Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Poultry Science (PhD)

Degree Level



Poultry Science


Billy M. Hargis

Committee Member

Lisa Bielke

Second Committee Member

Luc Berghman

Third Committee Member

Walter Bottje

Fourth Committee Member

Guillermo Tellez


Biological sciences, Antibiotic use, Direct-fed microbials, Growth performance, Poultry production, Probiotics


Historically, major driving factors for the animal agriculture industry have been efficiency and profitability. As demand for efficient food production has increased, the industry has focused research efforts on ways to improve the rearing process. Current market demands are requiring the industry to abandon some of the traditional tools it has used to maximize productivity. However, developing alternative technologies are available which may fill the void. Unfortunately, these alternatives are less well-described and the beneficial impacts they can have are not fully understood. As the animal agriculture industry matures it is becoming evident that consumers will continue to demand methods of production change to increase sustainability, produce safer food, produce food that is perceived to be more natural, and improve welfare of animals. In order to maintain profitability, companies have been very responsive to market pressures. As customers demand a particular product, companies make efforts to fulfill demand, or risk losing market share. The goal of the studies included herein is to determine what impact selected Socially acceptable, non-traditional technologies can have on the efficiencies of poultry production. The first study evaluates suitability of a commercially available direct-fed microbial (DFM) to replace traditional antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) in broiler feeds. This study indicates that an effective DFM can replace traditional AGP in poultry feeds and also improve growth efficiencies of poultry currently being grown without AGP. A second study evaluates the effects of inclusion of a unique blend of organic acids in the drinking water of turkeys on body weight loss during feed withdrawal and transport periods. The study suggests that by inclusion of this specific organic acid blend in the drinking water prior to harvest, body weight was positively affected in a manner that meaningfully impacts profitability. Taken together, these studies present non-traditional alternatives for implementation by poultry producers in an effort to meet consumer demands, improve welfare, and increase profitability.