After a lot of concerns over use of antibiotic growth promotors (AGPs) as feed additives in poultry diets, the broiler industry is facing increasingly problems with unspecific gastrointestinal (GI) disorders related to dysbacteriosis in the period between 20-30 days causing depressed growth and wet litter. Fermented feed has been suggested to have a potential as alternative to AGPs, considering its positive influence on broiler performance and maintaining healthy gut.
The inclusion of ensiled kernel maize in broiler feed can decrease bird mortality, improve litter condition and improve foot pad health, according to a PhD study from Samir Ranjitkar, at the Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University, Denmark, The study looked at ensiled (fermented) maize kernels and the effect on poultry health.
Fermented feed could be used as an alternative to AGPs
According to the researchers of the study, fermented feed has been suggested to have a potential as alternative to Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGPs), considering its positive influence on broiler performance and maintaining healthy gut. Therefore, two feeding experiments were carried out with Ross 308 male broilers to test the crimped kernel maize silage (CKMS).
The birds were fed with maize based diets containing 15% CKMS (CKMS-15) and 30% CKMS (CKMS-30). Diets based on wheat (WBF) and maize (MBF) was used as control diets. The results from the two experiments showed that the growth performance of broilers with the feeding of 15% CKMS was similar to the broilers in control maize based treatment.
Trials show improvement in foot pad health and decreased mortality rate
Both feeding trials showed an improved foot pad health and a decreased mortality following addition of CKMS as compared to the control diets, attributed to the lower moisture content in the litter. Further, the meat quality parameters mainly color, tenderness and juiciness increased with the inclusion of CKMS in the maize based diets.
Source: Aarhus University