Effects of Enterococcus faecium and dried whey on broiler performance, gut histomorphology and intestinal microbiota


ARCHIVES OF ANIMAL NUTRITION, vol.61, no.1, pp.42-49, 2007 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 61 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/17450390601106655
  • Page Numbers: pp.42-49


The experiment was conducted to study the effects of supplementing a broiler starter diet with the probiotic Enterococcus faecium NCIMB 10415 and dried whey ( 80% lactose) on chick performance, gut histomorphology and intestinal microbiota. One-day-old male Ross 308 strain broiler chickens were fed diets containing: (i) control feed, (ii) control +3.5% dried whey, (iii) control +0.2% E. faecium, and (iv) control +3.5% dried whey +0.2% E. faecium. Birds were maintained in battery brooders confined in an environmentally controlled experimental room. The experiment lasted for 21 days. Birds fed E. faecium or E. faecium + dried whey exhibited significantly improved weight gain and feed conversion rate (FCR). Weight gain and FCR of treatment groups 1-4 were 628.7, 657.8, 690.9, 689.3 and 1.218, 1.193, 1.107, 1.116, respectively. Lactic acid bacteria counts in both the ileal content and excreta were significantly affected by dietary treatment. Supplementation of the E. faecium and dried whey separately and in combination increased lactic acid bacteria colonization in the ileal content from 4.2 to 5.0, 7.8 and to 5.1 log cfu/g, respectively (treatments 1 - 4). Similarly, supplementation of dried whey and E. faecium separately and in combination increased lactic acid bacteria in the excreta from 5.3 to 5.5, 8.0 and to 7.2 log cfu/g, respectively. Addition of the probiotic E. faecium increased villus height in the ileum (p < 0.05). Thus, supplementation of E. faecium enhanced broiler chick performance with respect to weight gain and FCR. No additive effect of E. faecium and dried whey was detected. Further studies are needed to investigate the relationship between E. faecium and dried whey with respect to gut histomorphology.