Skip to main content
SLU:s publikationsdatabas (SLUpub)

Forskningsartikel2023Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Effects of access to feed, water, and a competitive exclusion product in the hatcher on some immune traits and gut development in broiler chickens

Boyner, M.; Ivarsson, E.; Wattrang, E.; Sun, L.; Wistedt, A.; Wall, H.


1. This study evaluated the effect of access to feed, water, and the competitive exclusion (CE) product Broilact((R)), administered in the hatcher, on broiler performance, caecal microbiota development, organ development, intestinal morphology, serum levels of IgY and vaccine-induced antibody responses.2. In total, 250 chicks were hatched in a HatchCare (TM) hatcher and divided into four groups, given access to feed, water and the CE product sprayed on the chicks (CEs); access to feed, water, and the CE product in water (CEw); access to feed and water (Cpos); or no access to feed and water (Cneg) in the hatcher.3. At the research facility, 10 chicks per hatching treatment were euthanised for organ measurements. The remaining 200 chicks were randomly distributed to 20 pens. On d 11, all birds were vaccinated against avian pneumovirus (APV). Three focal birds per pen were blood-sampled weekly for quantification of IgY and serum antibodies to APV. On d 11 and 32, two birds per replicate pen were euthanised for organ measurements and sample collection. Feed intake and body weight were recorded weekly.4. Delayed access to feed and water reduced weight gain and feed intake early in life. At the end of the study, no differences in body weight remained.5. There were some early effects on organs, with depressed intestinal development and higher relative gizzard weight for the Cneg group at placement. No treatment effects on the immune traits measured were detected.6. The relative abundance of seven bacterial genera differed between treatment groups at d 11 of age. The results suggested that chickens are capable of compensating for 40 h feed and water deprival post-hatch. Provision of Broilact((R)) did not have any persistent performance-enhancing properties, although different outcomes under rearing conditions closer to commercial production cannot be ruled out.


Probiotics; hatching; immunoglobulin; microbiology; vaccine; histology

Publicerad i

British Poultry Science
2023, Volym: 64, nummer: 3, sidor: 330-342