Poultry International - June 2017 - 40
40 ❙ PoultryInternational
BIOTIN FOR POULTRY: AN ESSENTIAL BUT EXPENSIVE VITAMIN
terms, it is required everywhere. For those of us who had
the misfortune of sitting through nutrition metabolism
courses, it suffices to mention two enzymes that haunt every
nutrition graduate student: pyruvate carboxylase and acetylCoA-carboxylase. It seems a paradox that such important
enzymes, on which nutrient metabolism is based, depend on
a vitamin that must be consumed daily in such amounts that
are hard to measure.
tothenic acid deficiency. Perosis is the formation of gross lesions in foot pads that hinder movement. To understand the
significance of biotin in good skin condition, it is perhaps
interesting to mention that this vitamin is often included in
hair and nail care products - for humans, of course. But
it is also recommended for farm animals that experience
living conditions that reduce the strength of their claws or
hooves - such as those standing on wet surfaces.
Biotin deficiency symptoms
Biotin and avidin in eggs
When biotin is missing, basic metabolism slows down. I
believe this is easy to infer from the above. But, in poultry,
we have a couple of symptoms that make biotin deficiency
easy to detect. The first symptom is dermatitis, or rough
and scaly skin, especially around the beak and on the upper
surface of the legs. The second symptom in more severe deficiency cases is perosis, a condition that is shared with pan-
Biotin was first discovered in eggs, a rich source of
this vitamin, because it was observed that feeding raw egg
whites to animals caused symptoms of biotin deficiency. It
was then termed the "white egg injury." As it happens, egg
white contains an anti-biotin compound called avidin. This
is a glycoprotein that binds biotin, which is located in the
yolk, so strongly that it is virtually impossible to reverse
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www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ June 2017