The effects of betaine supplementation on productivity, egg quality, blood components, and liver amino acid concentration were examined in laying hens using a diet with differing levels of CP. A total of 540 Hy-Line Brown laying hens were allotted to 6 treatments with 5 replications for 24 weeks. Treatments were designed with 3 levels of CP (14, 16 and 18%) and 2 levels of betaine supplementation (0 and 600 ppm) in the diet. Egg production, egg mass, and feed conversion were found to be improved significantly as dietary levels of protein increased (P<0.05), but the results for betaine supplementation were different. Eggshell breaking strength, eggshell thickness and Haugh units were not influenced by the supplementary betaine or the level of CP. Serum albumin concentration was significantly elevated in the group fed with 18% CP compared to those in groups fed with other amounts of CP (P<0.05). Supplemental betaine did not affect serum total protein, albumin, or BUN concentration, whereas the uric acid concentration was significantly increased in the betaine-fed groups (P<0.05). Concentrations of liver amino acids were influenced by CP levels and dietary betaine supplementation (P<0.05). In addition, betaine supplementation increased the methionine, aspartate, cystine, glutamate, glycine, proline and tyrosine levels in the livers of birds fed on the 14% CP diet (P<0.05). These results suggest that betaine does not increase productivity, but may affect serum uric acid and liver amino acids in laying hens. Betaine also increased liver amino acid levels in the lower CP groups.
The effect of varying inclusion levels of L-carnitine and mode of application (in diet or drinking water) on growth response, carcass yield and serum biochemistry of broiler chickens was investigated. Seven experimental diets were for-mulated in a 2×3+1 factorial arrangement. The dietary treatment consisted of two factors representing modes of application (either in feed and water application) at three levels (40, 50 and 60 mg per kg of diet or liter of drinking water) plus control diet (which had no L-carnitine either in feed or drinking water). Three hundred and fifty day old (350), unsexed broiler chicks were randomly allocated into 7 dietary treatment groups replicated five times with 10 birds per replicate. Final live weight (P<0.01) and weight gain (P<0.001) of the birds increased with increasing supplemental levels of L-carnitine. Broiler chickens supplemented with 60 mg L-carnitine (either in feed or drinking water) recorded the highest (P<0.05) weight gain, feed intake and least (P<0.05) serum triglyceride and feed conversion ratio (FCR). Birds offered supplemental L-carnitine in feed had higher (P<0.05) feed intake and improved feed conversion ratio than those offered L-carnitine in drinking water. Irrespective of the mode of application, broilers offered 60 mg supplemental L-carnitine showed best FCR. Dressed weight, dressing percentage, breast meat yield and back weight increased (P<0.05) while abdominal fat reduced (P<0.05) with increasing inclusion levels of L-carnitine. Broilers fed with diets supplemented with 60 mg/kg L-carnitine had the highest (P<0.05) dressed weight, dressing percentage, breast weight, back weight and the least (P<0.05) abdominal fat weight. Supplementation of L-carnitine in feed showed better growth response than oral application. Dietary supplementation of 60 mg/kg L-carnitine in broiler feed resulted in improved growth response and carcass yield without an adverse effect on the serum biochemistry.
This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of adding methionine (Met) to low-protein diets and subsequent re-feeding on the growth performance, serum lipid profile, body composition and carcass quality in male broiler chicks during 1-42 days of age. During the starter-grower period (1-21 days of age), 800 male broiler chicks (Ross 308) were divided into 5 groups and given the following diets: 1) positive control diet (all nutrients meet the requirements of the strain), 2) negative control diet (low-protein diet in which all amino acids meet the requirements of the strain, except Met), 3) negative control diet supplemented with Met to meet the total sulfur amino acid (TSAA) requirement at 100%, 4) negative control diet supplemented with Met to meet the TSAA requirement at 105%, and 5) negative control diet supplemented with Met to meet the TSAA requirement at 110%. During the finisher period (22-42 days of age), all groups were fed a diet containing the same nutrients and according to the recommendations for the strain. At Day 21, adding Met to the low-protein diet resulted in a similar body weight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR) to that of the positive control group. Feed intake in the 105% TSAA group significantly increased compared to that in the positive control and negative control groups (P<0.05). Met supplementation in the low-protein diet significantly improved the protein efficiency of chicks (P<0.01), while Met deficiency increased feed cost per body weight gain (P<0.01). Abdominal fat contained in chicks fed the low-protein diet was significantly increased, although Met supplementation slightly decreased the abdominal fat. In the 110% TSAA group, triglyceride in serum was significantly increased (P<0.01), while low density lipoprotein-cholesterol in serum was significantly depressed (P<0.01). After the re-feeding phase (at Day 42 of age), the growth performance of the negative control group was still significantly poorer than that of other groups (P<0.05). Adding Met to the low-protein diet significantly improved the protein efficiency ratio compared to the positive and negative control groups (P<0.05). The body compositions and abdominal fat of broiler chickens did not significantly differ among the treatments (P>0.05). The carcass yield, breast meat and wings of the 110%TSAA group were significantly higher than those of the negative control group (P<0.05). The results indicate that reducing the protein concentration with Met supplementation during 1-21 days of age, then re-feeding with a conventional diet is an appropriated tool for improving overall protein utilization and slightly reduces the production cost.
Effects of a novel serine protease, RONOZYME® ProAct (RPA) on protein solubilisation, hydrolysis and digestibility were tested in a gut simulation model. Furthermore, the effects of RPA (supplemented at 15,000 PROT/kg feed) on growth performance and nutrient digestibility were tested in two in vivo broiler experiments each arranged in a 2×2 factorial design (enzyme x sex in experiment 1 and enzyme x protein level in experiment 2). Each dietary treatment had 12 replicates. In experiment 1, birds were fed 12.7 MJ ME per kg iso-energetic diets in 2 phases. Each diet was fed without or with RPA (C or C+RPA, respectively) to either males or females. In experiment 2, two diets were fed in four treatments. Diet 1 (211 and 200 g CP per kg feed in the starter and grower phases respectively) was fed without or with RPA (NP or NP+RPA, respectively). Diet 2 (200 and 190 g CP per kg feed in the starter and grower phases respectively), was fed without or with RPA (LP or LP+RPA, respectively). At the end of each experiment, eight male birds per treatment were randomly selected and used for ileal digestibility measurements. In vitro, RPA significantly increased the degree of protein hydrolysis, solu-bilisation and digestibility. In males, C+RPA was significantly better than C in WG (2,393 g vs. 2,262 g) and FCR (1.60 vs. 1.65). In females, C+RPA was better than C in FCR (1.37 vs. 1.39) in the starter phase. The FCR of LP+RPA was significantly better than LP. In experiment 1, RPA significantly increased ileal protein (82.8% vs. 76.9%) and energy (77.8% vs. 70.6%) digestibilities. In LP, RPA significantly improved energy digestibility (76.6% vs. 75.5%). These results suggest that RPA can improve broiler performance by enhancing protein and energy digestibility.
Potassium diformate (KDF), a chemical complex of formic acid and potassium formate, improves growth performance in pigs. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of dietary KDF on the growth, nitrogen retention, intestinal pH, counts of Enterococcus faecalis, coliforms, and lactic acid bacteria in the cecum, and humoral immune response of growing broiler chickens. Twenty four male broiler chicks were randomly assigned into three groups (eight birds in each group). Each group was fed an antibiotics free commercial diet (as a control diet, 23% CP, 3,000 kcal of ME/kg), a control diet containing KDF at 1%, or a control diet containing antibiotics (50 g titer/t Salinomycin, 50 g titer/t Avilamycin) until 28 days of age. Dietary KDF significantly increased the weights of body, breast muscle, thighs and wings, whereas the weights of liver and abdominal fat were not affected. These findings suggest that the increase of body weight by dietary KDF might be due to the increased muscle weight. Dietary KDF did not affect nitrogen retention. Dietary KDF did not affect the intestinal pH, and the counts of Enterococcus faecalis, coliforms, and lactic acid bacteria in the cecum. Hemagglutination titer was not affected by dietary KDF. Thus, although the mechanisms of the growth promotion by dietary KDF are not clear, our findings suggest that the KDF might promote growth of broiler chickens at least in the early phase of growth.
In addition to the important role in maintaining calcium homeostasis, vitamin D3 (VD3) has also been suggested to participate in the regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses in human by enhancing antimicrobial peptides expression. In this study, we investigated the effect of supplementation of 0, 800, 1,600, 3,200 and 6,400 IU/kg of VD3 in the basal diet on the mRNA expression of antimicrobial peptides (AvBD-1 and chCATH-1) in chicken by using quantitative real-time RT-PCR. The supplementation of VD3 in the basal diet could significantly promote the mRNA expression of both AvBD-1 and chCATH-1 genes (P<0.01), which showed dose-dependent response from 800 to 3,200 IU/kg supplementation dose. Compared with control group (0 IU/kg), 11-fold to 39-fold and 4.7-fold to 25-fold of mRNA expression difference in treatment groups were detected for AvBD-1 and chCATH-1 genes in bursa of Fabricius, respectively. In addition, VD3 also could significantly enhance the AvBD-1 and chCATH-1 mRNA expression in thymus (P<0.05). Our results indicated that the VD3 supplementation of 3,200 IU/kg dose in basal diet could significantly promote the vBD-1 and chCATH-1 mRNA expression in bursa of Fabricius, which is potential to improve the innate ability to resist diseases in chicken.
The experiment was carried out to determine the chemical composition, digestibility of crude fiber (CF), gross energy (GE), and metabolizable energy (ME) of Momiroman paddy rice (PR) (Momiroman is a kind of feed rice cultivar). The chemical composition of PR was 5.11% crude protein (CP), 1.83% ether extract, 68.04% nitrogen-free extract and 10.54% CF on air dry basis. The GE of PR (3.77 kcal/g) is close to that of corn. Although the value of CP was low and that of CF was high, this GE value suggests that PR can probably be used as a feasible alternative grain source in poultry diets. Eight 15-wk-old male Cochin layer chickens (weighing 2.5 kg) housed in individual cages were used to determine the true digestibility (TD) and ME. The TD of CF and GE were 38.65% and 80.35%, respectively. Apparent ME and true ME were 2.79 and 3.02 kcal/g on air dry basis, respectively. The apparent ME values of PR was slightly lower than that of corn in chickens. The present results would provide new information for poultry diet formulations and suggest that PR can probably be used as a good alternative cereal grain source in poultry diets, and can replace corn.
Experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of dietary supplementation with wild type Korean ginseng or Coptidis rhizome (goldthread) on inflammatory responses in egg-type male chick. The birds (a week of age) were fed a commercial diet as a control group or the diet containing 0.2% ethonal extract of Korean ginseng or goldthread. Inflammatory responses were evaluated to determine plasma concentration of nitrate plus nitrite, ceruloplasmin and alpha-1 acid glycoprotein (AGP), or expression of mRNA of substances related to inflammatory response such as interleukin-1 beta and -6, tumor necrosis factor like ligand 1A, inducible nitrite synthease, interferon gamma following lipopolysaccharide. The extract of Korean ginseng was lowered plasma ceruloplasmin and expression of mRNA expression related to early inflammation but not goldthread as compared with the control group. The Korean ginseng fed group showed higher feed intake than the control or goldthread group, and higher antibody titers to keyhole limpet hemocyanin than the control group. These results suggest that dietary supplementation with wild type Korean ginseng alters inflammatory response, in part, through changes in expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and dose acquired immunity.
The number of pulmonary blood vessels of different diameter range and the lung weight: body weight ratio were calculated in broiler chickens, as potential markers of adaptation to hypobaric hypoxia. Cobb500 broilers were housed at 460 and 2638 meters above sea level. Four week-old birds were assigned to the following groups: 1) non-pulmonary-hypertensive chickens reared under normoxia and 2) 3), non-pulmonary-hypertensive chickens and pulmonary-hypertensive chickens maintained under natural conditions of hypobaric hypoxia, respectively. The number of blood vessels per area was calculated in representative lung tissue samples of chickens from each group. The blood vessel diameter ranges included for quantitative assessments were ≥50-100, >100-200 μm, using 100 magnifications, and >200-300 and >300-500 μm, under 40 magnifications. Although for the diameter ranges >100-200, >200-300 and >300-500 μm no statistically significant differences were found in the number of vessels/area (P>0.05) among different groups, pulmonary-hypertensive chickens reared under hypoxia showed numerically higher values when compared with non-pulmonary-hypertensive chickens reared under hypoxia or normoxia. For the ≥50-100 μm range, pulmonary-hypertensive and non-pulmonary-hypertensive chickens reared under hypoxia had a significantly lower number of blood vessels (P<0.05) than that registered for non-pulmonary-hypertensive chickens grown under normoxia. The latter finding could have, a negative impact on vascular resistance to blood flow for broilers developed under hypoxia and negatively influence pulmonary gas exchange. The lung weight: body weight ratio was no significantly different in PHCH as compared to NHCH reared under hypoxic conditions (P>0.05). It is possible that the time under hypoxia was not long enough to permit compensatory lung growth which could allow for neo-formation of respiratory or blood capillary in the lungs.
The aim of this study was to investigate the innate immune system in male chicken reproductive organs by analyzing the expression of avian beta-defensins (avBDs) genes and localizing the avBDs proteins. The expression of avBDs were analysed by RT-PCR and selected avBDs proteins, including avBD-11 and -12, were localized by immunohistochemistry in the testis and epidihymis. The RT-PCR analysis showed the expression of 9 types of avBDs (avBD-3 to-5, -7 and -9 to -13) in the testis. In the epididymis, expression of 10 types of avBDs (avBD-1 to -5, -7 and -9 to -12) were identified. In the testis, the immu-noreaction products for immunoreactive (ir)-avBD-11 were found in the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. In the epididymis, the epithelial cells of efferent ducts contained dense ir-avBD-11 and ir-avBD-12. The immunoreaction products of these avBDs were negligible in the epithelium of epididymal ducts. These results suggest that the testis and epididymis are able to syn-thesize avBDs to form innate immune system in chickens. It may play significant roles in the host defense against patho-gens in these tissues.
The production of germline chimeric chickens by transfer of primordial germ cells (PGCs) is an effective technique for the preservation and regeneration of genetic resources in chickens. To date, the most widely used method to identify germline chimeric chickens is a testcross using differences in plumage color between the donor and recipient breeds. However, this method is time consuming and laborious. Therefore, simple high-precision molecular techniques for the identification of germline chimeric chickens need to be developed. In this study, we verified the practicability of using a Hinai-dori-specific microsatellite marker that was previously developed to identify germline chimeric chickens. A Hinai-dori-specific microsatellite marker ABR0633 can distinguish the Hinai-dori breed from White Leghorn (WL); thus, these two breeds were used as donor and recipient embryos, respectively, in this study. PGCs obtained from embryonic gonads of Hinai-dori were micro-injected into either the subgerminal cavity or dorsal aorta of WL recipient embryos to produce germline chimeric chickens. A portion of both left and right testes was removed from the manipulated male chicks and was used for genotyping to verify the possibility of identifying germline chimeric chickens. Semen was then obtained from matured manipulated male chickens and was used for genotyping. Simultaneously, these chickens were crossed with Hinai-dori females by artificial insemination to produce offspring. No donor-derived Hinai-dori allele was detected in the testicular tissues from the manipulated male chicks. However, donor-derived Hinai-dori allele was detected in the semen from two manipulated male chickens (2/2) that were produced by microinjection of Hinai-dori PGCs into the dorsal aorta. In the progeny tests, Hinai-dori PGC-derived offspring were obtained from these two chickens. Moreover, only the donor-derived Hinai-dori allele was detected in the offspring that were judged as the Hinai-dori breed by plumage color. Therefore, the offspring were confirmed as the Hinai-dori breed both phenotypically and genotypically. We conclude that a Hinai-dori-specific microsatellite marker is suitable to identify germline chimeric chickens and the use of this method could reduce the time and labor needed for testcrosses.