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Abstract

This study evaluated the effects of long-term Bacillus subtilis CGMCC 1.921 supplementation on the performance, egg quality, and fecal/cecal microbiota of laying hens. A total of 360 28-week-old Hy-Line Brown laying hens were randomly allocated into 5 treatments with 6 replicates of 12 birds each for 24 weeks. The experimental treatments included a basal diet without additions (Con) and the basal diet supplemented with 1.0 × 105 (B1), 1.0 × 106 (B2), 1.0 × 107 (B3), and 1.0 × 108 (B4) cfu/g B. subtilis CGMCC 1.921. The results showed that feed:egg ratio significantly decreased (P < 0.05) in groups B1 (wk 13 to 16, 17 to 20, 21 to 24, and one to 24), B2 (wk 13 to 16, 17 to 20, and 21 to 24), B3 (wk 13 to 16, 17 to 20, 21 to 24, and one to 24), and B4 (wk 13 to 16, 17 to 20, 21 to 24, and one to 24). However, egg production, egg weight, and feed intake were not significantly different (P > 0.05) among treatments. Eggshell strength significantly improved (P < 0.05) in groups B1 (wk 8, 16, 20, and 24), B2 (wk 20 and 24), and B3 (wk 8, 16, 20, and 24). Fecal E. coli counts significantly decreased (P < 0.05) in groups B1 (wk 16), B2 (wk 12, 16, 20, and 24), B3 (wk 12, 20, and 24), and B4 (wk 16, 20, and 24). Lactobacillus in cecal digesta of groups B1, B3, and B4 increased significantly (P < 0.01). Bifidobacterium in cecal digesta of groups B1, B2, B3, and B4 increased significantly (P < 0.05). Bifidobacterium counts increased linearly (P = 0.015) and quadratically (P = 0.004) as B. subtilis CGMCC 1.921 supplementation increased. Compared with Con, E. coli in the cecal digesta of groups B2 and B4 decreased significantly (P < 0.01). C. perfringens in the cecal digesta of groups B3 and B4 decreased significantly (P < 0.05). E. coli:Lactobacillus ratio decreased in group B1 (P < 0.05) and B2, B3, and B4 (P < 0.01). Therefore, the probiotic B. subtilis CGMCC 1.921 effectively improved performance and egg quality via the reduction of fecal E. coli and beneficial modulation of cecal microbiota.

Keywords: Bacillus subtilis; egg quality; laying hens; microbiota; performance.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bacillus SubtilisImproved Cecal E. coli to Lactobacillus RatioBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus SubtilisImproved Eggshell StrengthBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus SubtilisImproved Feed EfficiencyBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus SubtilisIncreased Bifidobacterium Levels in Cecal DigestaBeneficial
Large
Bacillus SubtilisIncreased Cecal Lactobacilli LevelsBeneficial
Large
Bacillus SubtilisReduced Cecal Digesta E. coli LevelsBeneficial
Large
Bacillus SubtilisReduced C. perfringens Levels in Cecal DigestaBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus SubtilisReduced Escherichia coli CountsBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis AB22Improved Eggshell StrengthBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis AB22Improved Feed EfficiencyBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis AB22Increased Bifidobacterium Levels in Cecal DigestaBeneficial
Large
Bacillus subtilis AB22Increased Cecal Lactobacilli LevelsBeneficial
Large
Bacillus subtilis AB22Reduced Cecal Digesta E. coli LevelsBeneficial
Large
Bacillus subtilis AB22Reduced C. perfringens Levels in Cecal DigestaBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis AB22Reduced Escherichia coli CountsBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Improved Cecal E. coli to Lactobacillus RatioBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Improved Eggshell StrengthBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Improved Feed Conversion RatioBeneficial
Large
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Increased Bifidobacterium Counts in CecumBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Increased Gut Lactobacilli LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Reduced Cecal Clostridium Perfringens CountBeneficial
Small
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Reduced Cecal Escherichia coliBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Reduced Escherichia coli CountsBeneficial
Moderate

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