The objective of the present study was to determine the effect of prebiotic and synbiotic preparations injected in ovo on day 12 of embryogenesis on both development of intestinal villi and the number of neutral goblet cells in the small intestine of male broiler chickens on day 35 of rearing. Eggs containing live embryos were randomly separated into five experimental groups (1800 eggs per group), and treated with different bioactive compounds by in ovo injection. The control group (C) was injected with physiological saline. The prebiotic groups (PI and PB) were injected with a solution containing 1.76 mg of inulin or with a solution containing 0.528 mg of Bi2tos. The injection solution for both synbiotic groups (SI and SB) consisted of 1.76 mg Inulin + 1000 CFU of L. lactis spp. lactis 2955 (SL1) or 0.528 mg Bi2tos + 1000 CFU of L. lactis spp. cremoris 477 (SC1). Samples for histological analysis were taken from the three segments of the small intestine: the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. Broiler performance increased in the prebiotic group injected with Bi2tos when compared to both the control group and the prebiotic group injected with inulin. In relation to other groups, in the duodenum and ileum the highest intestinal villi were observed in chickens with the lowest body weight, i.e. groups C and PI. The smaller surface area of villi was found in the jejunum and ileum in group SB. As far as the jejunum and ileum are concerned, a significantly higher number of goblet cells was noted in groups PB and SB.
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