Dietary effects of commercial probiotics on growth performance, digestibility, and intestinal morphometry of broiler chickens

  • Precious Jewel D. dela CruzEmail author
  • Clarita T. Dagaas
  • Karen Mae M. Mangubat
  • Amado A. Angeles
  • Oliver D. Abanto
Regular Articles


This study compared five commercially available probiotics vis-à-vis antibiotic growth promotant (AGP) supplementation and absence of feed additive based on efficiency, intestinal morphometry, and energy digestibility in improving broiler chicken production. A total of 630 straight run (Cobb) day-old broiler chicks were distributed to seven treatments following a completely randomized design, with ten replicates per treatment and nine birds per replicate per cage. Dietary treatments consisted of basal diet in combination with the following: without probiotics and AGP supplementation (treatment 1); 75 ppm each of chlorotetracycline (CTC) and Zn bacitracin (treatment 2); probiotic A, Bacillus subtilis (treatment 3); probiotic B, Bacillus subtilis (treatment 4); probiotic C, Enterococcus faecium (treatment 5); and probiotic D, Bacillus subtilis (treatment 6); probiotic E, Enterococcus faecium, Bifidobacterium spp., Pediococcus spp., and Lactobacillus spp. (treatment 7). At day 42, energy digestibility was determined by fasting three randomly selected birds from each treatment for 12 h and then subjecting them to their corresponding dietary treatments. Excreta were collected and pooled after 24 h of feeding. Pooled excreta were weighed, oven-dried, and subjected to energy analyses after 3-day collection. Apparent total tract metabolizable energy was then computed. At day 47, three birds were randomly selected per treatment for intestinal morphometry (villi height and crypt depth) of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. Dietary supplementation using probiotics showed no significant effect on overall body weight, weight gain, feed consumption, feed efficiency, dressing percentage, mortality, harvest recovery, carcass quality parameters (e.g., meat to bone ratio and abdominal fat content), intestinal morphometry, and energy digestibility. Birds under treatment 7 (basal feed + probiotic E) generated the highest income over feed and chick cost.


Production performance Carcass quality Probiotics Antibiotic growth promotant Apparent Metabolizable Energy Intestinal morphometry 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the Philippines Rural High School, College of Arts and SciencesUniversity of the Philippines Los BañosLos BañosPhilippines
  2. 2.Institute of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Food ScienceUniversity of the Philippines Los BañosLos BañosPhilippines
  3. 3.Los BañosPhilippines

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