Poultry International - June 2017 - 34
34 ❙ PoultryInternational
Controlling poultry gut health
for maximum performance
Paying careful attention to feed ingredients and additives can
optimize poultry gut health, performance.
KIRAN DORANALLI, D.V.M., PH.D.
Gut health has a significant effect on broiler performance and, where poultry nutrition is concerned, there
are several steps poultry producers can follow to help
ensure flocks remain healthy and free from enteric disorders.
Well-being, health and bird performance are all
closely related to the proper functioning of the intestinal
tract, and as the industry faces continued pressure to
reduce antimicrobial use, understanding and modulating
poultry's digestive microflora is increasingly important.
Favoring beneficial bacteria
Good nutrition is important for flock health and performance,
and is becoming increasingly important as producers can rely
less on in-feed antibiotics. Evonik/Höfler
Gut health additives: four possible future
To ensure that poultry grow and gain weight healthily, what is happening in the birds' gut at a bacterial level
needs to be understood.
The gastrointestinal tract is populated by more than
400 different bacterial species, which live in distinct
sections of the tract. For instance, bacteria such as
Lactobacillus, Enterococcus and Streptococcus dominate the upper tract from crop to small intestine. In the
hindgut (ceca), however, 68 percent of the microbiota is
represented by the genus Clostridacea.
Gut bacteria ferment simple carbohydrates and
produce volatile fatty acids such as acetic, butyric and
propionic acid. These acids serve as an energy source
for epithelial cells, promoting digestion, and nutrient
absorption. To ensure that a bird's
digestive tract functions and develops
properly, it is essential to maintain the
correct balance of microbial populations in the gut. Once achieved, birds
can feed, grow and develop healthily.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ June 2017