This study evaluated the use of maize, groundnut and soybean stover in cattle feeding. The study assessed the value of upgrading the quality of crop residues. The study involved evaluation of palatability of maize stover improved using urea (U), chopped groundnut stover (cGS), chopped soybean stover (cSS), mineralized groundnut stover solution (mGS) and mineralized soybean stover solution (mSS). In the feeding trial, twelve (12) crossbred dairy cows in their second parity were used as experimental units. A 22 factorial experiment within a Completely Randomised Design (CRD) was used. Maize stover was chopped before being mixed with urea, chopped legume stover and mineralized legume stover solutions. The effect of supplementation using maize stover upgraded with U, cGS, cSS, mGS and mSS was studied for supplement intake levels. Urea Ensilage Treatment (UET) was used as the novel therapy in the study. Both legume type and processing method had influence on supplement intake of maize stover. Groundnut stover had significantly (p˂0.05) higher (0.99kg/day, se=0.04) effect on supplement intake of maize stover than soybean stover(0.83kg/day, se=0.04). The use of mineralized legume stover solution proved significant (p˂0.05) to the use of chopped legume stover in improving the intake of maize stover. Results have indicated that intake was highest (1.01kg/day, s.e=0.04) for mineralised groundnut stover solution and lowest (0.67kg/day, s.e=0.04) for Urea Ensiling Treatment.
Being part of fish's natural diets, insects have become a practical alternative feed ingredient for aquaculture. While nutritional values of insects have been extensively studied in various fish species, their impact on the fish microbiota remains to be fully explored. In an 8-week freshwater feeding trial, Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) were fed either a commercially relevant reference diet or an insect meal diet wherein black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae meal comprised 60% of total ingredients. Microbiota of digesta and mucosa origin from the proximal and distal intestine were collected and profiled along with feed and water samples.
The insect meal diet markedly modulated the salmon intestinal microbiota. Salmon fed the insect meal diet showed similar or lower alpha-diversity indices in the digesta but higher alpha-diversity indices in the mucosa. A group of bacterial genera, dominated by members of the Bacillaceae family, was enriched in salmon fed the insect meal diet, which confirms our previous findings in a seawater feeding trial. We also found that microbiota in the intestine closely resembled that of the feeds but was distinct from the water microbiota. Notably, bacterial genera associated with the diet effects were also present in the feeds.
We conclude that salmon fed the insect meal diets show consistent changes in the intestinal microbiota. The next challenge is to evaluate the extent to which these alterations are attributable to feed microbiota and dietary nutrients, and what these changes mean for fish physiology and health.
Fusarium solani, a soil-borne pathogen of stored potato may be disseminated, and thus, the damage caused by the pathogen may be aggravated by the grazing activities of arthropods. To investigate whether terrestrial woodlice contribute to the spread or, instead, to the control of F. solani, we launched a series of pilot experiments. First, a laboratory feeding trial was set up to find whether and to what extent woodlice consume the mycelia of fungal pathogens, namely, Aspergillus niger, F. solani, Macrophomina phaseolina, and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. This was followed by a second set of experiments to simulate storage conditions where potato tubers, either healthy or infected with F. solani, were offered to woodlice. We found that: (1) F. solani was accepted by woodlice but was not their most preferred food source; (2) the presence of woodlice reduced the spread of F. solani among potato tubers. Our results suggest that the classification of terrestrial woodlice as “storage pests” needs re-evaluation, as isopods have the potential to disinoculate infective plant remnants and, thus, reduce the spread of storage pathogens.
The objective was to determine the effects of an immunomodulatory feed ingredient following weaning on cytokine expression and fecal microbial populations of heifers. Commercial Angus heifers (n = 72) were weaned (227 ± 7 d of age), blocked by BW (n = 9 blocks) and randomly assigned to one of 2 pens per block. Pens within weight block (4 heifers/pen) were then randomly assigned to treatments. Heifers were fed twice daily from d 0-60 (to gain 0.75kg/day) and top-dressed with either 18g/heifer/d of the immunomodulatory feed ingredient (Celmanax; Arm and Hammer Animal Nutrition, Princeton, NJ, USA; CEL) or corn-germ meal (CON). Blood samples were collected on d 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 and fecal grab samples on d 0 of the feeding trial. After d 60, two heifers per pen (n=32) were randomly selected for a transportation challenge. Serum samples were collected at h 0, 4, 8, 12 and fecal grab samples at h -24, 0, 24 and 7d post-challenge. Blood samples were analyzed for interferonγ (IFNγ), interleukin-8 (IL-8), and haptoglobin (HP) using commercially available ELISA kits and qRT-PCR for genes of interest associated with cytokine expression. Fecal samples were enumerated for Clostridia and E. coli using selective media (≤ 5 isolates from each media/sample), tested to determine if they were C. perfringens or pathogenic E. coli, and then enriched for detection of Salmonella. Data was analyzed via ANOVA. During the feeding trial, HP was reduced (P = 0.018) in CEL compared to CON at d 15, 45, and 60, while IFNγ and IL-8 did not differ (P > 0.080) between treatments. All cytokines were decreased (P < 0.001) in CEL compared to CON during the challenge. During the feeding trial, HP mRNA was increased (P = 0.045) in CEL compared to CON at d 30 and 60. Similarly, IFNγ mRNA was increased (P = 0.040) in CEL compared to CON, however, other genes of interest did not differ (P > 0.172). Both C. perfringens and total E. coli counts were decreased (P = 0.036) in CEL compared to CON at 24h after the start of the transportation challenge. Clostridia and pathogenic E. coli counts did not differ (P = 0.941) between treatments. Total Clostridia and E. coli counts were increased (P < 0.014) 24h post-challenge. All microbial populations, except pathogenic E. coli, observed decreased (P ≤ 0.009) counts from 24h to 7d post-challenge. Overall, Celmanax supplementation decreased circulating cytokines, and altered microbial populations and gene expression, thus, may serve a role in preparing animals to better cope with immunological challenges.
Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) as in-feed probiotics is a potential alternative for antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) in the poultry industry. The current study investigated the effects of B. subtilis on the performance, immunity, gut microbiota, and intestinal barrier function of broiler chickens. A 42-day feeding trial was conducted with a total of 600 1-day-old Arbor Acres broilers with similar initial body weight, which was randomly divided into one of five dietary treatments: the basal diet (Ctrl), Ctrl + virginiamycin (AGP), Ctrl + B. subtilis A (BSA), Ctrl + B. subtilis B (BSB), and Ctrl + B. subtilis A + B (1:1, BSAB). The results showed significantly increased average daily gain in a step-wise manner from the control, B. subtilis, and to the AGP groups. The mortality rate of the B. subtilis group was significantly lower than the AGP group. The concentrations of serum immunoglobulin (Ig) G (IgG), IgA, and IgM in the B. subtilis and AGP groups were higher than the control group, and the B. subtilis groups had the highest content of serum lysozyme and relative weight of thymus. Dietary B. subtilis increased the relative length of ileum and the relative weight of jejunum compared with the AGP group. The villus height (V), crypt depth (C), V/C, and intestinal wall thickness of the jejunum in the B. subtilis and AGP groups were increased relative to the control group. Dietary B. subtilis increased the messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of ZO-1, Occludin, and Claudin-1, the same as AGP. The contents of lactic acid, succinic acid, and butyric acid in the ileum and cecum were increased by dietary B. subtilis. Dietary B. subtilis significantly increased the lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in the ileum and cecum and decreased the coliforms and Clostridium perfringens in the cecum. The improved performance and decreased mortality rate observed in the feeding trial could be accrued to the positive effects of B. subtilis on the immune response capacity, gut health, and gut microflora balance, and the combination of two strains showed additional benefits on the intestinal morphology and tight junction protein expressions. Therefore, it can be concluded that dietary B. subtilis A and B could be used as alternatives to synthetic antibiotics in the promotion of gut health and productivity index in broiler production.
The current work was designed to assess the effect of feed supplemented with essential oils (EOs) on the histological features in sea bass’s gastric mucosa. Fish were fed three diets: control diet (CTR), HERBAL MIX® made with natural EOs (N-EOs), or HERBAL MIX® made with artificial EOs obtained by synthesis (S-EOs) during a 117-day feeding trial. Thereafter, the oxyntopeptic cells (OPs) and the ghrelin (GHR) and somatostatin (SOM) enteroendocrine cells (EECs) in the gastric mucosa were evaluated. The Na+K+-ATPase antibody was used to label OPs, while, for the EECs, anti-SOM and anti-GHR antibody were used. The highest density of OP immunoreactive (IR) area was in the CTR group (0.66 mm2 ± 0.1). The OP-IR area was reduced in the N-EO diet group (0.22 mm2 ± 1; CTR vs. N-EOs, p < 0.005), while in the S-EO diet group (0.39 mm2 ± 1) a trend was observed. We observed an increase of the number of SOM-IR cells in the N-EO diet (15.6 ± 4.2) compared to that in the CTR (11.8 ± 3.7) (N-EOs vs. CTR; p < 0.05), but not in the S-EOs diet. These observations will provide a basis to advance current knowledge on the anatomy and digestive physiology of this species in relation to pro-heath feeds.
The abundance of peanut and poultry production within the state of North Carolina and the US Southeast, led us to conduct a layer feeding trial to determine the utilization of whole-in-shell high-oleic peanuts (WPN) and/or unblanched high-oleic peanuts (HOPN) as an alternative feed ingredient for poultry. To meet this objective, we randomly assigned 576 shaver hens to 4 dietary treatments (4 rep/trt). The dietary treatments consisted of a conventional control diet (C1), a diet containing 4% WPN, an 8% HOPN diet, and a control diet containing soy protein isolate (C2). Feed and water were provided for 6 weeks ad libitum. Pen body weights (BW) were recorded at week 0 and week 6 (wk6), and feed weights were recorded bi-weekly. Shell eggs were collected daily and enumerated. Bi-weekly 120 eggs/treatment were collected for quality assessment and egg weight (EW), while 16 eggs/treatment were collected for chemical analysis. There were no significant differences in BW or EW at week 6. Hens fed the C2 produced more total dozen eggs relative to C1 hens over the feeding trial (p < 0.05). Hens fed the C1 diet consumed less total feed relative to the other treatments with the best feed conversion ratio (p < 0.05). Most eggs produced from each treatment were USDA grade A, large eggs. There were no differences in egg quality, with the exception of yolk color, with significantly higher yolk color scores in eggs produced from the C1 and C2 treatments relative to the other treatments (p < 0.05). Eggs produced from the HOPN treatment had significantly reduced stearic and linoleic fatty acid levels relative to the other treatments (p < 0.05). Eggs produced from hens fed the WPN diet had significantly greater β-carotene content relative to eggs from the other treatment groups (p < 0.05). In summary, this study suggests that WPN and/or HOPN may be a suitable alternative layer feed ingredient and a dietary means to enrich the eggs produced while not adversely affecting hen performance.
The study was conducted on broiler chickens to investigate the effects of graded levels of kapok seed meal fed on performance. A total of 288 broiler chickens were used. The broiler chickens randomly divided into four treatments groups (four experimental diets) T1 (control), T2 (0.5kg/100kg), T3 (1Kg/100kg) and T4 (1.5kg/100Kg). At the end of the feeding trial (eighth week), fifteen birds (5 per replicate) from each treatment group were randomly selected for blood collection. About 2ml of blood was collected per bird. The result showed a significant variation (P<0.05) in WBC and lymphocytes. The blood parameters were within the normal ranges for broiler chickens. The result showed that birds fed control diet have higher urea compared to those in treatment 3. It was concluded that the inclusion of kapok (Bombax costatum) seed meal up to 1.5kg/100kg in the diet of broiler birds had no adverse effect as indicated by hematological and serum chemistry of the birds.