Dietary supplementation of probiotics and synbiotics on intestinal microbial populations and gut morphology of turkey poults
The effect of dietary supplementation of probiotics and synbiotics on gut microbial population and histomorphological characteristics was examined in a 56-day experiment using 128 seven-day-old turkey poults fed with antibiotic, probiotic and synbiotic supplemented diets. The experimental design was a Randomised Complete Block Design. Poults were brooded for 7 days, after which they were allotted to 4 dietary treatments with 4 replicates of 8 birds per replicate. Treatment 1 was the basal diet with no
supplements while treatments 2, 3, and 4 were supplemented with antibiotics, probiotics and synbiotics respectively. On day 56, birds were slaughtered and digesta samples from the ileum were collected for
microbial load count and intestinal pH. After flushing out the digesta samples, sections of the ileum (5cm posterior to Meckel’s diverticulum) were removed for ileal morphological measurements. Probiotic and
synbiotic supplementation significantly (P<0.05) reduced the total coliform and total bacteria counts, meanwhile, lactic acid bacteria were significantly increased in birds on the experimental diets. The intestinal pH was slightly acidic across the treatment groups (6.45 – 6.83). However, the probiotic and synbiotic treatment groups had the lowest pH at 6.53 and 6.45 respectively. Probiotic and synbiotic supplementation significantly (P<0.05) improved the villus height and crypt depth of poults which was comparable to those on antibiotic diet. In summary, dietary inclusion of probiotics and synbiotics improved the overall gut integrity of the turkey poults as well as reduction in the populations of coliform and total bacteria, while the population of lactic acid bacteria was significantly increased.
Keywords: Antibiotics, Probiotics, Synbiotics, Turkey poults