Sourdough works as growth enhancer in quail (Coturnix coturnix Japonica)
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This study was conducted to determine the effects of liquid or dietary supplementation of sourdough on quail performance, composition of caecal microbiota and ileum histomorphology. A total of 120 healthy 14 d old quail (Coturnix cot. Japonica) were divided into three dietary treatments with 4 replicates each including 10 mixed sex quail (5 males and 5 females). Treatments were 1) Control, 2) liquid sourdough (4 ml/l) in drinking water, 3) dried sourdough (5 g/kg) in experimental diet. The experiment lasted 21 days. Live weight gain (LWG), feed intake (FI), and feed conversion ratio (FCR) recorded weekly. Caecum microbiota and ileum histomorphology were determined at the 21st day of the experiment. Results showed that the dietary sourdough supplementation increased LWG and FCR (P< 0.05). FI was not affected by any treatments. Dietary sourdough supplementation decreased liver weight (P< 0.05). Both dietary and liquid sourdough supplementation increased the colonisation from 5.74 to 7.60 and 6.90 cfu g(-1) of yeast in the caecum respectively (P< 0.05). Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) count tended to increase without any statistical difference. The colonisation of Enterobactericaea, E. coli and Coliforme bacteria were not affected by any treatments, but Coliformes counts tended to decrease. Dietary sourdough supplementation increased villi length and villi width compared to control and liquid sourdough supplemented group (P<0.05). To conclude, sourdough showed a probiotic effect and enhanced growth performance by affecting caecum microflora and increasing ileum villi length when given with the diet. Further studies with different animal species and different methods of application are needed.