Novel Technology in Poultry Production and Nutrition: Role in Disease Prevention, Performance and Welfare Improvement and Sustainability

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Poultry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2024 | Viewed by 6050

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Unit of Avian Medicine, Clinic of Farm Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54627 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: broiler; layer; breeder; health; welfare; feed technology; management technology; poultry pathogens
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Animal Husbandry, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: broiler; layer; breeder; health; welfare; feed technology; management technology; poultry pathogens

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Nutrition, School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: animal nutrition; health; antioxidants; feed additives; aromatic and medicinal plants; alternative feedstuffs with bioactive compounds
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Animal Husbandry, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: broiler; layer; breeder; health; welfare; feed technology; management technology; poultry pathogens

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rapid global population growth and rising incomes in developing countries have led to increased demand for protein, which is one of the most expensive and limiting feed ingredients. The poultry industry can play a key role in alleviating poverty as well as food scarcity as it can provide high-quality protein and nutrients for human consumption through meat and eggs. However, poultry protein must be produced in a way that promotes the health and welfare of the birds while being ethical and environmentally friendly. The poultry industry faces an ongoing challenge to apply novel technologies and develop management strategies to optimize chicken performance while minimizing food safety concerns. For example, the shift away from antibiotic use in poultry has led industry and academia to find alternatives to AGPs to improve bird health, welfare and performance as well as prevent and control enteric pathogens. In addition, increased consumer demand for "organic" poultry products is further forcing this industry to avoid the use of AGPs and to implement more environmentally and poultry-friendly management practices. Considering the shift away from the use of antibiotics in poultry feed and the impact of zoonotic agents on poultry, public and environmental health, a “One Health” approach should be adopted. Taking all the above-mentioned factors into account, a wide range of novel, alternative, environmentally friendly technologies in poultry production and nutrition should be developed. All these technologies in poultry production and nutrition bring new challenges and demand a holistic approach through novel feed strategies in order to minimize the impact on poultry health and welfare as well as to guarantee food safety and security for a growing human population. The purpose of this Special Issue is to provide current knowledge on novel technology in poultry production and nutrition with the potential for disease prevention, performance and welfare improvement, as well as to improve sustainability in poultry.

Dr. Vasilios Tsiouris
Dr. Georgios C. Papadopoulos
Dr. Ilias Giannenas
Prof. Dr. Paschalis Fortomaris
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • broiler
  • layer
  • breeder
  • health
  • welfare
  • feed technology
  • management technology
  • poultry pathogens

Published Papers (5 papers)

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12 pages, 1326 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Impact of Spraying an Enterococcus faecium-Based Probiotic on Day-Old Broiler Chicks at Hatch on the Incidence of Bacterial Chondronecrosis with Osteomyelitis Lameness Using a Staphylococcus Challenge Model
by Anh Dang Trieu Do, Amanda Anthney, Khawla Alharbi, Andi Asnayanti, Antoine Meuter and Adnan Ali Khalaf Alrubaye
Animals 2024, 14(9), 1369; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14091369 - 2 May 2024
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Abstract
Bacterial chondronecrosis with osteomyelitis (BCO) lameness is a bone disease characterized by the translocation of bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract, which colonize microfractures in broiler leg bones caused by rapid animal growth rate and weight gain, resulting in lameness. As such, BCO lameness [...] Read more.
Bacterial chondronecrosis with osteomyelitis (BCO) lameness is a bone disease characterized by the translocation of bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract, which colonize microfractures in broiler leg bones caused by rapid animal growth rate and weight gain, resulting in lameness. As such, BCO lameness represents a significant challenge for the poultry industry. This study aims to evaluate the effect of spraying broiler chicks on d0 at hatch with an Enterococcus faecium probiotic on the incidence of BCO-induced lameness, utilizing a Staphylococcus aureus challenge model. There were four treatments: (1) negative control (no probiotic + no challenge, NC); (2) positive control (no probiotic + challenge, PC); (3) low dosage (4.0 × 108 CFU/chick + challenge, LOW); and (4) high dosage (2.0 × 109 CFU/chick + challenge, HIGH). On d5, groups two through four were challenged with Staphylococcus aureus through the drinking water at a concentration of 1.0 × 105 CFU/mL. Cumulative lameness incidence was determined through daily evaluations and necropsies conducted on lame birds starting from d22. Data were subjected to a binomial general regression analysis (significant p < 0.05). On d56, the PC group exhibited the highest cumulative lameness incidence (58.0%; p < 0.05), followed by LOW (36.0%), HIGH (28.7%), and NC groups (25.3%), respectively. These results suggest early probiotic application at day-of-hatch successfully reduced the incidence of lameness in challenged birds, thus contributing to understanding of efficient and sustainable broiler production. Full article
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19 pages, 20069 KiB  
Article
DFCCNet: A Dense Flock of Chickens Counting Network Based on Density Map Regression
by Jinze Lv, Jinfeng Wang, Chaoda Peng and Qiong Huang
Animals 2023, 13(23), 3729; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13233729 - 1 Dec 2023
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Abstract
With the development of artificial intelligence, automatically and accurately counting chickens has become a reality. However, insufficient lighting, irregular sizes, and dense flocks make this a challenging task. The existing methods cannot perform accurate and stable counting. In this article, a dense flock [...] Read more.
With the development of artificial intelligence, automatically and accurately counting chickens has become a reality. However, insufficient lighting, irregular sizes, and dense flocks make this a challenging task. The existing methods cannot perform accurate and stable counting. In this article, a dense flock of chickens counting network (DFCCNet) is proposed based on density map regression, where features from different levels are merged using feature fusion to obtain more information for distinguishing chickens from the background, resulting in more stable counting results. Multi-scaling is used to detect and count chickens at various scales, which can improve the counting accuracy and ensure stable performance for chickens of different sizes. Feature convolution kernels are adopted to convolve feature maps, which can extract more accurate target information, reduce the impact of occlusion, and achieve more reliable and precise results. A dataset of dense flocks of chickens (namely Dense-Chicken) has been collected and constructed, which contains 600 images of 99,916 chickens, with labeled points and boxes. It can be accessed by researchers as benchmark data. The proposed method was compared with some state-of-the-art algorithms, to validate its effectiveness. With its robustness being verified by counting in three kinds of density situations, with the mean absolute error being 4.26, 9.85, and 19.17, respectively, and a speed of 16.15 FPS. DFCCNet provides an automatic and fast approach to counting chickens in a dense farming environment. It can be easily embedded into handheld devices for application in agricultural engineering. Full article
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14 pages, 3204 KiB  
Article
In Ovo Feeding Techniques of Green Nanoparticles of Silver and Probiotics: Evaluation of Performance, Physiological, and Microbiological Responses of Hatched One-Day-Old Broiler Chicks
by Mervat M. N. Ahmed, Zienhom S. H. Ismail, Ibrahim Elwardany, Jayant Lohakare and Ahmed A. A. Abdel-Wareth
Animals 2023, 13(23), 3725; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13233725 - 1 Dec 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2064
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the in ovo feeding of green nanoparticles of silver (Nano-Ag), probiotics, and their combination on hatchability, carcass criteria and internal organs, biochemical parameters, and cecal microbial populations in hatched one-day-old chicks. On [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the in ovo feeding of green nanoparticles of silver (Nano-Ag), probiotics, and their combination on hatchability, carcass criteria and internal organs, biochemical parameters, and cecal microbial populations in hatched one-day-old chicks. On day 18 of incubation, 250 live embryo eggs were weighed and randomly assigned to one of five treatment groups: a negative control group, a positive control group consisting of chicks injected with 0.2 mL physiological saline, a group consisting of chicks injected with 0.2 mL Nano-Ag, a group consisting of chicks injected with 0.2 mL probiotics (Bifidobacterium spp.), and a group consisting of chicks injected with 0.2 mL combination of Nano-Ag and probiotics (1:1). The results showed that the in ovo injection of Nano-Ag or probiotics, alone or in combination, had no effect on hatchability, live body weight, or internal organs but improved (p < 0.05) chick carcass yield compared to the control groups. Furthermore, in ovo feeding decreased (p < 0.05) serum levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, urea, creatinine, alanine aminotransferase, and aspartate aminotransferase, as well as cecal E. coli, but increased Bifidobacterium spp. when compared to the control groups. Based on these findings, in ovo injections of green Nano-Ag and probiotics, either alone or in combination, have the potential to improve chick health and balance the microbial populations in hatched one-day-old chicks. Full article
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11 pages, 673 KiB  
Article
Dietary Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) Waste Inhibits Experimentally Induced Eimeria tenella Challenge in Japanese Quails Model
by Jamal Abdul Nasir, Naila Chand, Shabana Naz, Ibrahim A. Alhidary, Rifat U. Khan, Sajida Batool, Noha T. Zelai, Gianluca Pugliese, Vincenzo Tufarelli and Caterina Losacco
Animals 2023, 13(21), 3421; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13213421 - 4 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1035
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of dietary 3% oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) waste in enhancing the anticoccidial effects in broilers challenged with Eimeria tenella infection. The experiment involved a total of 600 Japanese quails, raised from [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of dietary 3% oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) waste in enhancing the anticoccidial effects in broilers challenged with Eimeria tenella infection. The experiment involved a total of 600 Japanese quails, raised from one to thirty-five days of age, which were divided into four treatment groups. These included a negative control group that received a basal diet (BD) without any anticoccidial or antibiotic supplementation in the non-challenged birds (negative control, NC); a positive control (PC) group consisting of NC birds challenged with E. tenella; a group that received the BD with an anticoccidial drug (standard); and a group that received the BD supplemented with 3% waste from oyster mushrooms (3% Pleurotus ostreatus). The results showed that the feed intake, body weight gain, and feed efficiency were significantly lower in the PC (p < 0.05). However, the growth traits were similar in the standard and 3% Pleurotus ostreatus-treated groups. Similarly, there was no difference (p < 0.05) in the mortality rate, oocyst count in the feces, and lesion score between the standard and 3% Pleurotus ostreatus groups. Based on intestinal histology evaluation, the villi height and width were significantly higher in the standard and 3% Pleurotus ostreatus-treated groups compared to those of the PC (p < 0.01). In conclusion, it was found that 3% Pleurotus ostreatus effectively mitigated the low growth rate of Japanese quails induced by coccidial infection. Full article
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24 pages, 1408 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Dietary Yeast Mannan-Rich Fraction on Broiler Performance and the Implication for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Chicken Production
by Saheed A. Salami, Jules Taylor-Pickard, Stephen A. Ross and Colm A. Moran
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1595; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111595 - 28 May 2024
Viewed by 303
Abstract
Dietary supplementation of yeast-derived mannan-rich fraction (MRF) could improve the gastrointestinal health and production efficiency of broilers, and, consequently, lower the environmental impacts of chicken production. The objective of this meta-analysis was to quantify the retrospective effects of feeding MRF (Actigen®, [...] Read more.
Dietary supplementation of yeast-derived mannan-rich fraction (MRF) could improve the gastrointestinal health and production efficiency of broilers, and, consequently, lower the environmental impacts of chicken production. The objective of this meta-analysis was to quantify the retrospective effects of feeding MRF (Actigen®, Alltech Inc., Nicholasville, KY) on the production performance of broilers. The meta-analysis database included 27 studies and consisted of 66 comparisons of MRF-supplemented diets vs. basal (i.e., negative control) and antibiotic-supplemented (i.e., positive control) diets. A total of 34,596 broilers were involved in the comparisons and the average final age of the birds was 35 days. Additionally, the impact of feeding MRF on the carbon footprint (feed and total emission intensities) of chicken production was evaluated using the meta-analysis results of broiler performance (MRF vs. basal diets) to develop a scenario simulation that was analyzed by a life cycle assessment (LCA) model. A database of all trials (MRF vs. basal and antibiotic diets) indicated that feeding MRF increased (p < 0.01) average daily feed intake (ADFI; +3.7%), final body weight (FBW; +3.5%), and average daily gain (ADG; 4.1%) and improved (p < 0.01) feed conversion ratio (FCR; −1.7%) without affecting (p > 0.05) mortality. A subdatabase of MRF vs. basal diets indicated that dietary MRF increased ADFI (+4.5%), FBW (+4.7%), and ADG (+6.3%) and improved FCR (−2.2%) and mortality (−21.1%). For the subdatabase of MRF vs. antibiotic diets, both treatments exhibited equivalent effects (p > 0.05) on broiler performance parameters, suggesting that MRF could be an effective alternative to in-feed antibiotics. Subgroup analysis revealed that different study factors (year of study, breed/strain, production challenges, and MRF feeding duration) influenced the effect of dietary MRF on broiler performance. Simulated life cycle analysis (LCA) indicated that feeding MRF decreased feed and total emission intensities, on average, by −2.4% and −2.1%, respectively. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that dietary MRF is an effective nutritional solution for improving broiler performance, an effective alternative to in-feed antibiotic growth promoters, and reduces the environmental impact of poultry meat production. Full article
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