The Effect of Prebiotic and Probiotic Supplementation on Intestinal Maturity in Turkey Poults

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


The Ohio State University

Research Projects

Organizational Units

Journal Issue


The turkey industry operates by utilizing the least feed possible to achieve the highest quality muscle products attainable. Currently, feed grade antibiotics are used to increase the feed conversion ratio, or how much feed is required per pound of gain. However, antibiotics have become less attractive to consumers and several countries have banned them in meat production completely due to the potential for creating antibiotic resistant bacteria. Two potential alternatives to enhance growth are probiotics and prebiotics. The purpose of this study was to determine the growth stimulating potential of two probiotics, Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis and one prebiotic, a mannanoligosaccharide (MOS). Four groups of turkey poults were fed a commercial diet and three were supplemented with one of the feed additives. Turkeys were euthanized at 11 days post hatch and samples of the small intestine were collected to assess intestinal maturity. Morphological parameters were examined to determine if any of the treatments accelerated intestinal maturity. MOS and Bacillus licheniformis supplementation increased acidic goblet cell density. Bacillus subtilis had a negative impact on many intestinal parameters while exerting a positive effect on goblet cell density.


I won first place at the FAES Undergraduate Research Forum in the Animal Sciences: Nutrition category for presentation of this data.


probiotic, prebiotic, turkey, villus morphology, goblet cell