Effects of the inclusion of aBacillusdirect-fed microbial on performance parameters, bone quality, recovered gut microflora, and intestinal morphology in broilers consuming a grower diet containing corn distillers dried grains with solubles
Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) have increasingly been used in poultry diets as a consequence of rising grain costs. Some, but not all, sources of DDGS have a variable compositional value, and a high inclusion of this by-product could be considered a risk factor for presentation of enteric diseases. Presently, 2 experiments were conducted using a starter corn-soybean diet (zero to 7 d) and a corn-DDGS-soybean grower diet (8 to 28 d) with or without inclusion of a Bacillus-direct-fed microbial (DFM). In both experiments, day-of-hatch chicks were randomly assigned to 2 different groups: control group without DFM or Bacillus-DFM group, containing 106 spores/g of feed. In each experiment, 8 pens of 20 chicks (n = 160/group) were used. Performance parameters of BW, BW gain (BWG), feed intake (FI), and feed conversion (FCR) were evaluated in each growth phase. Additionally, in experiment 2, intestinal samples were collected to determine duodenal and ileal morphology (n = 8/group), as well as the microbiota population of total lactic acid bacteria (TLAB), total Gram-negative bacteria (TGNB), and total anaerobic bacteria (TAB) on d 28 (n = 16/group). Furthermore, both tibias were evaluated for bone strength and bone composition (n = 16/group). In both experiments BW, BWG, and FCR were improved by the DFM when compared to the control group (P < 0.05). In experiment 2, chickens supplemented with the DFM had less TGNB in the foregut intestinal segment and higher TLAB counts in both foregut and hindgut sections (P < 0.05). In addition significant increases in tibia breaking strength and bone mineralization were observed in the DFM group when compared with the control. In the case of intestinal morphology, DFM dietary inclusion increased villus height (VH), villus width, villus area, muscular thickness, and the VH to crypt depth ratio (VH:CD) in both duodenum and ileum sections. Results of the present study suggest that consumption of a selected Bacillus-DFM producing a variable set of enzymes could contribute to enhanced performance, intestinal microbial balance, and bone quality in broiler chickens consuming a grower diet that contains corn-DDGS.