Controlling Salmonella contamination in broiler production systems requires a multifaceted approach in which feed additives often play a significant role. A recent study evaluated the incorporation of two clay products in broiler feeds, offered to healthy and Salmonella-challenged birds (Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium).

A total of two hundred and forty 1-day-old male broilers were allotted in a two by four factorial arrangement in a randomized complete block design. There were two infection treatments (with or without Salmonella) and four diets: basal without clays, and the basal with three different clay applications.

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As expected, Salmonella infection significantly reduced the growth rate of chicks fed the basal diet, but dietary clays restored the growth depression caused by Salmonella, whereas changes in goblet cell function (part of the immune system) may have contributed to the benefits observed. Thus, clays used in broiler feed can be considered as part of a Salmonella control program, perhaps offering advantages against other, more expensive, additives.