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Effect of Different Feed Structures and Bedding on the Horizontal Spread of Campylobacter jejuni within Broiler Flocks

Author(s): Beate Skånseng | Birger Svihus | Knut Rudi | Pål Trosvik | Birgitte Moen

Journal: Agriculture (Basel)
ISSN 2077-0472

Volume: 3;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 741;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Campylobacter jejuni | poultry | whole wheat | oat hulls | litter | microbiota

In this study, we investigated the effects of different feed structures and beddings on the spread of C. jejuni in broiler flocks, and the effect on the cecal microbiota. Broiler chickens raised in 24 eight-bird group cages on either rubber mat or wood shavings were fed either a wheat-based control diet (Control), a diet where 50% of the ground wheat was replaced by whole wheat prior to pelleting (Wheat), or a wheat-based diet, such as the control diet diluted with 12% oat hulls (Oat). Samples from the cloacal mucosa of all birds were taken daily for C. jejuni quantification and cecum samples were collected at the end of the experiment for C. jejuni quantification and microbiota analyses. We have shown a statistically significant effect of increased feed structure on the reduced spread of C. jejuni in chicken flocks, but no significant differences were detected between types of structure included in the feed. No significant changes in the dominating microbiota in the lower lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract were observed, which indicates that feed structure only has an effect on the upper GI tract. Delaying the spread of C. jejuni in broiler flocks could, at time of slaughter, result in fewer C. jejuni-positive broilers.
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