Fermentation in broiler chicken gastrointestinal tract as affected by high dietary inclusion of barley and by β-glucanase supplementation
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August Cieszkowski Agricultural University, Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Management, Wołyńska 33, 60-637 Poznań, Poland
University of Medical Sciences, Department of Gynecological Oncology, Polna 33, 60-535 Poznań, Poland
Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Health, Welfare and Nutrition, P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark
D. Józefiak   

August Cieszkowski Agricultural University, Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Management, Wołyńska 33, 60-637 Poznań, Poland
Publication date: 2005-10-17
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2005;14(4):695–704
Over a period of 5 weeks an experiment was performed with 192 one-day-old Cobb 500 cockerels, which were randomly divided into two experimental groups of 12 cages (replicates) of 8 birds each. The objective of the experiment was to estimate whether the supplementation of a barley-based diet with β-glucanase influences the performance and gastrointestinal ecosystems of broiler chickens in terms of ileal viscosity and pH as well as the concentration of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and lactic acid in different segments of the gastrointestinal tract. In the period from day 15 to day 35, dietary enzyme supplementation significantly improved FCR values (1.90 vs 1.85). Body weight gains, liver and caeca weights were not affected by β-glucanase inclusion. Enzyme supplementation decreased ileal viscosity (P≤0.05) and affected SCFA concentrations in the crop and caeca. In digesta from different gastrointestinal segments, lactic acid was detected at the highest levels in the ileum, followed by the crop, gizzard and caeca. The total concentration of SCFAs was found to be highest in the caeca, followed by the ileum, crop, and gizzard. In the crop, the concentrations of acetate, and in the caeca, those of propionate as well as of total SCFA, increased following dietary enzyme supplementation. In none of the examined gastrointestinal segments was the pH value affected (P≤0.05) by enzyme supplementation.
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