Temporal dynamics of gut microbiota in caged laying hens: a field observation from hatching to end of lay

Nitish Joat, Thi Thu Hao Van, Dragana Stanley, Robert J. Moore, Kapil Chousalkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract: Gut health has major implications for the general health of food-producing animals such as the layer birds used in the egg industry. In order to modulate gut microbiota for the benefit of gut health, an understanding of the dynamics and details of the development of gut microbiota is critical. The present study investigated the phylogenetic composition of the gut microbiota of a commercial layer flock raised in cages from hatch to the end of the production cycle. This study also aimed to understand the establishment and development of gut microbiota in layer chickens. Results showed that the faecal microbiota was dominated by phyla Firmicutes and Proteobacteria in the rearing phase, but Bacteroidetes in mid lay and late lay phase. The gut microbiota composition changed significantly during the transfer of the flock from the rearing to the production shed. The richness and diversity of gut microbiota increased after week 6 of the flocks age and stabilized in the mid and late lay phase. The overall dynamics of gut microbiota development was similar to that reported in earlier studies, but the phylogenetic composition at the phylum and family level was different. The production stage of the birds is one of the important factors in the development of gut microbiota. This study has contributed to a better understanding of baseline gut microbiota development over the complete life cycles in layer chickens and will help to develop strategies to improve the gut health. Key points: • Faecal microbiota of caged hens was dominated by phyla Firmicutes and Proteobacteria in the rearing phase. • The gut microbiota composition changed significantly during the transfer of the flock from the rearing to the production shed. • The richness and diversity of gut microbiota increased after week 6 of the flocks age and stabilized in the mid and late lay phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4719-4730
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume105
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 16S rRNA gene sequencing
  • Firmicutes
  • Gut health
  • Gut microbiota
  • Layers
  • Laying hens
  • Proteobacteria
  • Pullets

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