Lallemand Animal Nutrition
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What's new

May 15, 2017

Feed ingredients improve nutrition, antioxidant status of birds in commercial poultry production

May 15, 2017

Recent research from Lallemand Animal Nutrition presented during the European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition (ESPN)

Commercial poultry production can cause oxidative stress, which decreases performance and reproductive efficiency in broilers, breeders and commercial layers. At a time of increased pressure to decrease antibiotic use in poultry production, Lallemand Animal Nutrition has focused their R&D efforts on offering complementary natural antioxidant solutions for broilers and layers. The company showcased three new antioxidant studies at the 21st European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition (ESPN 2017), which took place in Salou / Vila-Seca, Spain, May 8-11, 2017:

  • Model development for selenium enrichment in broilers following Se-yeast supplementation (Barbé F., Sacy A., Chevaux E., Castex M.)
  • Comparison of selenium bioavailability in laying hens fed different organic selenium sources (Barbé F., Sacy A., Poulain S., Chevaux E., Castex M.)
  • Stimulation of antioxidant defences and protection of the immune system in broilers supplemented with pelleted SOD-rich melon pulp concentrate (Barbé F., Sacy A., Carillon J., Chevaux E., Castex M.)

These studies were very well received by the poultry industry at a time of increased interest for natural approaches to enhance poultry production and support birds’ health status. In a context of increased pressure to reduce antibiotic use in animal feeding, reinforcement of natural defenses through support of immunity has become a key target for producers.

Selenium yeast bioavailability in broilers

Figure 1: Effet de la source de sélénium sur le contenu de Se dans les plumes à 14 et 32 jours.

One study presented was conducted in broilers to measure the bioavailability of organic selenium (ALKOSEL, selenium enriched yeast) as compared to inorganic selenium (sodium selenite) in various organs, (serum, feathers, muscle, bursa of Fabricius) in order to develop a practical method to evaluate selenium (Se) bioavailability. While it was shown that Se bioavailability and kinetics can differ according to the analyzed organ, it was concluded that:

  • ALKOSEL showed better efficiency than sodium selenite to enrich Se level in the four analyzed compartments: serum, feathers, muscle, and bursa of Fabricius, even as early as 14 days of age (first time point of the analysis).
  • Feathers represent a valuable and practical compartment to assess Se assimilation (Figure 1). Besides laying hens, growing animals such as broilers could therefore represent an interesting model to discriminate the assimilation of Se from different sources. Until now, in broilers, Se assimilation was usually assessed at the end of the production cycle, which did not give any information on the rate of Se metabolism and enrichment in the growing animals.

All selenium sources are not equal: laying hens study

Figure 2: Effect of the selenium source on Se transfer in whole egg

In this study, laying hens were used as a model to evaluate the bioavailability and transfer rate of different Se forms, through Se measurement in eggs and muscles. Se yeast (ALKOSEL) was compared to a mineral source (sodium selenite; SS) and two different sources of synthetic selenomethionine (SeMet); SM1 and SM2. The results obtained indicate the superior bioavailability of ALKOSEL as compared to those three sources of Se (Figure 2). Indeed, Se transfer ratios from feed to the egg yolk and albumen were significantly higher for Se yeast than for inorganic Se or synthetic SeMet sources. This can be explained by the fact that besides SeMet, ALKOSEL contains other active forms of organic Se, in particular Selenocysteine (SeCys), yielding a total organic selenium content above 98% and Se metabolic pathways in the body involve not only SeMet but also other amino acids, in particular SeCys. Therefore, the combined presence of SeMet and SeCys in ALKOSEL could offer optimal balance for Se uptake and utilization by the animal. Moreover, in this trial, eggs from ALKOSEL fed birds also showed the lowest water loss, a significant sign of egg quality.

Melon SOD supports broilers immune system

Melon superoxide dismutase (SOD) is a source of primary antioxidants used in poultry feeding (MELOFEED). It was previously shown to increase the endogenous expression of antioxidant enzymes in the reproductive tract of laying hens. A new study was conducted to evaluate melon SOD efficacy to reinforce antioxidant defenses in broilers and support their immune system when added in pelleted feed.

  • The study confirmed the mode of action of this antioxidant source with the increased expression of endogenous SOD in the birds’ bursa of Fabricius and in the intestine.
  • It also showed the efficacy of this SOD-rich feed ingredient to reinforce the birds’ antioxidant defenses, to support its immune system functioning as shown by analysis of the bursa of Fabricius, the most important organ of birds’ immune system. Furthermore it helps maintain muscle cells integrity and growth.

Finally, the study indicated that melon SOD was compatible with feed pelleting conditions used in this trial (Melon SOD inclusion in broiler feed, pelleting at 65°C for 10s and coating with 1% soya oil).