Selected parameters of gastrointestinal tract metabolism of turkeys fed diets with flavomycin and different inulin content

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For 16 weeks, turkeys were fed the following feed mixtures: control diet without antibiotic (or inulin), diet with flavomycin (8 mg/kg) and diets with different level of inulin: low (0.1% for 16 weeks), medium (0.4% and 0.2% in the first and second 8-week period, respectively) and high (1% and 0.4% in the first and the second 8-week period of the experiment). During the first 8 weeks, dietary intake and feed conversion were similar in all groups. A high content of inulin in a diet caused lower body weight gain of turkeys compared to the remaining groups. In this period coefficients of protein digestibility (85.7–86.8%), concentration of dry matter and ammonia in faeces were alike in all groups. Faeces of turkeys fed a diet supplemented with inulin were characterised with a lower pH (5.48–5.56) than these of turkeys from the control group (5.77) as well as with lower activity of microbial β-glucuronidase (0.52–0.79 U/g and 1.01, respectively). The lowest faecal β-glucuronidase activity was in group with flavomycin (0.44). The addition of an antibiotic or inulin did not increase the final body weight of the turkeys; moreover the birds fed with the highest dose of inulin were the lightest. The influence of the experimental diets on ileal parameters was low; they affected however functioning of the caeca. The share of flavomycin in the mixture lowered the activity of microbial α-glucosidase, to some extent enhanced pH of digesta, but did not lower SCFAs concentration. As a result of increased amount of caecal digesta, the total sum of SCFAs produced was higher than in the control group. Higher doses (0.4/0.2% and 1.0/0.4%) of inulin in a diet caused a beneficial pH decrease in digesta (6.84 and 6.92, respectively), compared to lower doses of this preparation (7.12). On the other hand, they evoked a disadvantageous increase in the ammonia concentration in the caeca (1.188 and 1.240 mg/g in digesta of groups Inulin-M and Inulin-H, compared to 1.109 mg/g in digesta of group Inulin-L). Increasing the inulin dose in a diet up to 1% did not increase the activity of microbial enzymes, while increased significantly the concentration and amount of SCFAs in the caeca compared to limited dose (0.1%) of inulin preparation.

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