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The San Diego Presidio, established in AD 1769, was the first European settlement in Upper California. Very little is known about chicken husbandry in colonial America, which makes this study the first comprehensive analysis of chicken remains in North America. Chickens are scarcely mentioned in historical accounts describing early California, and information on their sex, age, or management is rare. The faunal assemblage from the San Diego Presidio yielded 20 avian and 14 mammalian species. Chicken remains were studied through a wide range of zooarchaeological methods, including taphonomy, biometry, medullary bone, epiphyseal fusion, butchering, and body-part representation. Taphonomic analysis indicates good preservation of the bone assemblage. The biometric study points to two breeds of chickens: a smaller (bantam) breed alongside a standard-size chicken. The percentage of juvenile chickens (23%), the rooster/hen ratio (1:8.5), and high proportion of medullary bone point to on-site chicken husbandry focusing on meat and egg production. The historical record suggests that California presidios were not self-sufficient and that they relied on food provisioned from Mexico and nearby missions. We argue that small-scale poultry production, likely managed by women and children, provided California presidios with a form of subsistence independence.
The development of digestive organs and the establishment of gut microbiota in pullets play an important role throughout life. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of Bacillus subtilis (BS) on growth performance, intestinal function and gut microbiota in pullets from 0 to 6 weeks of age. Hy-line Brown laying hens (1-day-old, n = 504) were randomly allotted into four diets with a 2 × 2 factorial design: (1) basal diet group (control); (2) antibiotics group (AGP), the basal diet supplemented with 20 mg/kg Bacitracin Zinc and 4 mg/kg Colistin Sulphate; (3) BS group, the basal diet supplemented with 500 mg/kg BS and (4) mixed group, the basal diet supplemented with both AGP and BS. As a result, when BS was considered the main effect, BS addition (1) reduced the feed conversion ratio at 4 to 6 weeks (P < 0.05); (2) decreased duodenal and jejunal crypt depth at 3 weeks; (3) increased the villus height : crypt depth (V : C) ratio in the duodenum at 3 weeks and jejunal villus height at 6 weeks and (4) increased sucrase mRNA expression in the duodenum at 3 weeks as well as the jejunum at 6 weeks, and jejunal maltase and aminopeptidase expression at 3 weeks. When AGP was considered the main effect, AGP supplementation (1) increased the V : C ratio in the ileum at 3 weeks of age; (2) increased sucrase mRNA expression in the duodenum at 3 weeks as well as the ileum at 6 weeks, and increased maltase expression in the ileum. The BS × AGP interaction was observed to affect average daily feed intake at 4 to 6 weeks, and duodenal sucrase and jejunal maltase expression at 3 weeks. Furthermore, dietary BS or AGP addition improved caecal microbial diversity at 3 weeks, and a BS × AGP interaction was observed (P < 0.05) for the Shannon and Simpson indexes. At the genus level, the relative abundance of Lactobacillus was found to be higher in the mixed group at 3 weeks and in the BS group at 6 weeks. Moreover, Anaerostipes, Dehalobacterium and Oscillospira were also found to be dominant genera in pullets with dietary BS addition. In conclusion, BS could improve intestinal morphology and change digestive enzyme relative expression and caecum microbiota, thereby increasing the efficiency of nutrient utilization. Our findings suggested that BS might have more beneficial effects than AGP in the study, which would provide theoretical evidence and new insight into BS application in layer pullets.
Brominated flame retardants (BFR) are primarily used as flame retardant additives in insulating materials. These lipophilic compounds can bioaccumulate in animal tissues, leading to human exposure via food ingestion. Although their concentration in food is not yet regulated, several of these products are recognised as persistent organic pollutants; they are thought to act as endocrine disruptors. The present study aimed to characterise the occurrence of two families of BFRs (hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)) in hen eggs and broiler or pig meat in relation to their rearing environments. Epidemiological studies were carried out on 60 hen egg farms (34 without an open-air range, 26 free-range), 57 broiler farms (27 without an open-air range, 30 free-range) and 42 pig farms without an open-air range in France from 2013 to 2015. For each farm, composite samples from either 12 eggs, five broiler pectoral muscles or three pig tenderloins were obtained. Eight PBDE congeners and three HBCDD stereoisomers were quantified in product fat using gas chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry, or high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, respectively. The frequencies of PBDE detection were 28% for eggs (median concentration 0.278 ng/g fat), 72% for broiler muscle (0.392 ng/g fat) and 49% for pig muscle (0.403 ng/g fat). At least one HBCDD stereoisomer was detected in 17% of eggs (0.526 ng/g fat), 46% of broiler muscle (0.799 ng/g fat) and 36% of pig muscle (0.616 ng/g fat). Results were similar in concentration to those obtained in French surveillance surveys from 2012 to 2016. Nevertheless, the contamination of free-range eggs and broilers was found to be more frequent than that of conventional ones, suggesting that access to an open-air range could be an additional source of exposure to BFRs for animals. However, the concentration of BFRs in all products remained generally very low. No direct relationship could be established between the occurrence of BFRs in eggs and meat and the characteristics of farm buildings (age, building materials). The potential presence of BFRs in insulating materials is not likely to constitute a significant source of animal exposure as long as the animals do not have direct access to these materials.
Feathers play a critical role in thermoregulation and directly influence poultry production. Poor feathering adversely affects living appearance and carcass quality, thus reducing profits. However, producers tend to ignore the importance of feather development and do not know the laws of feather growth and development. The objective of this study was to fit growth curves to describe the growth and development of feathers in yellow-feathered broilers during the embryonic and posthatching periods using different nonlinear functions (Gompertz, logistic and Bertalanffy). Feather mass and length were determined during the embryonic development and posthatching stages to identify which growth model most accurately described the feather growth pattern. The results showed that chick embryos began to grow feathers at approximately embryonic (E) day 10, and the feathers grew rapidly from E13 to E17. There was little change from E17 to the day of hatching (DOH). During the embryonic period, the Gompertz function (Y = 798.48e−203 431exp(−0.87t), Akaike’s information criterion (AIC) = −0.950 × 103, Bayesian information criterion (BIC) = −0.711 × 103 and mean square error (MSE) = 559.308) provided the best fit for the feather growth curve compared with the other two functions. After hatching, feather mass and length changed little from the DOH to day (D) 14, increased rapidly from D21 to D91 and then grew slowly after D91. The first stage of feather molting occurred from 2 to 3 weeks of age when the down feathers were mostly shed and replaced with juvenile feathers, and the second stage occurred at approximately 13 to 15 weeks of age. The three nonlinear functions could overall fit the feather growth curve well, but the Bertalanffy model (Y = 116.88 × (1−0.86e−0.02t)3, AIC = 1.065 × 105, BIC = 1.077 × 105 and MSE = 11.308) showed the highest degree of fit among the models. Therefore, the Gompertz model exhibited the best goodness of fit for the feather growth curve during the embryonic development, while the Bertalanffy model was the most suitable model due to its accurate ability to predict the growth and development of feathers during the growth period, which is an important commercial characteristic of yellow-feathered chickens.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is essential for monogastric animals. It is mainly produced by recombinant microorganisms (Candida famata, Bacillus subtilis and Ashbya gossypii). The availability of genetically modified organism (GMO)-free riboflavin, obligatory in European organic agriculture, is a major issue. Besides, requirements for organic livestock might differ from conventional production because other genotypes and feed formulations are used. The effects of a fermentation suspension with a high native content of riboflavin produced with unmodified A. gossypii by fermentation were investigated at graded dosages as an alternative to conventional (GMO-based) riboflavin in slow-growing broilers on performance traits and health and welfare indicators. In 2 runs with 800 animals each, Ranger Gold™ broilers were fed with 4 dietary treatments. For starter diets (day 1 to 18), treatments included a basal diet (1) without any riboflavin supplementation (negative control, N-C), (2) with conventional riboflavin supplementation (Cuxavit B2 80% riboflavin) at 9.6 mg/kg (positive control, P-C), (3) with riboflavin supplementation from the alternative source at 3.5 mg/kg (A-low) and (4) with riboflavin supplementation from the alternative source at 9.6 mg/kg (A-high). For the finisher diet (day 29 until slaughtering), P-C and A-high were supplemented with 8.0 mg/kg and A-low with 3.5 mg/kg. Diets were formulated according to organic regulations. Animals were kept in floor pens with 20 chickens per pen. Weekly, BW, feed and water consumption were recorded. Every second week, animal-based health and welfare indicators (feather score and footpad dermatitis) were scored. Slaughter traits were assessed for five males and females per pen at 62/63 days of age. Final body weight of A-high differed from N-C and A-low, but not from P-C. From week 2 until six years of age, A-high had a higher daily weight gain when compared to all other groups. With 74.4%, dressing percentage was higher in A-high compared with all other groups (73.3%). Breast percentage of A-low was lower than that of both control groups but did not differ from A-high. The highest frequency of liver scores indicating fatty liver syndrome was found in P-C, followed by N-C and A-low. Feather scores did not respond to treatment; the highest frequency of mild footpad dermatitis was observed in A-high, however at a low prevalence. In conclusion, the tested fermentation suspension with a high native content of riboflavin derived from fermentation of A. gossypii can be used at levels of commercial recommendations as alternative to riboflavin produced from GMO in broiler feeding. Further studies must verify whether riboflavin can be reduced without inducing riboflavin deficiency in slow-growing broilers.
The Turkish poultry industry has rapidly developed in the last decade. Viral pathogens continue to threaten the industry, causing economic losses worldwide, including Turkey. At present, infectious bronchitis and infectious laryngotracheitis are major challenges, as are, to a lesser extent, avian metapneumovirus, infectious bursal disease, Marek's disease and chicken infectious anaemia. The prevalence and severity of these diseases in Turkish chickens varies depending on environmental and management factors, vaccination strategies and biosecurity measures. In Turkey, infectious bronchitis virus, including vaccine and field strains, were detected in 83.6% (41/49) and 64.2% (9/14) vaccinated broiler and layer flocks, respectively. Virulent and vaccine strains of infectious bursal disease virus were found in 83.5% (1548/1855) of excised bursa Fabricius from vaccinated broilers. Virulent Marek's disease virus was found in 19.93% (120/620) of spleens from vaccinated chickens. Infectious laryngotracheitis virus in commercial poultry and Newcastle disease in backyard chickens have been detected. To date, Newcastle disease and avian influenza virus have not been reported in commercial poultry. Avian metapneumovirus was found in 7.2% (8/110) of the broiler samples. Antibodies to gyrovirus and avian leukosis virus have been detected. Commercial vaccines, such as attenuated, inactivated and vectored vaccines, are being used for prevention and control of viral poultry diseases in Turkey. This review summarises the available information on viral poultry diseases in Turkey. It highlights the need to strengthen surveillance and reporting for diseases and addresses the vaccination practices used in Turkish poultry industry. The future prospects of vaccination and need to empower diagnostic capacity in controlling viral poultry diseases are discussed. The information presented here is aimed at improving research, prevention, and control of poultry diseases for researchers, veterinarians, policy makers and other professions related to poultry industry.
Some studies have shown that the excessive metabolic heat production is the primary cause for dead chicken embryos during late embryonic development. Increasing heat shock protein (HSP) expression and adjusting metabolism are important ways to maintain body homeostasis under heat stress. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of in ovo injection (IOI) of vitamin C (VC) at embryonic age 11th day (E11) on HSP and metabolic genes expression. A total of 320 breeder eggs were randomly divided into normal saline and VC injection groups. We detected plasma VC content and rectal temperature at chick’s age 1st day, and the mRNA levels of HSP and metabolic genes in embryonic livers at E14, 16 and 18, analysed the promoter methylation levels of differentially expressed genes and predicted transcription factors at the promoter regions. The results showed that IOI of VC significantly increased plasma VC content and decreased rectal temperature (P < 0.05). In ovo injection of VC significantly increased heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) genes expression at E16 and PDK4 and secreted frizzled related protein 1 (SFRP1) at E18 (P < 0.05). At E16, IOI of VC significantly decreased the methylation levels of total CpG sites and −336 CpG site in HSP60 promoter and −1137 CpG site in PDK4 promoter (P < 0.05). Potential binding sites for nuclear factor-1 were found around −389 and −336 CpG sites in HSP60 promoter and potential binding site for specificity protein 1 was found around −1137 CpG site in PDK4 promoter. Our results suggested that IOI of VC increased HSP60, PDK4 and SFRP1 genes expression at E16 and 18, which may be associated with the demethylation in gene promoters. Whether IOI of VC could improve hatchability needs to be further verified by setting uninjection group.
Implementing a photoperiod during incubation has been shown to be a potential next step to removing one more stressor for newly hatched poultry species. The distribution of hatch over time is a parameter that may be influenced by photoperiod that could benefit from a photoperiod but has not been studied at this time and is the objective of this paper. The impact on hatch rate for three strains of chicken, Barred Plymouth Rock (BR), Lohmann Brown (LB) and Lohmann Lite (LL), was measured following the provision of a 12L : 12D (12 h light : 12 h dark) photoperiod starting at 0, 9 or 17 days of incubation and compared with incubation in the dark. The cumulative number of chicks hatched eggs at four points in time (489, 498, 507 and 516 h of incubation) was analysed using repeated measures analysis in a 3 × 4 factorial arrangement of treatments. Repeated measures analysis was done to determine the main and interaction effects of photoperiod and bird strain, and a regression analysis was used to determine how these effects evolved over time. Lohmann Brown embryos provided a 12L : 12D photoperiod throughout incubation were first to reach 50% of total chicks hatched and rate of hatch from 50% to 75% of total chicks hatched as well. As the LB chicks did not begin to hatch earlier or finish later, the LB strain was the most synchronised when provided a 12L : 12D photoperiod from the beginning of incubation. Similar results were found for LL, but no difference on the percentage hatched over time was found when provided the 12L : 12D photoperiod at the beginning of incubation or at day 9. The BR strain only showed a significant difference in hatch window synchronisation when provided a 12L : 12D photoperiod at day 9 of incubation. These results indicate that the strain of chicken impacts the hatch window, and each strain responds to a photoperiod during incubation differently. This information could be useful for hatchery managers to deal with different strains of chicken for incubation.
Coccidiosis is an antagonistic poultry disease which negatively impacts animal welfare and productivity. The disease is caused by an obligate, intracellular protozoon known as Eimeria. Several Eimeria species known to infect chickens have been well documented. However, recent studies have elucidated the emergence of three novel genetic variants or operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The discovery of OTUx, OTUy and OTUz complicates the identification and diagnosis of coccidiosis. OTUs are clusters of unknown or uncultivated organisms that are grouped according to a similarity in DNA sequence to a set of specific gene markers. OTUs have been reported in the Earth's Southern Hemisphere, including Australia, Venezuela, India, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, China and Ghana. Elucidating their impact on the poultry industry is fundamental in preventing anticoccidial resistance and to access the potential of OTUs as vaccine candidates to provide cross-protection against similar Eimeria species. The identification of OTUs further decreases the risk of false negative coccidial diagnosis. Therefore, this article reviews the importance and risk imposed by OTUs, coupled with their prevalence and geographical distribution in chickens globally.
Frozen raw breaded chicken products (FRBCP) have been identified as a risk factor for Salmonella infection in Canada. In 2017, Canada implemented whole genome sequencing (WGS) for clinical and non-clinical Salmonella isolates, which increased understanding of the relatedness of Salmonella isolates, resulting in an increased number of Salmonella outbreak investigations. A total of 18 outbreaks and 584 laboratory-confirmed cases have been associated with FRBCP or chicken since 2017. The introduction of WGS provided the evidence needed to support a new requirement to control the risk of Salmonella in FRBCP produced for retail sale.
Slow-growing, male chickens raised with outdoor access have been found to be a nutritious protein source with 24.83% protein in breast muscle. They have an acceptable carcass quality with at least 20% less abdominal fat, 3% more breast yield, and 3% more thigh yield than the birds raised in confinement. Similarly, slow-growing male chickens grown with outdoor access have a good bone quality with femur weight, length and diameter (16.5 g, 96.7 mm, and 8.61 mm, respectively). Considering fatty acid profile as a meat quality trait, breast muscles of slow-growing birds grown with outdoor access compared to those without such access have significantly higher polyunsaturated fatty acids level (3.85 vs. 3.36%), lower n6:n3 PUFA ratio (7.8 vs. 9.22) and lower saturated fatty acids content (26.29 vs. 28.73%). Raising slow-growing male chickens in production systems with outdoor access has been confirmed to be beneficial for the animals, the producers, the consumers and the environment.
Poultry meat is a valuable source of nutrients and the enrichment with health-promoting substances such as polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) is an important factor for consumers’ choice. Camelina meal (Camelina sativa) is an animal feedstuff used to achieve this goal, but the administration of n-3 PUFA-enriched diets in broiler nutrition can accelerate the oxidative processes in meat leading to a decreased quality of final product. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the organic Cr as chromium picolinate (CrPic) on meat quality, fatty acid profile of fat and oxidative stability of meat from broilers fed supplemented dietary Camelina meal. An experiment was conducted on 240 Ross 308 broiler chicken aged 14 days which were assigned to 6 dietary treatments in a randomized complete block design with a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement. Within the treatment arrangement two concentrations of Camelina meal (0% and 3%) and three concentrations of Cr3+ (0, 200 and 400 μg/kg) were used. Dietary treatments were: (1) Control diet (C) containing a corn–soybean diet with no added Camelina meal or Cr3+; (2) a C diet containing an additional 200 μg/kg of Cr3+ as CrPic; (3) a C diet containing an additional 400 μg/kg of Cr3+ as CrPic; (4) a C diet containing an additional 3% Camelina meal; (5) diet 2 containing an additional 3% Camelina meal; (6) diet 3 containing an additional 3% Camelina meal. Chromium supplementation significantly (P<0.05) increased the CP concentrations and significantly (P<0.05) decreased the crude fat concentrations in breast samples. The Camelina meal groups presented higher values of unsaturated fatty acids, particularly n-3 fatty acids (P<0.05). In CrPic groups, increased retention of Zn and Fe (P < 0.05) was observed in breast samples, compared to control group, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances values were significantly (P<0.05) smaller. Myoglobin fraction (metmyoglobin and oximyoglobin) concentrations differ significantly (P<0.05) from the control group, under the influence of Cr3+ supplements. This study found that broilers fed with CrPic supplements showed improved mineral composition and oxidative stability of breast meat, proving an effective protection of lipid molecules from oxidation in PUFA-enriched meat.
Campylobacter is the leading cause of foodborne bacterial gastroenteritis in humans worldwide, often associated with the consumption of undercooked poultry. In Jordan, the majority of broiler chicken production occurs in semi-commercial farms, where poor housing conditions and low bio-security are likely to promote campylobacter colonisation. While several studies provided estimates of the key parameters describing the within-flock transmission dynamics of campylobacter in typical high-income countries settings, these data are not available for Jordan and Middle-East in general. A Bayesian model framework was applied to a longitudinal dataset on Campylobacter jejuni infection in a Jordan flock to quantify the transmission rate of C. jejuni in broilers within the farm, the day when the flock first became infected, and the within-flock prevalence (WFP) at clearance. Infection with C. jejuni is most likely to have occurred during the first 8 days of the production cycle, followed by a transmission rate value of 0.13 new infections caused by one infected bird/day (95% CI 0.11–0.17), and a WFP at clearance of 34% (95% CI 0.24–0.47). Our results differ from published studies conducted in intensive poultry production systems in high-income countries but are well aligned with the expectations obtained by means of structured questionnaires submitted to academics with expertise on campylobacter in Jordan. This study provides for the first time the most likely estimates and credible intervals of key epidemiological parameters driving the dynamics of C. jejuni infection in broiler production systems commonly found in Jordan and the Middle-East and could be used to inform Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment models aimed to assess the risk of human exposure/infection to campylobacter through consumption of poultry meat.
Chicken primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the primary pluripotent stem cell types that will differentiate towards germ cells. High aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity is considered as a functional marker for the detection of cell ‘stemness’. In our study the ALDEFLUOR™ kit was used for determination of ALDH activity in PGCs. PGCs were co-stained with diethylaminobenzaldehyde (DEAB) and ALDH and analyzed by flow cytometry. Our results showed a small cell population (8.0 ± 3.3%) upon preincubation of the cells with the specific inhibitor DEAB, however cells without inhibitor staining showed a fluorescence shift as an ALDH-positive population (70.5 ± 1.6%). These findings indicate higher expression of ALDH in PGCs and ALDH activity can therefore be used as a new functional marker for the detection of cell ‘stemness’ in chicken PGCs. These results may have importance for characterization of PGCs as a potential genetic resource in poultry. Further research is necessary to elucidate the role of this functional marker in these cells.
Many economic losses occur in the poultry industry due to leg fragility. Knowing the genomic regions that influence traits associated with the growth and composition of the leg’s bone can help to improve the selection process leading to increased leg resistance to fracture. The present study aimed to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) for mineral composition and morphometric traits of the tibia in 478 animals from an F2 broiler × layer cross. The measurement of weight, length and width of Tibia was carried out at 42 days of age. Ash, dry matter, levels of calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), Zinc (Zn) and Calcium:Phosphorus (Ca:P) ratio were also recorded. The population was genotyped for 128 microsatellite markers and one single nucleotide polymorphism, covering 2630 cM of the chicken genome. A likelihood ratio test was performed to find QTLs. Additive and dominance effects of the QTLs were included in the model. In the chromosomes 2 (GGA2), 6 (GGA6), 8 (GGA8), 24 (GGA24) and 26 (GGA26) some suggestive QTLs (P<0.00276) were mapped for tibia weight (GGA2 and GGA26), ash percentage (GGA2 and GGA6), dry matter percentage (GGA2), Ca (GGA8 and GGA24) and Ca:P ratio (GGA8), many of which are close to genes already identified as good candidates for those traits. The suggestive QTL on GGA2 has a pleiotropic effect on ash percentage, dry matter and bone weight, whereas in the GGA8 there seems to be two QTLs, one for Ca and another for Ca:P ratio. Thus, this study identified at least five genomic regions, in different chromosomes, that can be targeted for further research to identify potential mutations influencing the development and composition of leg bones in Gallus gallus.
Furnished cage housing for laying hens has been introduced in some countries as a ‘welfare-friendly’ alternative to conventional cage systems. Whether this housing system would be acceptable to the public remains unknown. This pilot study aimed to engage the public through online discussions in order to investigate their knowledge, support and perception of laying hen welfare housed in furnished cages. During these discussions, a science-based information statement about furnished cages was introduced. Through a mixed method approach, surveys to assess beliefs and knowledge were administered to participants before and after the online discussion. We qualitatively analysed the online discussion transcripts to determine recurrent themes, and quantitatively measured levels of knowledge and support for furnished cages using pre- and post-forum surveys. Support for the introduction increased from 55% pre-forum to 65% post-forum. Additionally, the participants’ perceived welfare of laying hens in furnished cages and objective knowledge of furnished cages significantly increased after online discussion. These results suggest that engagement with the public combined with the delivery of science-based information may be important factors when considering whether to introduce new farming practices. Trust in industry through transparency and willingness to engage in discussions with the public might also mitigate public concerns.
This study aimed to set up methodology to monitor parasite-specific T-cell activation in vitro using Eimeria tenella-infected chickens. A sonicated E. tenella sporozoite protein preparation was used for the activation of chicken spleen cell cultures. Proliferation assessed by 3H-thymidin incorporation or blast transformation of T-cells assessed by immunofluorescence labelling and flow cytometry were used as read-outs for activation. Results showed that E. tenella-specific proliferation was detected in cultures of spleen cells collected in a ‘window’ between 8 and 14 days after primary infection. However, due to high variation in proliferative responses between individuals and to high background proliferation, large numbers of observations were needed to obtain significant results. Moreover, the outcome was not improved by increasing the infection dose to chickens or by depletion of T-cell receptor (TCR) γ/δ expressing cells from cultures. An E. tenella-specific blast transformation response was observed for TCRα/β expressing cells within the same ‘window’, confirming the identity of the responding cells as classic T-cells. Thus, it is possible to study the kinetics of E. tenella-specific T-cell responses in vitro. However, more in-depth phenotypic identification of the responding T-cells could improve the methodology.
In this study, we evaluated the in vivo comparative efficacy of ivermectin and Nigella sativa extract against helminths in Aseel chickens, and the effects of helminths on blood parameters before and after treatment in Aseel chickens. Forty naturally infected adult Aseel chickens were randomly divided into four groups (n = 10 each): group A (ivermectin at 300 μg/kg); group B (N. sativa extract at 200 mg/kg); group C (ivermectin at 300 μg/kg + N. sativa extract at 200 mg/kg); group D was kept as a positive control to monitor time-related changes. On day 28 post treatment, the mean percentages of faecal egg-count reduction (FECR %) in groups A, B and C were recorded as 93.58, 88.09 and 100.00%, respectively. Further data analysis showed significantly higher efficacy in group C (100 ± 0.00%) than in groups A and B (P < 0.001). Highly significant (P < 0.001) improvements in mean percentage values of packed cell volume (PCV %) were recorded in groups A and C on days 14 and 28 post treatment. Meanwhile, the improvements in mean values of haemoglobin (Hb) concentration in groups A, B and C were highly significant (P < 0.001) when compared to that of group D on day 28 post treatment. The synergistic combination of ivermectin and N. sativa extract possessed greater efficacy than either ivermectin or N. sativa extract used alone. Furthermore, both PCV % and Hb concentration values gradually increased in the treated groups compared to the control group, in which PCV % and Hb concentration gradually decreased throughout the trial.
The gut has great importance for the commercial success of poultry production. Numerous ion transporters, exchangers, and channels are present on both the apical and the basolateral membrane of intestinal epithelial cells, and their differential expression along the crypt-villus axis within the various intestinal segments ensures efficient intestinal absorption and effective barrier function. Recent studies have shown that intensive production systems, microbial exposure, and nutritional management significantly affect intestinal physiology and intestinal ion transport. Dysregulation of normal intestinal ion transport is manifested as diarrhoea, malabsorption, and intestinal inflammation resulting into poor production efficiency. This review discusses the basic mechanisms involved in avian intestinal ion transport and the impact of development during growth, nutritional and environmental alterations, and intestinal microbial infections on it. The effect of intestinal microbial infections on avian intestinal ion transport depends on factors such as host immunity, pathogen virulence, and the mucosal organisation of the particular intestinal segment.
The objective of the current experiment was to determine the effects of high-concentration phytase (5000 FTU/kg) feeding to diverse lines of chickens fed phosphorus (P) adequate maize–soybean meal diets (4.5 g/kg non-phytate P) on the performance and intestinal immune function. Performance was measured for outbred broiler (Ross 308) and inbred Fayoumi lines over 0–21 days, and duodenum and ileum were harvested for the determination of mucin-2, interleukin (IL)-1β and IgA mRNA by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Over the 0–7-day period, there was a significant line × diet interaction, as high phytase supplementation increased broiler average daily gain (ADG), but had no effect on Fayoumi ADG. Treatment of diets with phytase increased expression of the mucin-2 gene in the duodenum mucosa. There were significant interactions between line and age, and line, diet and age on duodenal expression of the IL-1β gene as phytase supplementation of the broiler line reduced IL-1β in comparison to control fed broilers without change in the Fayoumi line. Overall, the addition of a high concentration of phytase to broilers fed adequate concentrations of non-phytate P resulted in improved growth performance early with a reduction in this effect over time. Mucosal mucin-2 expression was increased with high-concentration phytase feeding across both lines, but IL-1β mRNA expression was reduced in the duodenum of broilers fed high concentrations of phytase, suggesting that the increased performance noted might be related to decreased inflammation.