The Effect of Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methyl Butyrate on Immune Function and Mortality in Young Broilers
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2501 N. Loop Drive, Suite 300, Ames, IA, 50010
Dr. John C. Fuller, Jr.
AbstractMortality during broiler growout still averages from 4 to 6% in the US. Mortality and morbidity are primary sources of economic loss for poultry and livestock producers. Control of morbidity and mortality has generally been accomplished through the use of vaccines and feed antibiotics. In spite of these protective measures, livestock producers still suffer losses due to mortality and sub-clinical disease problems. At least half of broiler mortality is due to unidentified factors. It is therefore critical that the young chick's immune system has a strong start early in life. The leucine catabolite Beta-hydroxy-Beta-methyl butyrate (HMB) has been shown to reduce mortality of broiler chickens, most of which was due to an abatement of unidentified early mortality during the first three weeks of age. The objectives of this project would be to develop the use of HMB as an alternative to conventional drugs to control mortality in broilers. The proposed study will use in vivo and in vitro techniques to determine if HMB improves immune function in young broiler chicks and thus, reducing unidentified mortality of the broiler chicks. These studies would establish the basis for Phase II efficacy studies in poultry.
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