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Abstract

The ban on the use of antibiotics as growth promoters due to resistance issues has urged scientists to find alternatives to antibiotics. Entercoccus faecium is one of the probiotics which have been used as an alternative to antibiotics in the livestock industry. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of probiotic (Enterococcus faecium DSM 7134) supplementation on production performance, feed intake, egg quality, excreta microflora, ammonia emission, and nutrient utilization in laying hens. A total of 288 ISA brown laying hens were used in a 27 wk feeding experiment and randomly assigned to 3 dietary treatments with 8 replicates of 12 birds each. The treatments were CON (basal diet), PB1 (basal diet + 0.005% E. faecium), and PB2 (basal diet + 0.01% E. faecium). Overall, our results demonstrated that E. faecium supplementation resulted in a significant increase in egg production, egg shell thickness, and nutrient digestibility (dry matter, nitrogen, and energy) in laying hens, and a significant reduction in fecal coliform counts as compared with CON. The shift of excreta fecal microbial composition by E. faecium supplementation was accompanied by increased nutrient retention and reduction in nutrient excretion, leading to improved nutrient digestibility and reduced excreta ammonia emission. Overall, E. faecium supplementation appears to have a beneficial effect in ISA brown laying hens and should be considered as a positive diet supplement to use in the industry.

Keywords: ammonia; laying hen; nutrient digestibility; probiotics; production performance.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Enterococcus faeciumEnhanced Eggshell ThicknessBeneficial
Moderate
Enterococcus faeciumImproved Nutrient DigestibilityBeneficial
Large
Enterococcus faeciumIncreased Egg ProductionBeneficial
Large
Enterococcus faeciumReduced Ammonia ExcretionBeneficial
Large
Enterococcus faeciumReduced Fecal Coliform LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Enterococcus faecium R0026Improved Egg Shell ThicknessBeneficial
Large
Enterococcus faecium R0026Improved Nutrient DigestibilityBeneficial
Large
Enterococcus faecium R0026Increased Egg ProductionBeneficial
Large
Enterococcus faecium R0026Reduced Ammonia ExcretionBeneficial
Large
Enterococcus faecium R0026Reduced Fecal Coliform LevelsBeneficial
Moderate

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