A study detailing that work was published in the journal, Animal Production Science.
At IPPE, Gwendolyn Jones, head of product management and communication at Anco Animal Nutrition Competence GmbH, told us about the findings of that work. “We could see that pathways responsible for the antioxidative capacity of the bird are up-regulated.”
Broilers face a range of challenges during production - mycotoxin presence in feed, heat stress and stress related to flock density, she said. By supporting the animal’s antioxidative capacity, the product could enable lower impact from such stressors and thus more consistent production.
“If we can counter these stress reactions, evidently, you can help the animal to be more resilient when it comes across or is challenged by these types of stressors,” Jones said.
A more resilient bird also might have less need for antibiotic treatment during production, she added.
Feeding trial highlights and results
During the feeding trial, 500 broiler chicks received one of four diets for a 42-day period, according to the researchers. The diets contained one of four levels of the phytogenic premix (PP) at 0, 750, 1,000 or 2,000mg/kg diet.
The PP contains a blend of ginger, lemon balm, oregano and thyme, the researchers said. It was explored for its effect on growth performance, carcass traits, liver and meat total antioxidant capacity (TAC), nutrient digestibility and lipid oxidation.
In the intestine, the expression of several genes relating to nutrient transporter proteins, involved in cellular fatty acid uptake and metabolism, and connected to protein synthesis was also profiled, they said.
Birds receiving diets with 1,000mg/kg of the additive had improved carcass and breast meat yields and higher apparent metabolizable energy than birds in the control group, the researchers said. Adding higher amounts of PP in the diet increased breast, thigh and liver TAC, but TAC for breast and thigh meat plateaued at 1,000mg/kg while liver TAC saw a continued linear increase.
The incremental addition of PP linearly delayed lipid oxidation in breast meat and liver, they said.
Expression of LAT1 in the jejunum and mTORC1 in the duodenum and ceca expanded as more of the feed additive was used. The genes that saw altered expression were linked to nutrient transporter proteins and protein synthesis.
The researchers said the study contributed new information on effects of the PP on broiler meat yield and antioxidant capacity, digestibility, absorption and metabolic functions, further supporting phytogenic benefits for broiler production.
Anco is continuing the assess the impact of the product in both laying hen and broiler production, in commercial settings, and in relation to certain performance parameters, she said.
“In layers, for example, if you have greater resilience in the laying bird obviously that’s helping with laying consistency,” she said. “Quite a few [producers] are now trying to increase the laying period time because it helps to reduce the cost of production and as it helps to reduce the environmental impact of egg production.”
Source: Animal Production Science
Title: Effects of phytogenic inclusion level on broiler carcass yield, meat antioxidant capacity, availability of dietary energy, and expression of intestinal genes relevant for nutrient absorptive and cell growth–protein synthesis metabolic functions
Authors: K.C. Mountzouris, V Paraskeuas, E Griela, G Papadomichelakis, and K Fegeros