Efficiency of early, single-dose probiotic administration methods on performance, small intestinal morphology, blood biochemistry, and immune response of Japanese quail
The aim of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of early probiotics (single dose) administered in different ways, on quails' performance, small intestine morphology, blood biochemistry, and immune response. In total, 192 day-old chicks were used in one of the following experimental groups before being transferred to a raising room: 1) Control (no probiotic administered), 2) oral gavage, 3) spray, and 4) vent lip. Four replicates of 12 chicks per cage were considered for each treatment and birds were raised up to 35 d in the same conditions. Probiotic treated birds had higher d 1 to 35 feed intake than the control group (P < 0.05). In addition, oral-gavaged birds had a higher body weight gain as compared to the control (P < 0.05). The values of duodenum length and villus height of the oral group and ileum length and villus height of the vent lip group were greater than that of the control (P < 0.01). Regardless of the method of administration, probiotics resulted in deeper crypts and in a higher number of goblet cells in the duodenum and ileum as compared to the control (P < 0.01). The administration of probiotics resulted in increased plasma uric acid (P < 0.05), glucose, and total protein (P < 0.01). The concentration of hemoglobin was slightly higher in probiotic-supplemented groups. While a decreased concentration of triglyceride was observed in vent-lip probiotic-administered birds compared to control (P < 0.05), the concentration of cholesterol was not significantly affected by treatments (P > 0.01). None of the immune-related parameters were affected by the probiotic (P > 0.05). Single dose usage of probiotics exerts its beneficial effects on quails' body weight gain, feed intake and mortality in 1 to 35 d period, regardless of the route of administration. This work generally supports the efficacy of single-dose usage of probiotics and suggests the spray of probiotics as an early, single-dose administration method.