Varying starch to fat ratios in pelleted diets: II. Effects on intestinal histomorphometry, Clostridium perfringens and short-chain fatty acids in Eimeria -challenged broiler chickens

British Poultry Science
S GranstadM Kaldhusdal


1. The hypothesis behind the study was that a high dietary starch level (HS) would lead to impaired gut health compared to a low-starch diet (LS) in Eimeria-challenged broilers. The effects of two diets with different starch to fat ratios on intestinal histomorphometry, Clostridium perfringens counts and toxin profile, necrotic enteritis prevalence and abundance of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) were examined. 2. A total of 1,920 one-day-old Ross 308 broiler chickens were fed one of two isocaloric diets formulated either with high (32:1) or low (2:1) starch to fat ratios from d 10 to 29 of age. Each treatment group had 12 pen replicates containing 80 broilers each. On d 17, the chickens were challenged with Eimeria vaccine strains. Samples were collected on d 16, 21-23 and 29. 3. Whereas villus length increased gradually throughout the study in the HS group, a peak level was reached on d 21-23 in the LS group. On d 29, the HS group had significantly longer villi than the LS group. 4. Caecal SCFA concentrations were higher in the HS group compared to the LS group on d 16. In both groups, the SCFA level peaked on d 21-23, with the most pronounced increase seen in the LS group. 5. The C. perfringens netB:cpa ratio increased from ...Continue Reading


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