Effect of in ovo and post-hatch administration of honey on the immunity and intestinal microflora of growing chickens
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Sindh Agriculture University, Faculty of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Sciences, Department of Veterinary Microbiology, 70060 Tandojam, Pakistan
Sindh Agriculture University, Faculty of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Sciences, Department of Poultry Husbandry, 70060 Tandojam, Pakistan
Sindh Agriculture University, Faculty of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Sciences, Department of Veterinary Medicine, 70060 Tandojam, Pakistan
Publication date: 2019-12-27
Corresponding author
A. A. Kamboh   

Sindh Agriculture University, Faculty of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Sciences, Department of Veterinary Microbiology, 70060 Tandojam, Pakistan
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2019;28(4):346-353
The present study evaluated the effect of honey administration in pre- and post-hatch sessions on the immunity and intestinal microflora of growing broilers. The pre-hatch experiment was conducted on fertile eggs (n = 160) that were inoculated either with 0.5 ml 20% diluted honey (+pre-hatch) or with the same quantity of normal saline (−pre-hatch) on day 15 of incubation. After hatching, the chicks from each group were divided into two groups: control (−post-hatch) and the other receiving 1% honey (+post-hatch) in drinking water up to day 21. The experimental groups: C = −pre-hatch/−post-hatch, T1 = −pre-hatch/+post-hatch, T2 = +pre-hatch/−post-hatch and T3 = +pre-hatch/+post-hatch, were evaluated for performance parameters, antibody titer against Newcastle disease virus (NDV), relative weight of lymphoid organs and counts of gut microflora. It was shown that the pre-hatch honey administration significantly (P < 0.05) improved feed intake, final body weight, relative weight of spleen and anti-NDV antibody titer. Post-hatch honey supplementation significantly (P < 0.05) increased feed intake, FCR, final body weight, anti-NDV titer, relative weight of spleen and Lactobacilli count, while decreased (P < 0.05) the counts of Escherichia coli and Salmonella on day 21. The interaction of both the pre- and post-hatch honey administrations also significantly affected (P < 0.05) performance and immunity parameters, as well as the intestinal microflora. So, in ovo and post-hatch administration of honey had positive impacts on performance, immune organ indices, gut microbiota and anti-NDV titer in growing broiler chickens.
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