls of P. polymyxa solution per kg respectively. Each treatment had four replications with twenty (20) layers and two (2) males. Birds were fed ad libitum for twenty-four (24) weeks with a diet containing 18% crude protein and 2754 kcal/kg of ener gy. Feed intake, feed conversion ratio (FCR), hen-day rate of lay, hen-housed rate of lay and egg weight, total egg hatchability, hatchability of fertile eggs set, dead in shells and saleable chicks were some parameters measured. The following blood parameters total serum protein, serum immunoglobulin A, M, CD 3, CD 4, and packed cell volume were also determined. Differences in feed intake, egg weight, FCR and both hen-day and hen-housed rates of lay between layers on the four treatments diets were not significantly different (P>0.05). Mortality under the four treatments were however, statistically significant (P>0.05). The addition of probiotic to the diets of layer breeders did not significantly (P>0.05) influence the hatchability of the eggs laid. The percentages of saleable chicks from layers under the four treatments were not significantly different from each other (P>0.05) and did not follow any clear trend. Hematologic parameters (WBC, RBC, HB, PCV, MCV, MCH, MCHC and LYMPH) determined showed no significant differences (P>0.05) among layers on the four treatments. v Layers fed the RE-3 diet (T2) had a significantly higher (P<0.05) total protein content than those on basal, RE-3 Plus and P3 diets. However, albumin and globulin did not differ significantly (P>0.05) among layers fed the four treatment diets. The immunological parameters determined did not differ significantly (P>0.05) among layers fed the four treatments diets. However, layers on the treatment 2 diet (RE-3) had higher numerical values for CD3 and lower numerical values for CD4. Additionally, the numerical values for IgA were lower in layers fed the probiotic included diets compared to those on control diet. The bacteria isolated in the fecal samples were E-coli and Proteus for all the treatments. For experiment II, growth performance data and sexing was determined for the growers (7200) which were obtained from hatching eggs from the layers in experiment I. Feed with crude protein of 20.34% and energy of 2769.2 kcal/kg and water were provided ad libitum. All the growth parameters were not significantly different (P>0.05) for all the growers under the four treatments. However, there was a significant difference (P<0.05) in the sex ratio of growers and mortality. The results of these studies showed that the three commercial probiotics (RE-3, RE-3 plus and P3) preparations can be included at a level of 1.5mls in every kilogram of layer diet without any adverse effect on the performance, reproduction and haematologic traits of layers but supplementation resulted in more female chicks being produced and the inclusion of probiotic in the grower diet did not affect the growth and survivability of chicks..
Thesis Submitted To The Department Of Animal Science Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology In Partial Fulfillment Of The Requirement For The Degree Of Master Of Philosophy (Reproductive Physiology),
probiotic, egg laying, haematological, immunological, traits, chickens