A new UK study shows that GalliPro® (Bacillus subtilis) helps broilers absorb more protein from wheat-based diets, allowing producers to cut feed costs, without cutting performance.
“The greatest cost in broiler production is feed, and in many markets, such as Europe, protein is the most expensive feed ingredient,” says Anée Berg-Kehlet, Product Manager for Chr. Hansen. “GalliPro® works by enhancing the digestive function of broilers, giving them access to more dietary protein and other nutrients. This enables producers to save money by using lower-quality feed, while maintaining the performance of their flocks.”
The 42-day study was conducted in commercial conditions in 552 male broilers, which were randomly allocated to one of six experimental groups. Four of these groups were fed standard, wheat-based broiler feed + GalliPro® with varying levels of digestible protein. Two other groups were fed control diets with no GalliPro®, with either standard or reduced digestible protein levels (Table 1). All birds were given unlimited access to feed and water.
On day 28, researchers changed the diet in each group from grower to finisher feed, weighing the feed at the end of each feeding period to measure feed intake. To determine impact on broiler performance, they assessed weight gain, feed consumption, feed conversion, survival and litter quality.
Improved weight gain, feed conversion
Results show that GalliPro® had a positive impact on weight gain and feed conversion. On day 42, birds that were fed standard ration plus GalliPro (Group 2) weighed significantly more than the birds in all the other groups (Figure 1).
Feed conversion rates were also numerically lowest in Group 2, but not significantly different from the full-protein control diet group (Group 1), or the group that was fed a 1% reduced-protein diet plus GalliPro® (Group 6) (Figure 2). There were no differences in survival or feed intake between any of the experimental groups.
“What is interesting to note is that birds fed the 1% reduced-protein diets plus GalliPro® gained just as much weight as the birds fed the full-protein control diet, with no significant differences in feed conversion or feed intake,” Kehlet observes. “This suggests that with GalliPro®, producers can save money by using a lower-quality diet, without compromising broiler performance.”
Less protein, better litter
Results also show that at the end of the study, litter from the low-protein groups (Groups 3, 4 and 5) was significantly cleaner and more friable than the litter from the high-protein groups (Groups 1, 2 and 6).
“Ammonia is a natural byproduct of protein digestion, so higher protein diets will produce more ammonia,” Kehlet explains. “By reducing protein levels in broiler diets, then, producers can not only save money, but also reduce ammonia — leading to better litter