Specific breeds of broiler chickens produce a stronger immune response to Salmonella bacteria, researchers at the University of Maryland recently discovered.
Earlier research established that the age of birds and diets that change gut microbiota can also influence whether Salmonella colonize a chicken’s gut.
The final research results indicate a difference between fast- and slow-growing chickens when it comes to immune response, body weight and gut morphology,.
After 24 days age, the fast-growing birds were heavier, had greater jejunum gut integrity, and greater concentrations of immunoglobulins IgA and IgG in blood plasma.
Slow-growing birds had greater IgG concentrations at seven days and their gut integrity was more resilient to challenge by 24 days.
Behaviorally, fast-growing broilers were less exploratory, social and aggressive than slow growing.
Birds from both breeds and challenge treatments sat more and stood less on days 16 and 20 after challenge, which the researchers hypothesize could have been due to the stress of subjection to force feeding.