[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this in vitro study was to evaluate the effects of combining a prebiotic with alfalfa on fermentation by laying hen cecal bacteria. Cecal contents from laying hens were diluted to a 1:3,000 concentration with an anaerobic dilution solution and added to serum tubes filled with ground alfalfa or a layer ration with or without fructooligosaccharide (FOS) prebiotic. Samples were processed in an anaerobic hood, pressurized by using a pressure manifold, and incubated at 37 degrees C. Volatile fatty acid (VFA) and lactic acid concentrations were quantified at 6 and 24 h of substrate fermentation. In this study, fermentation of alfalfa resulted in greater production of acetate, VFA, and lactic acid compared with the layer ration. Although with a relative inconsistency in data between trials, the amendment of FOS to both alfalfa and the layer ration appeared to further increase fermentation as demonstrated by overall higher propionate, butyrate, VFA, and lactic acid concentrations. The effect was more pronounced after 24 h of fermentation, implying time constraints for the optimal production of fermentation products in the chicken gastrointestinal tract. These data indicate that in vitro cecal fermentation can be enhanced by the addition of FOS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molting is a natural process, which birds undergo to rejuvenate their reproductive organs. The US poultry egg production industry has used feed withdrawal to effectively induce molt; however, susceptibility of Salmonella Enteritidis has encouraged the development of alternative methods. Previous research conducted in our laboratory showed that alfalfa is effective at molt induction and provides equivalent postmolt production numbers and quality when compared with feed withdrawal. In the attempt to further increase the efficacy of alfalfa molt diet and decrease the chicken susceptibility to Salmonella Enteritidis during molt, fructooligosaccharide (FOS) was added to a combination of 90% alfalfa and 10% layer ration in 2 levels (0.750 and 0.375%). Ovary and liver colonization by Salmonella Enteritidis in 3 and 2 of the 4 trials, respectively, were reduced (P <or= 0.05) in hens fed FOS-containing diets compared with hens subjected to feed withdrawal. Significant decreases in ce-cal Salmonella Enteritidis counts were also observed in 2 of the 4 trials. In 3 of the 4 trials, the same diets did not affect (P > 0.05) the production of cecal total volatile fatty acids when compared with hens undergoing feed withdrawal. However, in all 3 alfalfa molt diets, the concentrations of lactic acid were greater (P <or= 0.05) than hens with feed withdrawal, but no differences (P > 0.05) were observed among hens fed alfalfa combined with FOS and hens fed alfalfa/layer ration without FOS. Overall, given the similarities between hens fed 0.750% FOS (H) and 0.375% FOS (L), molt diets combined with the lower level of FOS should be sufficient.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of combining a prebiotic with poultry feeds on the growth of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium (ST) in an in vitro cecal fermentation system. Cecal contents from three laying hens were pooled and diluted to a 1:3000 concentration in an anaerobic dilution solution. The cecal dilution was added to sterile test tubes filled with alfalfa and layer ration with and without fructooligosaccharide (FOS). Two controls containing cecal dilutions and anaerobic dilution solution were used. The samples were processed in the anaerobic hood and incubated at 37 degrees C. Samples were inoculated with Salmonella at 0 and 24h after in vitro cecal fermentation and plated at 0 and 24h after inoculation with ST. Plates were incubated for 24h and colony forming units (CFU) enumerated. The samples immediately inoculated with ST without prior cecal fermentation did not significantly lower ST counts 24h later. However, samples pre-incubated for 24h with cecal microflora prior to ST inoculation exhibited reduced ST CFU by approximately 2 logarithms, with the most dramatic decreases seen in alfalfa and layer ration combined with FOS. The addition of FOS to feed substrate diets in combination with cecal contents acted in a synergistic manner to decrease ST growth only after ST was introduced to 24h cecal incubations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of alfalfa-based molt diets on molting performance and bone qualities. A total of 36 Single Comb White Leghorn hens were used for the study. There were 6 treatments: pretrial control (PC), fully fed (FF), feed withdrawal (FW), 90% alfalfa:10% layer ration (A90), 80% alfalfa:20% layer ration (A80), and 70% alfalfa:30% layer ration (A70). For the PC treatment, hens were euthanized by CO(2) gas, and bones were collected before molt was initiated. At the end of the 9-d molt period, hens were euthanized, and femurs and tibias were collected to evaluate bone qualities by peripheral quantitative computed tomography, mechanical testing, and conventional ash weights. The hens fed alfalfa-based molt diets and FW stopped laying eggs within 5 d after molt started, and all hens in these groups had reduced ovary weights compared with those of the FF hens. In the FW and A90 groups, total femur volumetric bone mineral densities (vBMD) at the midshaft were significantly lower, but those of the A80 and A70 groups were not significantly different from the values for the PC and FF hens. In cortical bone density, the midshaft tibial vBMD were significantly higher for FF and A70 hens than for PC hens. The medullary bone densities at the midshaft femur or tibia of the FW, A90, A80, and A70 hens were reduced compared with those of the PC hens. Femur cancellous densities at the distal femur for the FW and A90 hens were significantly reduced compared with those of the PC and FF hens. The FW, A80, and A70 hens yielded significantly higher elastic moduli, and the A80 hens had higher ultimate stress compared with the PC hens, suggesting that the mechanical integrity of the midshaft bone was maintained even though the medullary vBMD was reduced. These results suggest that alfalfa-based molt diets exhibit molt performance similar to FW, that medullary and cancellous bones are labile bone compartments during molting, and that alfalfa-based molt diets may be beneficial to maintain the mechanical properties of bones during molt.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An exercise for designing a quality control laboratory was developed as a laboratory group project in a senior level undergraduate advanced food microbiology course. The assignment was based on the student’s designing their own laboratory and implementing testing methods for different types of bacteria known to cause food-borne illness. Individual research papers and group project participation were required of each student. In each of the laboratory sections students were separated into groups of four students who were then responsible for a group project report describing and justifying a quality control laboratory design based on the detection of a particular food-borne pathogen. A survey questionnaire of students participating in the project was conducted to retrieve their perceptions of the different components of the exercise. Several general responses were evident. Students who did not expect to do scientific writing in their careers identified project activities such as determination of laboratory budgets as being the most difficult component and working with others as the most interesting component. The most difficult aspect of the team component was finding time for all members of the group to meet and getting participation from all group members. It appears that more instructional emphasis on scientific problem solving and group activity skills is needed if undergraduate food and poultry science students are to gain more confidence and ability to remain up to date with rapid technical developments occurring in laboratory science.
Journal für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit 05/2006; 1(2). DOI:10.1007/s00003-006-0013-6 · 0.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because food and poultry industries are demanding an improvement in written communication skills among graduates, research paper writing should be an integral part of a senior undergraduate class. However, scientific writing assignments are often treated as secondary to developing the technical skills of the students. Scientific research paper writing has been emphasized in an undergraduate course on advanced food microbiology taught in the Poultry Science Department at Texas A& M University (College Station, TX). Students' opinions suggest that research paper writing as part of a senior course in Poultry Science provides students with scientific communication skills and useful training for their career, but more emphasis on reading and understanding scientific literature may be required.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate effects of alfalfa and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) on molting performance and bone parameters compared with the conventional feed withdrawal molting procedure. A total of 36 Single Comb White Leghorn hens (84 wk of age) were used for this experiment. The hens were divided into 6 treatment groups with 6 birds per treatment: pre-trial control (PC), full fed (FF), feed withdrawal (FW), 100% alfalfa (A100), A100 + 0.375% FOS (A100L), and A100 + 0.75% FOS (A100H). At the end of the 9-d molt period, hens were euthanized, and tibia and femurs were collected to evaluate bone qualities using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), Instron (Model 1011 Instron Universal Testing Machine, Instron Corp., Canton. MA), and conventional bone assays. Egg production was recorded during the molting period to evaluate first day out of production, and ovary was also collected to measure ovary weight. Alfalfa molting diets had comparable molting parameters, such as percentage of BW loss, ovary weight, and first day out of egg production, to the conventional feed withdrawal molting procedure, and FOS supplementation did not have any detrimental effects on molting performance. Conventional bone assay and DXA results suggest that hens lose a considerable amount of bone minerals during a molting period. The tibia and femur bone strengths of the FF, FW, A100, and A100L hens were significantly lower than the PC hens, whereas hens fed A100H had similar tibia bone breaking strength to that of the PC hens. The bone parameters measured by conventional assays, bone breaking strength measured by Instron, and bone density and mineral content measured by DXA were highly correlated to each other.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A study was conducted to evaluate skeletal quality and eggshell parameters of molted hens at the end of the second laying cycle. Sixty Single Comb White Leghorn hens were used for this study. There were 2 controls and 4 molting treatments: full-fed control 1 (82 wk old; FF1), full-fed control 2 (122 wk old; FF2), feed withdrawal (FW), 100% alfalfa (A100), 90% alfalfa/10% layer ration (A90), and 70% alfalfa/30% layer ration (A70). At the end of the second laying cycle (approximately 122 wk of age), hens were euthanized by CO2. Tibia and femur were collected. There were no differences in bone parameters between FF1 and FF2 (P > 0.05) hens. There were no differences in bone parameters among the different molting dietary treatments (P > 0.05). In the eggshell parameters, the FF2 hens exhibited heavier egg weights than the FF1 (P < 0.05), whereas the percentage shell and egg production of the FF1 birds were significantly higher than those of the FF2 birds. Shell weights of the FW and A90 birds were significantly heavier than that of the A100. The correlation analysis showed that overall bone parameters were negatively correlated with eggshell parameters. Bone parameters were highly correlated with each other. Shell weight, percentage shell, and shell thickness were positively correlated with each other, whereas egg weight was negatively correlated with percentage shell. These results suggest that age of hens and molting dietary treatments influence egg parameters, and eggshell formation is closely related to bone metabolism in laying hens.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molting is a common practice used by the commercial egg industry to rejuvenate flocks for a second or third laying cycle. During this time the hens rest from production, and the reproductive organs are rejuvenated to increase production and quality during the next laying cycle. Although feed withdrawal (FW) is the most popular and effective method of molt induction, it has come under scrutiny due to food safety issues and animal welfare issues. This study involved feeding alfalfa mixed with layer ration at different ratios to hens to determine their ability to induce molt. The treatment ratios were 100% alfalfa (A100), 90% alfalfa and 10% layer ration (A90), and 70% alfalfa and 30% layer ration (A70). In addition, a fully fed (FF) nonmolted control and a FW negative control were used. Alfalfa is an insoluble, high fiber feedstuff with low metabolizable energy. Egg production for A90 and FW treatments ceased completely by d 6, whereas birds fed A100 and A70 ceased egg production by d 8. Ovary and oviduct weight of hens fed all molting diets decreased (P < 0.05) by an average of 1.5 to 2.5% (BW basis) compared with FF control during the 9-d molt induction period. As the percentage of layer ration increased, feed intake also increased and percentage of BW loss decreased during the 9-d molt induction period. Hens molted by FW lost an average of 25.8% BW, whereas A70 hens lost 18.9% BW. Nonmolted hens (FF) and A70 treatment hens had significantly lower (P < 0.05) egg production when compared with all other treatments over the 39-wk postmolt period. FF treatment hens also had lower (P < 0.05) albumen heights when compared with all other treatments. From these results, alfalfa or alfalfa mixed with layer ration appears to be viable alternatives to conventional FW methods for the successful induction of molt and retention of postmolt performance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A study was conducted to evaluate effects of different bone preparation methods on bone parameters and the correlations between bone breaking strength and the other bone parameters. Bone breaking strength is dramatically changed depending on bone preparation methods, whereas other bone parameters such as ash content and ash concentration are not significantly influenced by bone preparation methods. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of 3 bone preparations (fresh, dry, and fat-free dry) on bone parameters and the relationship between bone breaking strength and bone parameters. Sixty Single Comb White Leghorn hens were used for this study. Hens were euthanized by CO2 gas, and the right tibia and femur were collected. The bones were divided into 3 treatment groups: fresh, dry, and fat-free dry. There were no significant differences in fresh weight, bone volume, dried weight, ash weight, and ash concentration of tibia and femur among the treatments. However, fresh tibia (24.13 kg) exhibited more bone breaking strength compared with the dried (9.90 kg) and fat-free dried bones (7.41 kg) (P < 0.05). The bone breaking strength (20.97 kg) of fresh femur was also significantly higher than the dried (9.22 kg) and fat-free dried femurs (6.94 kg). The bone breaking strength of the fresh bone was highly correlated with dried weight, ash weight, and ash concentration, whereas that of the fat-free dried bone was poorly correlated with the other bone parameters. The results indicate that fresh bone gives better bone breaking strength correlated to the other bone parameters than dry or fat-free dry preparation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salmonellosis affects an estimated 1.4 million people a year with a great majority of cases never being reported. Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) can be found in a variety of foods including poultry meat and eggs. Susceptibility of SE colonization is increased by molting. Induced molting is used in the poultry industry to rejuvenate the hen??s reproductive tract and increase post molt egg quality and production. The most common molting method is complete feed withdrawal. Recent animal welfare pressures have encouraged the industry to seek alternatives to feed withdrawal with one alternative being feeding a high fiber diet like alfalfa. Alfalfa is high in protein, but low in energy which is desirable for a molt diet. Alfalfa??s fermentation properties have been thought to be an inhibitor in pathogen colonization during molting. Including a prebiotic such as fructooligosaccharide (FOS) in the molt diet is thought to further decrease colonization while benefiting the indigenous microflora. Laying hens were molted using alfalfa combined with different ratios of layer ration in an in vivo experiment. The hens responded comparably to the alfalfa molt dietsas they did to feed withdrawal as far as post-molt production parameters were concerned, thus showing that alfalfa was a viable alternative molt diet. Two in vitro studies were designed to evaluate the fermentation properties of alfalfa and layer ration combined with the prebiotic FOS and their abilities to inhibit Salmonella growth. Each treatment was combined with diluted cecal contents and allowed to ferment. The results showed that the most fermentation occurred when alfalfa was the substrate and was slightly increased with the addition of FOS. In addition, combining FOS with alfalfa inhibited Salmonella growth. To integrate these results, an in vivo study was preformed using an alfalfa/layer ration diet from the previous in vivo study with FOS. Volatile fatty acids and lactic acid measurements were made to evaluate fermentation while Salmonella colonization was measured in pertinent organs and in fecal shedding. The results of this study further substantiate alfalfa as a molt diet and conclude that the addition of FOS does, while not statistically significant, further inhibit Salmonella colonization.