Effects of dietary fiber and threonine on performance, intestinal morphology and immune responses in broiler chickens
Nasim Saadatmand, Majid Toghyani, Abasali Gheisari
The present experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of fiber and threonine (Thr) on growth performance, intestinal morphology and immune responses of broiler chickens. A total of 420 one-day-old mixed sex broiler chicks (Ross 308) were randomly divided into 6 experimental diets and 5 replicates of 14 chicks based on a factorial arrangement (2 × 3) from 1 to 42 d of age. Experimental factors included dietary supplemental fiber type (no supplemental fiber [NSF], 30 g/kg sugar beet pulp [SBP] or 30 g/kg rice hull [RH]) and Thr inclusion level (100% or 110% of Thr requirement recommended by breeder company [Ross 308]). Growth performance of broilers was assayed at different periods of the experiment. Intestinal morphometric features were measured at 21 d of age. Antibody titer against sheep red blood cells (SRBC), Newcastle and influenza disease viruses were measured on d 30 of trial. Dietary inclusion of SBP and RH significantly decreased feed intake and weight gain during the entire rearing period (P < 0.05). Interaction of fiber and Thr had no beneficial effects on the performance of chickens across the entire rearing phase. Dietary supplementation of 110% Thr required level improved jejunal morphometric features (P < 0.05), whereas its inclusion with fibrous materials failed to show the same effects. Dietary supplemental Thr together with SBP significantly increased antibody production against SRBC (P < 0.05). In conclusion, although supplemental 30 g/kg fibrous materials impaired growth performance, inclusion of SBP along with 110% Thr level improved the humoral immunity in broiler chickens.
Keywords: Broiler chickens, Fiber, Threonine, Weight gain, Antibody titer