Final report summary: Population-level biomarkers of gut health in commercial flocks

  • 6 pages

  • Published: 18 Oct 2021

  • Author(s): Priscilla Gerber

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Maintaining chicken gut health is considered to be of major importance for bird welfare and productivity. However, there is a lack of practical and easy-to-apply methods to objectively assess gut health on-farm. The main purpose of this project was to evaluate the application of non-invasive population-level biomarkers to monitor gut disruptors and microbiota composition in commercial chicken flocks. Non-invasive and easy-to-collect population-level biomarkers, such as poultry dust and pooled excreta, do not require terminal sampling and have the potential to provide flock-level metrics on microbial composition and burden of enteric pathogens using fewer samples and therefore at less cost. These tools, when established, could provide timely information that would help with the identification, implementation and evaluation of targeted interventions.