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In a so complex chain as that of poultry industry, there are many points that may make the whole difference in the search for high productivity. One of them is the analysis of the fecal quality of broiler chickens.
Feces of chickens present several morphological characteristics that may reveal, in an early way, changes related to enteric problems, which enables quick action to prevent the intestinal problems from causing: nutrient absorption drop, loss of performance of chickens and economic losses for agroindustry.
Most of the time, these enteric problems occur due to imbalance of the intestinal microbiota, called dysbiosis. By the way, this is a subject of paramount importance in the poultry industry as the microbiota is directly related to the intestinal integrity — we recently presented the differences between pioneer microbiota and resident microbiota, which can be checked here.
But did you know that the intestinal microbiota may suffer changes over a single day, which interferes in the intestinal integrity and may have impactful results to your business? Bauer Alvarenga, Business Manager at Biocamp, developed complete research on the subject, which can be accessed here. In this content, we bring the key insights, that are worth to be checked.
Broiler chicken feces and their microbiota
Broiler chicken feces are very used in studies about the intestinal microbiota, as they are easily collected and do not cause damages to the chickens (non-invasive method). There are two types of feces:
- Ileum feces: they are eliminated several times a day. They do not pass through cecum and may contain some urine.
- Cecal feces: they are eliminated one or two times a day only. They pass through cecum and do not contain urine.
As the functional differences are related to the feed digestion and nutrient absorption process, it is not difficult to imagine that it is relatively common to find changes in broiler chicken feces. Either due to passage of feed, reddish mucus, presence of water and/or gases, color change, etc.
And if this happens to feces, the microbiota also ends up differentiating along the digestive system due to factors, such as oxygen offer, mucus, pH, among others. By reviewing the relation between both situations, some hypotheses have raised: do bacterial genera change between ileum and cecal feces? And in the presence of changes, such as passage of feed and reddish mucus, at different intensity levels?
The answers for these questions were searched for by Bauer Alvarenga in one of his analysis. In accordance with the importance of the subject, the findings resulted in his master dissertation entitled “Relationship between the morphological aspect of broiler feces and its bacterial composition”, presented in Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia of Universidade de São Paulo (USP).
Let’s see the results?
Results obtained with metagenomics
Bauer used metagenomics analyses to compare phyla and genera of the most abundant bacteria in each one of the 8 groups, and evidenced important points:
- Most abundant phyla were Firmicutes and Proteobacteria;
- Cecal discharges have greater bacterial abundance than normal ileum feces.
- Normal ileum feces, feces with passage of feed and feces with reddish mucus have different bacterial genera.
- Immediately after switching lights on, there was predominance of feces with reddish mucus, followed by feces with passage of feed and normal ileum feces. Thus, fecal morphology and fecal microbiota changed over the day, under direct influence of the lighting schedule.
Conclusion on the microbiota change over the day
Study “Relationship between the morphological aspect of broiler feces and its bacterial composition” points out that is essential to assure ideal management conditions to prevent the occurrence of factors that influence negatively in the fecal morphology.
And this comes as a warning: balance of microbiota is essential to maintain the intestinal integrity. Eubiosis is a synonym of higher productivity and profitability for the business.
According to Bauer, the application of Colostrum® Mix contributed to speed the rebalance of the fecal microbiota, preventing the gut from losing its integrity and absorption function. The fact is that the flock exhibited an excellent zootechnical result.
Colostrum® Mix is a probiotic additive that modulates the intestinal microbiota, favoring eubiosis, and contributes to improve the zootechnical indexes and control diseases caused by enterobacteria, as well as Clostridium perfringens, agent that causes necrotic enteritis.
To better understand a little more on how microbiota changes over the day, the importance to keep its balance and how this can be achieved, talk directly to Biocamp!