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Effect of reducing dietary protein level on performance responses and some microbiological aspects of broiler chickens under summer environmental conditions

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This study examined the effect of different crude protein (CP) levels in the diet on growth performance of broilers as well as the total aerobic mesophilic count (TAMC) and Escherichia coli count (ECC) isolated from chicken faeces. A total 150 day-old broilers (Hubbard) were allocated to three treatments with five replicates containing 10 birds. The dietary treatments consisted of three diets with different CP levels for 42 days: high-protein (HCP, 22.5%), medium-protein (MCP, 20.5%), and low-protein (LCP, 18.5%). Body weight and feed intake were determined and the feed conversion ratio was calculated. Faecal samples were collected at 14, 21 and 42 days. Dietary CP did not affect the growth performance of broilers. Reducing CP level was effective at beneficially modulating the composition of the faecal microflora, in particular TAMC and ECC concentrations (log10 CFU g−1) were significant lower for the LCP birds. During hot temperature conditions (33°C and 70% relative humidity) a low protein diet may help to control the characteristics of the faecal microbial community without negative effects on broiler performance.
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Keywords: BACTERIA COUNT; BROILER; DIETARY PROTEIN; GROWTH PERFORMANCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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  • Avian Biology Research provides a forum for the publication of research in every field of ornithology. It covers all aspects of pure and applied ornithology for wild or captive species as well as research that does not readily fit within the publication objectives of other ornithological journals. By considering a wide range of research fields for publication, Avian Biology Research provides a forum for people working in every field of ornithology. The journal also includes sections on avian news, conference diary and book reviews.

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    Cover image: A male Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) with a bush cricket as prey, returning to the nest to feed its young. Photo by Anastasios Bounas

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