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Res Vet Sci. 2006 Jun;80(3):291-8. Epub 2005 Sep 13.

Effects of supplementation of beta-glucan on the growth performance and immunity in broilers.

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College of Animal Resource Science, Kangwon National University, Chunchon 200-701, Korea.


Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of beta-glucan on commercial broilers. In experiment 1, one hundred and forty-four broiler chicks were employed in a 2x3 factorial design with cage and open floor housing with three levels of beta-glucan viz. 0%, 0.02% and 0.04%. In experiment 2, ninety-six broilers were used with 4 treatments: No beta-glucan and antibiotic (T1), beta-glucan 0.03% (T2), antibiotic (T3), and beta-glucan 0.03% + antibiotic (T4) for 34 d with 3 replicates of 8 chicks each in both studies. During experiment 1 there was no significant effect of the feeding system or the beta-glucan levels on the performance from 0 to 17 d but during 18-34 days birds housed on the open floor had significantly (p<0.0001) higher weight gain compared with those in cages. In experiment 2, no significant effect was noticed on the weight gains when the effect of beta-glucan, antibiotic or their interaction were tested. The retention of dry matter increased in both experiments with beta-glucan supplementation. The CD8 and TCR 1 cells were significantly higher in the 0.04% beta-glucan group at 42 days as compared with the control. It could be concluded that beta-glucan supplementation was beneficial for broilers.

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