2016 Volume 53 Issue 3 Pages 181-191
We previously reported that a diet containing 65% paddy rice suppressed the colonization of Campylobacter jejuni in the cecum of broiler chicks, suggesting that this type of diet has positive effects on upper gastrointestinal tract function in broilers. To reveal the possible mechanisms involved in this antibacterial effect of the whole-grain paddy rice diet, we performed experiments comparing the digesta passage rate in the crop and gizzard, the development of gizzard, and the pH distribution in the gizzard between groups of chicks fed two different diets, such as ground corn and whole-grain paddy rice. During these experiments, we made the following observations: the chicks in the group fed the whole-grain paddy rice diet had more developed gizzards and significantly larger crop content than the chicks in the group fed the ground corn diet. The chicks fed the whole-grain paddy rice diet retained the digesta in the crop for much longer and had less variation in the pH values in the gizzard than those fed ground corn. On the basis of these observations, we concluded that the hardness of the rice hull in whole-grain paddy rice leads to a larger amount and longer retention of content in the crop, as well as the uniformity of the internal pH of the gizzard, by promoting gizzard activity. We speculate that the hardness of the rice hulls promoted the grinding activity of the gizzard, resulting in the long retention time of the digesta in the crop and uniformity of the internal pH of the gizzard, which may sterilize or suppress Campylobacter growth in the gastrointestinal tract of broiler chicks.