Background: Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is a dominant fruit crop in most of the Arabian countries. Date pits, as a major byproduct which remained after consumption of date flesh proved to be valuable source of energy.
Objectives: The impact of degraded date pits (DDP) on growth performance, intestinal bacterial population and expression profiles of intestinal genes in broilers were determined. Methods: Solid state degradation system (SSD) was used for the preparation of DDP using Trichoderma reesei. One-day-old Brazilian broiler chicks “Cobb 500” were randomly divided into six treatments with six replicates, which consisted of a normal diet containing only corn-soy (control), diet containing corn-soy + (20%, 50g/100Kg oxytetracycline), diet containing corn soy + 10% (DDP), diet containing corn-soy + 0.2% mannan oligosaccharides (MOS), diet containing corn-soy + 0.1% mannose and diet containing corn-soy + 0.2% mannose.
Results: There was no significant differences in body weight, feed intake and feed conversion ratio (FCR) in broilers among the treatments. Bacterial count was significantly decreased in 10% DDP diet fed broilers, 0.2% MOS and antibiotic diet fed broilers. Immunoglobulin levels in serum and intestinal contents and expression pattern of genes in jejunum were upregulated in 10% DDP and 0.2% MOS diet fed broilers.
Conclusion: DDP can be used as an energy source for replacing part of corn, mannan oligosaccharide and also recommended as a potential alternative to antimicrobials in broilers diet.