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Growth performance, meat quality, and gut microflora of broiler chickens fed with cranberry extract

Leusink, G., Rempel, H., Skura, B., Berkyto, M., White, W., Yang, Y., Rhee, J.Y., Xuan, S.Y., Chiu, S., Silversides, F., Fitzpatrick, S., Diarra, M.S. (2010). Growth performance, meat quality, and gut microflora of broiler chickens fed with cranberry extract, 89(7), 1514-1523.


Cranberry fruit components have been reported to have antimicrobial activities against a variety of pathogenic bacteria and to be beneficial for human health. Studies on their effects are very limited in animals and especially in chickens. This study investigated the effect of feed supplementation with a commercial cranberry fruit extract (CFE) on the performance, breast meat quality, and intestinal integrity of broiler chickens. Twelve hundred male 1-d-old broiler chicks were allocated randomly to CFE treatments at 0, 40, 80, or 160 mg/kg of feed from d 0 to 35. Cloacal and cecal samples were collected weekly to evaluate the influence of treatments on the intestinal population of generic Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens, Enterococcus spp., and Lactobacillus spp. At d 35, BW were 1.62, 1.60, 1.61, and 1.64 kg for the control birds and birds fed 40, 80, and 160 mg of CFE/kg of feed,respectively. Feed intake ranged from 2.7 to 2.8 kg and feed efficiency from 1.8 to 1.9 g of feed/g of BW. However, the treatment effects on bird performance were not statistically significant (P > 0.05). The mortality rate tended to be lower (P = 0.09) in birds fed 40 mg of CFE/kg of feed. Feed supplementation with CFE did not significantly alter any broiler meat properties evaluated when compared with the control diet (P > 0.05). At d 28, the populations of Enterococcus spp. in cecal and cloacal samples were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in birds receiving CFE at 160 mg/kg of feed than the other groups. No significant differences were noted between the control and the treatment groups for general health and intestinal integrity (P > 0.05). These findings suggest that more studies are needed to investigate potential beneficial effects of CFE or its derivatives in broiler production. © 2010 Poultry Science Association Inc.

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