The efficacy of raw and concentrated bentonite clay in reducing the toxic effects of aflatoxin in broiler chicks

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of two adsorbents, a raw bentonite clay (RC) and a concentrated bentonite clay (CC), in ameliorating the toxic effects of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). Results of the in vitro study (pH 3.0) indicated the CC adsorbed more AFB1 than RC (93.39 mg/g vs. 79.30 mg/g) suggesting that CC may be more effective than RC in reducing the toxic effects of AFB1. One hundred and eighty day-old straight run broiler chicks were assigned to 6 replicate pens of 5 chicks each and assigned to 6 dietary treatments from hatch to day 21. Dietary treatments included: 1) basal diet (BD) containing no AFB1 or adsorbents; 2) BD plus 0.50% RC; 3) BD plus 0.50% CC; 4) BD plus 2.0 mg AFB1/kg; 5) BD plus 2.0 mg AFB1/kg plus 0.50% RC; and 6) BD plus 2.0 mg AFB1/kg plus 0.50% CC. Dietary AFB1 concentrations were confirmed by analysis and diets were screened for other mycotoxins prior to the start of the experiment. The addition of AFB1 to the feed reduced (P < 0.05) growth performance and increased (P < 0.05) relative liver weight (RLW) and kidney weight (RKW) of chicks fed AFB1 compared to control chicks on day 21. These changes were ameliorated (P < 0.05) by the addition of RC and CC to the AFB1 diet. Mild to moderate lesions of aflatoxicosis (2.25) were observed in chicks fed AFB1 alone on day 21. The addition of both RC and CC to the AFB1 diet decreased (P < 0.05) but did not prevent liver lesions (0.92 and 1.42, respectively). Results indicate that both RC and CC were effective in reducing the toxic effects of AFB1, however the cost of processing of CC would make the RC a more economical product for reducing the effects of AFB1 in young broiler chicks.

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