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As effective probiotic Bacillus isolates that can increase BW gain (BWG) are identified, they may offer advantages in terms of stability, cost, and feed application over probiotics limited to drinking water application. Additionally, an effective direct-fed microbial (DFM) may offer an effective alternative to antibiotic growth promoters. Previously, 4 Bacillus isolates were identified and evaluated in our laboratory as potential DFM candidates. These isolates were shown to significantly increase BWG as well as reduce recovery of Salmonella after experimental infection. In the first experiment, isolates PHL-MM65 (a Bacillus laterosporus) and PHL-NP122 (a Bacillus subtilis) were evaluated using poults raised under commercial conditions. After 7 d of conventional brooding, poults were tagged, weighed, and placed in 1 of 4 replicate pens for each treatment group [negative control, 0.019% nitarsone, PHL-MM65 (10(6) spores/g of feed), or PHL-NP122 (10(6) spores/g of feed)] within the commercial turkey barn. At 23 d, poults were weighed and BW was calculated. Treatment with PHL-NP122 (853 g) or nitarsone (852 g) increased BW (P ≤ 0.05) compared with control (784 g), whereas treatment with PHL-MM65 (794 g) did not significantly improve BW. Also on d 23 of the trial, ceca were aseptically removed from 10 poults per pen and cultured for recovery of Salmonella. Both Bacillus isolates PHL-NP122 and PHL-MM65 resulted in a significant reduction (P ≤ 0.05) in the frequency of Salmonella by more than 25% compared with the controls. In a second experiment on a different farm, isolates PHL-NP122, PHL-RW33 (a B. subtilis), and PHL-B1 (a Bacillus licheniformis) were evaluated. None of the candidate Bacillus DFM or the group fed nitarsone had significantly different BW or BWG than untreated control. These data suggest that isolate PHL-NP122, when added as a DFM to turkey diets, may increase BW gain as well as nitarsone during the brooding phase of commercial turkey production.

Original publication




Journal article


Poult Sci

Publication Date





2627 - 2631


Animal Feed, Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Animals, Bacillus, Diet, Housing, Animal, Probiotics, Salmonella, Salmonella Infections, Animal, Turkeys, Weight Gain