Designing poultry diets for digestion. Photo: Alltech
Designing poultry diets for digestion. Photo: Alltech

Designing poultry diets for digestion

Alltech
- Alltech Company profile
18-01-2018 | | |
Designing poultry diets for digestion. Photo: Alltech
Designing poultry diets for digestion. Photo: Alltech

To improve the overall health of birds, attention needs to be placed on the whole production system. Healthy animals are much more likely to perform at their potential and produce more efficiently.

The gastrointestinal tract of layers is an ecosystem in which water, pH and bacteria need to be in balance. Setting the stage for this balance soon after hatch and maintaining it throughout the life of the animal is the key to maximising performance and farm profitability.

Digestion in an increasingly plant-based diet

The diet for the bird must be made so that it is quickly digested and, in the case of layers, eventually turned into the building blocks of eggs. Yet, today, consumer demands for all-veggie diets complicate efforts to design an easily digestible diet. The grains used to make up the energy and protein in the diet will only release a portion of nutrients after digestion. The rest of the nutrients are bound in the plant cells and can only be released if these plant cells are broken down.

Enzymes added to the diet can help to break down these plant cells and allow the grains to release more nutrients to the bird. Generally, enzymes work in a ‘lock and key’ model, in which a specific enzyme can only help to break down a specific compound. Because a poultry diet is complex, more than one enzyme may be needed to help with this breakdown.

Preventing bacterial overgrowth

How efficiently the feed is digested and absorbed by the bird can affect the bacterial balance in the gastrointestinal tract. Efficient breakdown and absorption of the feed by the bird can reduce the amount of undigested nutrients that reach the lower gut, where a diverse microbial population is concentrated.

This is important because, by reducing the undigested nutrients entering the lower gut, we reduce the potential of an environment to be created that supports opportunistic (potentially bad) bacterial overgrowth. Consequently, reducing the undigested nutrients reaching the lower gut helps to improve overall poultry health and performance.

Ancient process meets advanced technology

Nutritional technologies are available that can support this breakdown of nutrients. Through an ancient process called solid state fermentation (SSF), a selected strain of non-GMO Aspergillus niger works in synergy with the animal’s digestive system to break down layers of the feed that were previously inaccessible through digestion. This exposes more nutrient-rich layers for the animal to digest, such as amino acids, energy, protein and vitamins.

Advances in genetics have made today’s poultry more productive than ever. Any bird under environmental stress due to heat, cold, very dry or very humid air could have their feed intake patterns and intestinal tract affected, causing reduced digestibility. However, by paying close attention to the entire management system and to nutrition, poultry growers can respond quickly to challenges and achieve optimal potential.

To learn more about how Allzyme SSF click here.

Alltech
- Alltech Company profile

Alltech was founded in 1980 by Irish entrepreneur and scientist Dr Pearse Lyons, Alltech improves the health and performance of people, animals and plants through nutrition and scientific innovation, particularly yeast-based technology, nutrigenomics and algae. With more than 100 manufacturing sites globally, Alltech is the leading producer and processor of yeast and organic trace minerals, and its flagship algae production facility in Kentucky is one of only 2 of its kind in the world. The company’s guiding ACE principle seeks to develop solutions that are safe for the Animal, Consumer and the Environment and is actively supported by more than 5,000 team members worldwide. Alltech is the only privately-held company among the top 5 animal health companies in the world. This is a source of competitive advantage, which allows Alltech to adapt quickly to emerging customer needs and to stay focused on advanced innovation and long-term objectives. Headquartered just outside of Lexington, Kentucky, USA, Alltech has a strong presence in all regions of the world. For further information, visit www.alltech.com/news.                More about Alltech  

Alltech
- Alltech Company profile

Alltech was founded in 1980 by Irish entrepreneur and scientist Dr Pearse Lyons, Alltech improves the health and performance of people, animals and plants through nutrition and scientific innovation, particularly yeast-based technology, nutrigenomics and algae. With more than 100 manufacturing sites globally, Alltech is the leading producer and processor of yeast and organic trace minerals, and its flagship algae production facility in Kentucky is one of only 2 of its kind in the world. The company’s guiding ACE principle seeks to develop solutions that are safe for the Animal, Consumer and the Environment and is actively supported by more than 5,000 team members worldwide. Alltech is the only privately-held company among the top 5 animal health companies in the world. This is a source of competitive advantage, which allows Alltech to adapt quickly to emerging customer needs and to stay focused on advanced innovation and long-term objectives. Headquartered just outside of Lexington, Kentucky, USA, Alltech has a strong presence in all regions of the world. For further information, visit www.alltech.com/news.                More about Alltech  

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