Evaluation of a phytogenic feed additive on performance, nutrient digestion, and absorption in turkey poults
Zumbaugh III, Charles Arthur
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In recent years, there has been a growing interest in feeding phytogenic products to poultry for their growth and health benefits. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of a phytogenic feed additive on turkey poult performance and digestive physiology over a 6-week brooding period. In total, 864 male Hybrid Converter turkey poults were obtained from a local commercial hatchery on day-of-hatch and placed into floor pens with clean pine shavings. The treatments were randomly assigned including an industry-type corn-soybean meal positive control (PC), a similar diet with a 1.5% reduction in crude protein and key amino acids (NC), or the NC with the addition of Digestarom® (PFA) included at a rate of 1 g/kg. Body weight gain (BWG), feed intake (FI), feed efficiency (FE), and mortality were recorded throughout the experiment. On day 14 poults fed the PFA had significantly higher BWG compared to the PC and NC fed birds. By day 42 birds fed the PC and PFA diets had significantly higher BWG compared to the NC, and the PC had significantly higher FE compared to the NC and PFA fed birds. No differences in FI or mortality were observed throughout the experiment. There were no significant differences in AMEn, crude protein digestibility, or nutrient transporter or pancreatic enzyme mRNA expression among treatments. However, aminopeptidase activity tended to be lower in the ileum of poults fed the PC or PFA diets compared to the NC, suggesting that the PFA may be improving protein utilization.
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