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Abstract

Four hundred and fifty 1-d-old male Lingnan Yellow broiler chickens were used to investigate the effects of Clostridium butyricum on growth performance, immune function, and cecal microflora. The birds were randomly assigned to 5 treatments and offered the same antibiotic-free basal diets for 42 d. The treatments were as follows: no addition (control), 1 × 10(7) cfu C. butyricum/kg of diet (CB1), 2 × 10(7) cfu C. butyricum/kg of diet (CB2), 3 × 10(7) cfu C. butyricum/kg of diet (CB3), and 10 mg of colistine sulfate/kg of diet (antibiotic). Birds fed either CB2 or antibiotic had greater overall BW than those in the control group. During d 1 to 7, d 21 to 42, and d 1 to 42, birds fed either CB2 or CB3 or the antibiotic diet had greater ADG compared with those in the control group. No significant differences were observed in BW or ADG among the CB2, CB3, and antibiotic groups. Birds fed the CB2 or CB3 diet had greater concentrations of IgA and IgG in the serum from d 14 to 42 and greater IgM in the serum from d 21 to 42 than those in the control group. Birds fed the CB3 diet had a greater concentration of complement component 3 in the serum than those in the control group from d 7 to 42. Dietary C. butyricum decreased (P < 0.05) Escherichia coli in cecal contents on d 14 and 42, and both CB2 and CB3 decreased (P < 0.05) cecal Salmonella and Clostridium perfringen from d 14 to 42 compared with the control. Broilers fed either CB2 or CB3 had greater cecal Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium counts from d 21 to 42, and birds fed C. butyricum had greater cecal C. butyricum counts during the whole period compared with those in the control group. The results indicate that C. butyricum promotes growth performance and immune function and benefits the balance of the intestinal microflora in broiler chickens.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Clostridium butyricumBalanced Intestinal MicrofloraBeneficial
Large
Clostridium butyricumImproved Growth PerformanceBeneficial
Moderate
Clostridium butyricumImproved Immune FunctionBeneficial
Moderate
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