Effects of Feeding Grains Naturally Contaminated with Fusarium Mycotoxins on Performance and Metabolism of Broiler Breeders

by 5m Editor
30 October 2006, at 12:00am

By M. Yegani, T. K. Smith, S. Leeson, and H. J. Boermans - A study was conducted to investigate the effects of feeding grains naturally contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins on performance and metabolism of broiler breeders.


Forty-two 26-wk-old broiler breeder hens and nine 26-wk-old roosters were fed the following diets: (1) control, (2) contaminated grains, and (3) contaminated grains + 0.2% polymeric glucomannan mycotoxin adsorbent (GMA) for 12 wk. The major contaminant was deoxynivalenol (12.6 mg/kg of feed), with lesser amounts of zearalenone and 15-acetyl-deoxynivalenol. Feed consumption and BW were not affected by diet.

The feeding of contaminated grains did not significantly affect egg production. Decreased eggshell thickness was seen, however, at the end of wk 4, and dietary supplementation with GMA prevented this effect. There was no effect of diet on other egg parameters measured. There was a significant increase in early (1 to 7 d) embryonic mortality in eggs from birds fed contaminated grains at wk 4, but mid- (8 to 14 d) and late- (15 to 21 d) embryonic mortalities were not affected by diet.

There were no differences in newly hatched chick weights or viability. The ratio of chick weight to egg weight was not affected by the feeding of contaminated grains. Weight gains of chicks fed a standard broiler starter diet at 7, 14, and 21 d of age were not significantly affected by previous dietary treatments for the dam. It was found that rooster semen volume and sperm concentration, viability, and motility were not affected by the feeding of contaminated diets.

There was no effect of diet on the relative weights of liver, spleen, kidney, and testes. The feeding of contaminated grains decreased antibody titers against infectious bronchitis virus at the end of wk 12, and this was prevented by dietary supplementation with GMA. There was no effect of the diet on serum antibody titers against Newcastle disease virus. It was concluded that the feeding of blends of grains contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins could affect performance and immunity in broiler breeder hens.

The study is published in Poultry Science, Volume 85, September 2006 edition