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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2017

Authors: Lucke, A; Doupovec, B; Paulsen, P; Zebeli, Q; Böhm, J

Title: Effects of low to moderate levels of deoxynivalenol on feed and water intake, weight gain, and slaughtering traits of broiler chickens.

Source: Mycotoxin Res. 2017; 33(4):261-271

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Böhm Josef
Lucke Annegret
Paulsen Peter
Zebeli Qendrim

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds
Institute of Food Safety, Food Technology and Veterinary Public Health, Unit of Food Hygiene and Technology

Project(s): Development of a chicken model to study the effects of deoxynivalenol and counteracting feed additives

The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of low to moderate oral exposure to the Fusarium toxin deoxynivalenol (DON; derived from culture material) on performance, water intake, and carcass parameters of broilers during early and late developmental phases. A total of 160 Ross 308 broilers were randomly allocated to four different feeding groups (n = 40/group) including 0 (control), 2.5, 5, and 10 mg DON/kg wheat-soybean meal-based feed. Three consecutive replicates of the experiment were performed. Half of the broilers were slaughtered in week 3 of the trial whereas the other half were slaughtered in week 5. Dry matter intake (DMI) and water intake (WI) were recorded on a daily basis and the body weight (BW) and BW gain (BWG) were determined weekly. The following carcass traits were recorded and calculated in absolute and relative data: dressed carcass weight, breast muscle weight, leg weight, and liver weight. Data showed that BW (P < 0.001), BWG (P = 0.005), and DMI (P < 0.001) were reduced by DON-feeding during the entire feeding period. The ratio of DMI to body weight gain (DMI/BWG) was not affected by the treatment. However, the ratio of water to DMI (WI/DMI) increased in DON-treated birds (P = 0.021). Contrast analysis showed that DON tendentially reduced slaughter weight (P = 0.082) and decreased leg yield (P = 0.037) in DON-fed chickens in week 5 of the experiment. Liver organ weight decreased in the 3-week-old DON-fed broilers compared to that in the control-fed birds (P = 0.037). In conclusion, the study suggests that DMI and BW were negatively affected under the experimental conditions at DON levels lower than the current guidance value in the European Union of 5 mg/kg feed. The study also indicates that broilers fed on low to moderate level DON-contaminated diets showed increased WI/DMI ratio which might have negative influence on wet litter syndrome.

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