Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Willis, Dr. Willie

Abstract

A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of phase feeding a combination of 3 different medicinal mushrooms (Lentinus edodes, Ganoderma lucidum, Pleurotus ostreatus) via Fungus Myceliated Grain (FMG) on broiler performance and health after natural and experimental exposure to field strains of Eimeria. A total of 300, day-of-hatch, female broiler chickens were weighed and randomly assigned into the following dietary treatment conditions: 1) 1 % starter, 2) 1 % grower, 3) 1 % starter-grower-finisher, 4) 5% starter, 5) 5% grower, 6) 5% starter grower-finisher, 7) 10% starter, 8) 10% grower and 9) 10% starter-grower-finisher. Each treatment was replicated 3 times with 10 chickens per replicate. Half the broilers in each treatment were challenged with a mixture of three pathogenic Eimeria spp. (E. acervelina, E. maxima and E. tenella) via oral gavage at 4 weeks of age. The body weights of broilers given FMG at the 1% inclusion level were significantly lower compared to broilers in the 5% and 10% starter phase. Eimeria counts for challenged broilers in the 5% grower phase were significantly higher than that of broilers given the 1% and 10% inclusion. Elevations in IgA and IgG levels were observed in the grower phase at the 1% level as well as the starter-grower-finisher phase at the 10% level.

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