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Effects of spray-dried colostrum and plasmas on the performance and gut morphology of broiler chickens

M. R. King A D , V. Ravindran A E , P. C. H. Morel A , D. V. Thomas A , M. J. Birtles B and J. R. Pluske C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

B Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

C Division of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150,Australia.

D Present address: Bioethics Centre, University of Otago, PO Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand.

E Corresponding author. Email:

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 56(8) 811-817
Submitted: 22 December 2004  Accepted: 19 May 2005   Published: 25 August 2005


The influence of feeding with starter diets containing spray-dried bovine colostrum (SBC), spray-dried bovine plasma (SBP), or spray-dried porcine plasma (SPP) on the growth performance and gut morphology of broiler chickens was investigated. The crude protein, lysine, and methionine plus cystine contents (g/kg as received) of SBC, SBP, and SPP were determined to be 766, 736, and 684; 58, 61, and 55; and 27, 28, and 24, respectively. The 3 test proteins were incorporated into a maize–soybean meal diet at a level of 50 g/kg and fed to 6 replicates of 8 male broiler chicks from 1 to 14 days of age. On Day 14, the experimental diets were replaced with a common grower-finisher diet, which was offered until Day 35. Dietary treatments had no effect (P > 0.05) on the weight gain or feed intake of birds during the first 14 days. However, feed/gain of birds fed the SBC diet was lower (P < 0.05) than of those fed the control diet. A trend for a reduction in feed/gain (P = 0.06) was observed in SBP and SPP diets. Dietary treatments had no effect (P > 0.05) on performance during Days 14–35 or Days 1–35. Villus height was increased by 5.7% (P < 0.05) and 4.6% (P = 0.05) in birds fed the SPP and SBP diets, respectively, compared with those fed the control diet. Crypt depth was 6% greater (P < 0.05) in birds fed the SPP diet and tended (P = 0.08) to be greater in birds fed the SBC diet, compared with birds fed the control. The ratio of villus height to crypt depth tended (P = 0.06) to be lower in birds offered the SBC diet compared with the control. Crypt goblet cell density was reduced (P < 0.05) by 13.9% in birds fed the SBC diet, compared with control birds. These results suggest that feeding with diets containing the SBC, SBP, and SPP during 1–14 days of age has some beneficial effects on broiler chickens. Further studies are needed to evaluate these products in less sanitary environments, which may increase the positive responses.


The authors acknowledge Proliant Inc. for providing the AP820 SBP, and Fonterra Ltd for providing the Immulac SBC used in this study.


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