Poultry International - June 2017 - 37
PoultryInternational ❙ 37
well balanced, it is worth considering the effects different types of feed
have on the bacteria in a bird's gut.
Studies have shown that corn- and
sorghum-based diets promote the
growth of Enterococcus bacteria.
The research also shows diets based
on barley, oats and rye, however, increase the population of Lactobacillus,
Escherichia, Lactococcus and
Streptococcus. Ingredients such as
wheat, barley and oats have further
negative effects. They can increase the
viscosity of digesta and consequently
its retention time. This stimulates the
overgrowth of bacteria, further reducing the digestibility of nutrients and
creating a negative cycle.
The role of protein levels
The amount of protein in feed
also needs to be carefully considered.
Although proteins are essential for
any developing organism, an intake
of protein that is too high will do far
more harm than good.
June 2017 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com
Providing that a bird digests protein in the small intestine, the protein
will play its part in helping the bird
stay agile and healthy.
However, if protein in the small
intestine is not digested and starts
to ferment, it may produce various
toxic substances such as indoles,
phenols, ammonia, amines and amides. These substances stimulate the
growth of harmful bacteria, such as
Clostridium perfringens. Not only
are these bacteria frequently associated with enteric disorders, they are
also known as major cause of necrotic enteritis.
A well-balanced diet provides a
bird with the exact amount of protein
it is able to digest. What is also important, however, is to remember that an
optimal diet is not simply about the
quantity of proteins consumed; the
source and quality of the dietary protein can also make a difference. For
example, high levels of fish meal in a
bird's diet cause a significant increase
in Clostridium perfringens, which in
turn increases a bird's chance of developing necrotic enteritis.
Keeping poultry healthy, agile,
well developed and disease free is a
complex and multi-factorial task, but
it is worth remembering that financial
losses globally due to enteric disorders are thought to cost producers $6
for antibiotic-free poultry
A new collection of exclusive articles, blogs, infographics and videos
on antibiotic-free poultry production,
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Kiran Doranalli, D.V.M., Ph.D. is
head of technical support, gut health
solutions, at Evonik.