The effect of three strains of Lactobacillus based probiotics on the growth performance and semen quality of toms was conducted in a thirty-four week study. Eighty day-old (d 1) poults were randomly divided into 4 groups, replicated twice with 10 birds per replicate and assigned to four treatments; T1 (Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp Bulgaricus), T2 (Lactobacillus acidophilus), T3 (Lactobacillus sporogens) and T4 (control), in a completely randomized design (CRD). Feed and water were supplied ad libitum. Results showed significant differences (P<0.05) in the birds’ mean values for average daily weight gain, average daily feed intake, feed conversion ratio and final body weight. Birds on T2 had significantly (P<0.05) higher final body weight than other treatment groups. Toms on T4 had significantly (P<0.05) higher values for feed conversion ratio than birds on probiotic treatment with T2 recording the least value. However, the effect of treatments on the semen physical characteristics of the birds were also found to be significant (P<0.05). The birds on probiotic treatment recorded higher values for the semen quality indices under study than the control group, with T2 having the highest values. It was thus concluded that of the three strains of Lactobacillus based probiotics used in the current study, T2 (L. acidophilus) improved the growth performance and semen quality of local toms.
Key words: Artificial insemination, direct-fed microbial, growth, nutrition, turkey production.