This study evaluated the effect of yeast products on growth performance, visceral organ weights, endogenous enzyme activities, ileal nutrient digestibility and meat yield of broiler chickens fed diets containing autolyzed whole yeast (WY) and yeast cell walls (YCW) at varying levels of inclusion. Nine dietary treatments consisting of WY or YCW included at 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 g/kg diet and a control diet without yeast supplementation was used in the experiment. Each of the nine treatments was replicated six times with nine birds per replicate. Birds were housed in cages, in climate-controlled rooms and fed starter, grower and finisher diets. There was an improvement (p<0.05) in body weight gain and feed conversion ratio on d 10, 24, and 35 for birds fed 1.0 to 2.0 g/kg WY or YCW diet. Small intestine weight was heavier on d 10 and 24 for birds on higher levels of WY and YCW compared to the control group. On d 10 and 24, there was a significant increase (p<0.05) in tissue protein content and pancreatic enzyme activities (trypsin and chymotrypsin) of birds on 1.5 to 2.0 g/kg WY and YCW diets compared to the control group. Compared to the control group, birds on WY (2.0 g/kg diet) and YCW (at 1.5 and 2.0 g/kg diet) had better (p<0.05) protein digestibility on d 24. On d 35, there was significant improvement (p<0.05) in percentage of carcass, absolute and relative breast weight for broiler chickens fed WY and YCW mostly at 2 g/kg diet compared to birds on the control diet. Supplementation of diets with autolyzed WY and YCW products especially at 1.5 to 2.0 g/kg diet improved broiler chicken performance and meat yield through their positive effects on ileal protein digestibility and pancreatic enzyme activities.
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