Probiotic effect of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) on haematological parameters and growth performance of pullets fed palm kernel cake-based diet
Comparative Clinical Pathology
Department of Animal Health and Production, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Nigeria, N
This study evaluated the effect of probiotic (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) on weight gain, haematological parameters and the onset of egg laying in pullets fed palm kernel cake-based diet. After brooding, 100 pullets were randomly selected and divided into four groups (A-D) of 25 birds each. Diets for groups A to C were supplemented with probiotic at varied levels of 0. 6, 0. 8 and 1. 0 g/kg of feed, respectively. Group D diet had no probiotic (control). The feed for all the groups was isocaloric and isonitrogenous. Daily feed intake was determined, and the birds were weighed weekly. At the 9th and 15th weeks of age, five birds were randomly selected from each group and about 3 ml of blood was collected from each for haematological analysis following the standard procedures. The result showed that the packed cell volume (PCV) was significantly (P < 0. 05) higher in group C (28. 78 ± 0. 061%) than the other groups. All the probiotic supplemented groups had higher total leukocyte and absolute lymphocyte count than the control. Results also showed significantly higher (P < 0. 05) weight gain among the probiotic supplemented groups compared with the control between the 6th and 10th weeks of age. The results revealed that at the point of lay (18th week) group C had higher final mean live weight (1. 48 ± 0. 02 kg/bird) than group D (unsupplemented control; 1. 40 ± 0. 09 kg/bird). Group B was the first to drop egg at the 18th week, followed by groups A and C at the 20th week, while the control started laying at the 22nd week. In conclusion, probiotic supplementation improved weight gain, increased PCV, haemoglobin concentration, total leukocyte count and absolute lymphocyte count. The probiotic also reduced time of onset of egg laying. Probiotic (S. cerevisiae) inclusion level of 1. 0 g/kg of diet was recommended for optimum pullet development. However, there is a need for further studies to determine the effect of this probiotic on hen-day performance and egg quality. © 2011 Springer-Verlag London Limited.