Biochar, bentonite and zeolite supplemented feeding of layer chickens alters intestinal microbiota and reduces campylobacter load
journal contributionposted on 09.08.2018, 00:00 authored by Tanka PrasaiTanka Prasai, Kerry WalshKerry Walsh, Surya BhattaraiSurya Bhattarai, David MidmoreDavid Midmore, TH Van Thi, RJ Moore, Dragana StanleyDragana Stanley
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.A range of feed supplements, including antibiotics, have been commonly used in poultry production to improve health and productivity. Alternative methods are needed to suppress pathogen loads and maintain productivity. As an alternative to antibiotics use, we investigated the ability of biochar, bentonite and zeolite as separate 4% feed additives, to selectively remove pathogens without reducing microbial richness and diversity in the gut. Neither biochar, bentonite nor zeolite made any significant alterations to the overall richness and diversity of intestinal bacterial community. However, reduction of some bacterial species, including some potential pathogens was detected. The microbiota of bentonite fed animals were lacking all members of the order Campylobacterales. Specifically, the following operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were absent: an OTU 100% identical to Campylobacter jejuni; an OTU 99% identical to Helicobacter pullorum; multiple Gallibacterium anatis (>97%) related OTUs; Bacteroides dorei (99%) and Clostridium aldenense (95%) related OTUs. Biochar and zeolite treatments had similar but milder effects compared to bentonite. Zeolite amended feed was also associated with significant reduction in the phylum Proteobacteria. All three additives showed potential for the control of major poultry zoonotic pathogens.