Over 80 poultry professionals gathered in Salvador, Brazil for the Alltech Poultry Technical Roundtable ahead of the prestigious 24th World Poultry Congress. The theme of the meeting was “From Good to Great: Tapping the Power of Nutrition to achieve Genetic Potential”. Four speakers of international renown challenged the attendees to think differently about poultry nutrition.
Global Poultry Director for Alltech, Paulo Rigolin, said “Brazil succeeded in overcoming major obstacles over the past 30 years to become a significant player in today’s global market. However as the marketplace becomes more consolidated, the industry as a whole faces similar new challenges, many of which can only be tackled by rethinking poultry nutrition.”
Dr Gonzalo González Mateos, from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain, emphasized that poultry production is changing very rapidly and the industry needs to adapt to this situation. Amino acids, feed conversion ratio and energy are still very important but we should begin to focus on other areas now. In particular, his comments regarding the potential threats caused by thermal treatments such as pelleting and expanders dominated much of the discussion during the breakout session that followed.
In his talk on breeder nutrition, Dr Carlos Borges, formerly of Perdigao, told attendees that genetic evolution must be accompanied by nutritional adjustments in broiler breeders. Dr. Borges referenced the main benefits of using enzymes in breeders, such as the reduction of pathogenic bacteria and improvement in stool quality. This in turn results in fewer dirty eggs and less contamination of the eggs and chicks in the incubator.
Dr Fernando Rutz, University of Pelotas, who spoke to the attendees on early nutrition, highlighted that nutritional advancement has not kept pace with advancements in genetic selection and therefore does not yield the benefits perceived by consumers. In addition Dr. Rutz said, “Epigenetics, in ovo nutrition and post-hatch dietary conditioning are the keys for programming the genetic expression potential for breeder, embryo and chick nutrition.”
Veterinarian, Dr Mueez Ahmad, of Neogen, spoke on the subject of intestinal health management and shared insights into his program for raising antibiotic free (ABF) broilers. In his talk, Dr Ahmad touched on the challenges of fighting iseases such as runting and stunting syndrome (RSS) and clostridial related problems such as Necrotic Enteritis without in-feed antibiotics. In addition to an intestinal health management program including organic acids, probiotics and novel yeast carbohydrates (Actigen), Ahmad also listed nutrition, water and flock management as the cornerstones of his strategy to ensure the birds remain healthy and perform optimally.
Commenting on the meeting, Aidan Connolly, Vice President Corporate Accounts, Alltech, said “We must question the consequences of all nutritional decisions, even received wisdoms. Rarely do conferences reunite representatives of chicken production from 32 countries and provide a blue skies vision of poultry production in the next 20 years.”