Avian necrotic enteritis (NE) is an infectious disease that impacts poultry worldwide causing economic losses. Discontinued use of antimicrobial growth promoters has been associated with high incidence of the disease, which has led to a necessity for finding new therapeutic alternatives. Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds that have been studied for their health-promoting properties in animals and humans. This study presents a flavonoid-rich corn (PennHFD), as a potential alternative for ameliorating NE in broiler chickens. The effect of a diet formulated with PennHFD was compared to a diet based on commercially available corn in chickens subjected to a controlled challenge of NE based on a co-infection of Eimeria maxima and Clostridium perfringens. Birds fed on the PennHFD-based diet had lower incidence of intestinal lesions (P = 0.048), higher body weight gain (P < 0.01), lower feed conversion ratio (P < 0.01), and lower mortality rates (P = 0.023) compared to the control diet. Therefore, we concluded that the inclusion of the high-flavonoid PennHFD reduces the severity of an experimental challenge of NE in broiler chickens.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology