The effect of egg powder inclusion in the pre-starter diet on the immune response of male broiler chickens
Abstract. A completely randomised design was performed to evaluate the effect of inclusion of egg powder in the pre-started diet (1–7 day age) on the immune response of male broiler chickens. Experimental pre-starter diets formulated to have 0, 20, 40 or 60 g/kg egg powder. The relative weight of lymphoid organs (spleen and bursa) was reduced, in days 7 and 42 of age, by graded inclusion of egg powder in the pre-starter period (P≤0.05). The highest antibody titre against Newcastle disease virus (NDV) and Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) in days 7 and 42 of age was for chickens fed the diet containing 60 g/kg egg powder in the pre-starter diet (P≤0.05). At day 7 of age, birds fed the diet containing egg powder had a higher antibody titre against Infectious bursal disease virus (IB) compared to the control group (P≤0.05), but at day 42 of age, there was no significant difference between the treatments (P>0.05). There was no difference (P>0.05) among the treatments for the titre against sheep red blood cells and immune response against dinitrochlorobenzene. It was concluded that the inclusion of egg powder to the pre-starter diet could significantly enhance the immune response of the male broiler chickens.