In our project we focus at rational desing of novel types of probiotics for poultry and pigs. Probiotic design is based on own knowledge and experiments. Central and key idea for the development of new generation of probiotics for chickens is to realise that chickens in commercial production do not come into contact with adult hens. However, conditions to which Gallus gallus have adapted during millions years of evolution is to be hatched in nests in a contact with adult hen. If the chicks were hatched in a nest, in a contact with mother and other flock members, they would develop adult type much faster, in fact within first days of the first weel of their life. Keeping this in our minds, we gradually characterise bacterial species that are transferred from hens to offespring, obtain them in pure cultures and prepare and test their mixtures as new types of probiotics.
In pigs and piglets, central for the development of new types of probiotics is the fact that there is different microbiota composition in sows and piglets under lactation. Sows therefore do not necessarily act as optimal source of microbiota for lactating piglets. At the time of weaning, composition of feed for weaned piglets changes and this is associated with rapid re-shaping og gut microbiota composition. Both in newborn and weaned piglets, there is a space for shaping gut microbiota composion by the introduction of correct microbiota members at correct time thus alleviating potentially accompanying gastrointestinal disorders.
Recently we have introduced another topic into our projects and this is microbiota of environment in chicken production. What is the source of gut microbiota for commercial chicks when hens are absent? What is the microbiota at the surface of eggshells and how these develop during hatching? What microbiota can be found in feed or drinking water? What microbiota is present in fresh bedding material and how does it change during broiler fattening? These topics are rather underdeveloped, despite the fact that chickens or pigs are in permanent contact and interactions with all these matrices.