New insights into starter diets for broilers

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Wavebreakmedia
© GettyImages/Wavebreakmedia

Related tags: starter diets, Broiler, Enzyme

Professor Richard Ducatelle, head of the laboratory of veterinary pathology, at the University of Ghent, is speaking at FeedNavigator’s conference next year, Young Animal Nutrition Summit 2020. His talk will concentrate on starter diets for broilers, taking into consideration the immaturity of the gut microbiome.

#YAN20 is a two-day event - March 3-4 2020 - focused on young animal nutrition, primarily broiler chicks and piglets.

Registration for the summit is live​ on the website. Take advantage of the early bird offer..

Prof Ducatelle will outline how chickens, in contrast to mammals, take up an adult type of feed from day of hatch, and how it takes approximately 10 days before an anaerobic environment is installed in the caeca allowing the initial steps of the establishment of a mature microbiota. Before that time, he says, the breaking down of several components of the feed during passage through the intestinal tract is incomplete. 

He is involved in a several research projects investigating the mechanisms by which feed additives and feed processing can improve gut health and digestion/absorption of nutrients during the starter phase. He tells us what has been learned so far and provides guidance for improving the performance during the starter phase. Some of his key points include:  

  • During the starter phase, the epithelial cells lining the intestine are extremely susceptible to (oxidative) stress from any source, even from the minerals in the feed supplement.
  • Exogenous enzymes added to the feed can compensate for the shortage of host enzymes protecting the intestinal mucosa and microbial enzymes breaking down the NSP.
  • Some probiotic microorganisms can support natural defense mechanisms in the gut.

Senior scientist in the research group investigating poultry intestinal health at Ghent University, Prof Ducatelle’s research efforts have resulted in more than 600 scientific papers, more than 30 PhD theses, and 10 patents. 

We are honored to have him on board.

Download the advance program for the FeedNavigator Young Animal Nutrition Summit 2020 here​.

Don’t miss out, register now​ for this critical event. 

Related topics: R&D

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