According to his supervisor, Professor Leon Dicks, this is the first time that a probiotic for broiler chickens is based on the gut microbiome of free-range, healthy chickens. “In other words, a probiotic for chickens, from chickens,” Dicks said.
Neveling said he collected the discarded guts of free-range chickens that were slaughtered at the university’s Mariendahl experimental farm. He then mashed them into a liquid and plated it on to several hundred petri dishes.
As soon as the bacteria started growing, he would obtain them in pure culture and identify the species. After eight months, he succeeded in identifying six beneficial bacterial species - each from a specific section of the gut.
The next step was to test its safety as a feed additive and then its ability to decrease the incidence of salmonella in broiler chickens.