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Anim Biosci > Accepted Articles
https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.24.0042    [Accepted] Published online May 7, 2024.
Supplemental effects of different production methods of pine needle additives on growth performance, intestinal environment, meat quality and serum of broiler chickens
Yi-Qiang Chang1  , Seung-Kyu Moon1  , Yan-Qing Wang1  , Liu-Ming Xie1,2  , Soo-Ki Kim1,* 
1Department of Animal Science and Technology, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea
2State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Resources, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330047, China
Correspondence:  Soo-Ki Kim, Tel: +82-010-2965-3728, Fax: +82-2-458-3728, Email: sookikim@konkuk.ac.kr
Received: 23 January 2024   • Revised: 22 March 2024   • Accepted: 9 April 2024
Pine needles are rich in many nutrients and exhibit antibacterial and antioxidant biological activities; however, the effects of different production methods of pine needle additives on the growth performance and intestinal flora of broiler chickens are not known.
Normal diets were supplemented with PNF (Pine Needle Fermentation juice), PNS (Pine Needle Soaking juice), or PNP (Pine Needle Powder), and the associated effects on growth performance, relative organ weights, intestinal development, intestinal histological morphology, intestinal flora, meat quality, and serum indicators in broiler chickens were observed.
The results showed that PNF, PNS, and PNP all significantly improved feed utilisation and promoted the growth and development of broilers. All three additives also significantly improved the structure of the intestinal flora, specifically increasing the diversity of bacteria; increasing the abundance of beneficial bacteria, such as Faecalibacterium, Rikenella, and Blautia; and decreasing the abundance of harmful bacteria, such as Staphylococcus. The antioxidant properties of pine needles were also found to intensify lipid metabolic reactions in the blood, thus leading to lower TG and TCHO. Meanwhile, high doses of PNF reduced jejunum and ileum weights and also increased meat yellowness. Lastly, none of PNF, PNS, or PNP had an effect on relative organ weights or intestinal histological morphology.
In conclusion, the addition of pine needles to the diet of broiler chickens can effectively promote their growth performance as well as improve their intestinal flora and serum status without side effects; in particular, the dose of 0.2% of either PNF and PNS is expected to have the capacity to replace growth-promoting antibiotics as diet additives.
Keywords: Broiler Chickens; Feed Additives; Growth Performance; Intestinal Flora; Pine Needle

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