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Br Poult Sci. 2013;54(2):216-21. doi: 10.1080/00071668.2013.777691.

Effects of single or combined dietary supplementation of β-glucan and kefir on growth performance, blood characteristics and meat quality in broilers.

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Department of Animal Resource & Science, Dankook University, Cheonan, South Korea.


1. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary β-glucan and kefir (a fermented milk product) on growth performance, blood profiles, relative organ weight and meat quality in broilers. 2. A total of 375 day-of-hatch mixed sex ROSS 308 broilers (BW of 46 ± 0.1 g) were used in a 5-week experiment and randomly allotted to one of the following dietary treatments: (1) NC, basal diet; (2) PC, basal diet + 40 mg/kg of avilamycin; (3) B, NC + 0.1% β-glucan; (4) K, NC + 0.1% kefir; (5) BK, NC + 0.1% β-glucan + 0.1% kefir. 3. During weeks 0-3, broilers in B, K and BK treatments had higher body weight gain (BWG) than those in NC treatment. During weeks 4-5, BK treatment had a higher BWG than NC treatment. Overall, broilers given PC, K and BK diets had higher BWG than those given NC diet. The feed efficiency ratio (FCR) was improved by PC treatment. 4. Relative liver weight was increased by B treatment, whereas the relative weight of breast meat and gizzard was higher in BK group than that in NC group. Broilers given PC, B and BK diets had greater breast meat redness value and reduced drip loss at d 5 and d 7. The cooking loss was also reduced by B and BK treatments compared with NC treatment. 5. In conclusion, the results suggested that inclusion of 0.1% β-glucan and 0.1% kefir, either individually or combined, would improve growth performance and benefit meat quality in broiler chickens.

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