Background: Innovative water treatments and purification processes have become a point of interest to provide solutions and meet the basic water requirements and demands. Clay plays a key role in environmental protection from pollutants through ion exchange and/or adsorption.
Aim: The study evaluated the adsorption and antimicrobial efficiency of clay in purifying polluted water, as well as the influence of clay-purified water on performance, immunity, and microbial counts.
Methods: The experimented 280 one-day-old Hubbard broilers were divided into seven groups on a deep litter system. Polluted water (lead nitrate; 500 mg/L, calcium sulfate; 80 mg/L, yeast extract 5%; 5 mg/L, diazinon; 2.5 ml/L, Salmonella Typhimurium; 1.5 × 106 CFU/mL, Eimeria tenella; 1 x 105 OPG/mL) was filtered using plastic basins of 1 m3 supplied with 60 cm layer of clay. Broiler groups (G1 to G6) were supplied with clay-filtered and G7 with control tape water. A total of 2182 samples including 54 water samples, 266 sera, 266 duodenal swabs, 266 breast muscles, 266 fecal samples, and 1064 organs including liver, spleen, heart, and bursa of Fabricius were collected.
Results: Weight gains, performance indices, water intakes, water/feed intake ratios, live body weights, carcasses weights, edible and immune organs weights, immunoglobulin G and M, total antioxidant capacity, lactate dehydrogenase, malondialdehyde, and superoxide dismutase revealed highly significant (p < 0.01) increases in all broiler groups supplemented with clay-filtered water compared to the control group. Meanwhile, total protein, alanine aminotransferase, creatinine, glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, cortisol hormone, total bacterial and Enterobacteriaceae counts, total Salmonella counts, and Eimeria tenella counts revealed highly significant (p < 0.01) declines in all broiler groups supplemented with clay-filtered water compared to the control group.
Conclusion: Clay filters provided high filtration, adsorption, and antimicrobial efficiency against polluted water, enhanced water quality, and improved performance and immunity in broiler chickens.
Key words: Antimicrobial, Broiler chickens, Natural Clay, Environmental Protection, Filtration, Immunity.