Evaluating the efficacy of exogenous composite microbial enzymes in maize-soybean based broiler chicken feeds.
This research reported here was carried out to examine alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters as a result of their being banned in the animal feed industry. Four experiments were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of non-medicated feed additives as replacements for antibiotic growth promoters in broiler feeds. The additives used were enzymes (a new thermo-tolerant powder enzyme called TXAP, phytase, lipase and a new phytase enzyme derived from E. coli called phyzyme XP), organic acid (Acid Pak), prebiotic (Bio-Mos®) and probiotic (All-Lac XCL). Mashed maize-soya based feeds were used in all the experiments, which were conducted in litter-floor pens. The first experiment was a dose-response trial. Broilers in eight replicate pens of 50 males and 50 females were fed unsupplemented feeds and five additional feeds containing increasing levels of TXAP, from 0.5 to 2.5 g/kg to 42 d. The second experiment used enzyme TXAP with two different enzymes (phytase and lipase), individually or in combination. Six replicate pens of 50 males and 50 females were fed either unsupplemented feeds or one of six additional feeds treated with TXAP, lipase, phytase , a combination of TXAP and lipase, a combination of TXAP and phytase or a combination of all the three enzymes . This trial continued for 42 d. In the third experiment three types of TXAP (Lot 1, 2 and 3) were used, with fixed levels of xylanase and amylase but varying levels of protease activities (4000, 2000 and 1000 U/kg for Lot 1, 2 and 3, respectively) in combination with phyzyme XP for 35 d. The fourth experiment used mannan-oligosaccharide (Bio-Mos®), organic acid (Acid pak 2x), probiotic (All Lac XCL 5x), individually or in combination and an antibiotic growth promoter (Zinc bacitracin) for 42 d. The chickens in this experiment were challenged with Clostridium perfringens (CP) at 21, 22 and 23 d to determine the efficacy of these additives for replacing antibiotics in hindering the effects of CP on the villus surface area. The dose-response trial did not show any significant improvement in broiler performance with any level of inclusion of enzyme TXAP. The results from this study showed some beneficial effects with the use of enzyme TXAP when fed alone and at a young age. Its use when combined with other enzymes and at later stages of growth needs further investigation. Feed additives in experiment 4 prevented the negative effects of CP as the treated chickens did not have lesions on their villus surfaces. The conditions under which these trials were conducted appeared to be such that little benefit was derived from the use of any of the feed additives used. It is possible that under less-hygienic conditions such as those in commercial operations greater benefits from these additives may be realised.