D. Latorre, X. Hernandez-Velasco, L. R. Bielke, J. L. Vicente, R. Wolfenden, A. Menconi, B. M. Hargis & G. Tellez
ABSTRACT 1. The effects of the dietary inclusion of a Bacillus-based direct-fed microbial (DFM) candidate on digesta viscosity, bacterial translocation, microbiota composition and bone mineralisation were evaluated in broilers consuming rye-based diets. 2. In the present study, control mash rye-based diets (CON) or Bacillus-DFM supplemented diets (TRT) were administered ad libitum to male broilers in three independent experiments. 3. In Experiments 1 and 2 (n = 25/group), liver samples were taken to evaluate bacterial translocation, digesta samples were used for viscosity measurements and the intestinal microbial flora was evaluated from different intestinal sections to enumerate total recovered gram-negative bacteria (TGB), lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and anaerobic bacteria (TAB). Additionally, both tibias were removed for assessment of bone quality. 4. In Experiment 3, each experimental group had 8 replicates of 20 chickens (n = 160/group). Weekly, body weight (BW), feed intake (FI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were evaluated. At d 28-of-age, samples were taken to determine bacterial translocation, digesta viscosity and bone quality characteristics. 5. In all experiments, consumption of Bacillus-DFM reduced bacterial translocation to the liver and digesta viscosity. Additionally, DFM supplementation improved BW, bone quality measurements and FCR. Moreover, chickens fed on the Bacillus-DFM diet in Experiments 1 and 2 showed a significant reduction in the number of gram-negative and anaerobic bacteria in the duodenal content compared to control. 6. In summary, chickens fed on a rye-based diet without DFM inclusion showed an increase in bacterial translocation and digesta viscosity, accompanied by reduced performance and bone quality variables relative to the Bacillus-DFM candidate group. Hence, incorporation into the feed of a selected DFM ameliorated the adverse anti-nutritional effects related to utilisation of rye-based diets in broilers chickens.