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Live yeast probiotics in broilers: beyond gut microflora balance

Live yeast probiotics in broilers: beyond gut microflora balance

The live yeast LEVUCELL SB (Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii CNCM I-1079) is a probiotic that has well-documented positive effects on gut microflora, and improves animals’ intestinal wall structure, and strengthens natural defenses. Various trials under different farming conditions confirm its benefits on broiler performance.

Broilers’ performance and welfare in standard conditions

A recent trial was performed in an experimental farm (internal data, Lallemand) in 2018 over 35 days. The protocol recreated typical European farming conditions: 208 Ross PM3 mixed-sex broilers received a three-phase pelleted diet. Unfortunately, during the finisher phase, a viral challenge occurred for all animals (Infectious Bronchitis Virus), and the overall mortality reached 14.4%. Interestingly, this allowed researchers to see the broilers fed the probiotic yeast better resisted the health challenge.

  • The total mortality was reduced by 42% with the supplement (10.6 % vs. 18.3%).

This is mainly due to better resistance to the virus and the specific mortality linked to infectious bronchitis was reduced by 33% (9.6% vs. 14.4%).

  • The overall zootechnical performance was improved. Until day 25, likely due to sanitary conditions, both groups exceeded the breed standards of performance. In the finisher phase, as a result of the viral challenge, the economical feed conversion rate (FCR) worsened in both groups. However, in the probiotic group, it was improved by as much as 34%, resulting in more than 7% improvement over the whole period. Final body weight was increased by 2.7% (+ 60g at d35).

Broilers’ performance and welfare under intensive – AGP using – conditions

A trial conducted in the Philippines compared the effects of a feeding program including either LEVUCELL SB or an antibiotic growth promoter (AGP) in 10,000 chickens. Under these intensive rearing conditions, LEVUCELL SB reduced the mortality rate by 25% compared to the AGP (enramycin) — 4.89% vs. 6.56% with the antibiotic — and increased final body weight by 2% without damaging the FCR.

Overall, taking into account liveability and growth parameters, the Performance Efficiency Factor was improved by 14 points in the LEVUCELL SB group compared to AGP, meaning an +$0.03/ Kg of live weight.

Poultry products quality at slaughterhouse

Beyond these benefits, LEVUCELL SB’s ability to reduce broiler chicken carcass contamination by Salmonella spp. has recently been recognized by the European authorities (EFSA) and the industry. LEVUCELL SB received the innovation award at France’s leading livestock exhibition, SPACE.

In conclusion, LEVUCELL SB offers advantages for the whole food chain from bird health and performance to the poultry product quality.

Percentage of Salmonella positive broiler carcasses between control and probiotic yeast
(LEVUCELL SB) fed broiler chickens prior to pathogen challenge.
*P<0.05 (multi-analysis of five commercial trials, Demey et al., 2018) 

Published Oct 1, 2018 | Updated May 29, 2023

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