Pashu Sandesh, 26 Feb 2021

Dr V. Rajendra Prasad

Modern intensive poultry farming has gained a phenomenal rise in the urban as well as rural sector. The growth of poultry farming has achieved tremendous gains in the efficient and economical production of high quality and safe chicken meat, eggs and poultry bioproducts.

The use of feed additives has been an important part of achieving success in poultry farming in terms of poultry health and production. The use of feed additives in India has been practised by large and small scale organized poultry farms across India.

Feed additives role:

a) Modifies intestinal microflora and help to improve the bird’s performance and health status.

b) Increases the digestibility of feed with improved FCR.

c) reduces the Inhibitory effect on enzymes produced by the microorganism.

d) Minimize the adverse effect of dietary changes

e) Reduce stress and increase productivity in terms of meat and egg production.

Anti-nutritional Factors and Digestibility:

Many feedstuffs contain antinutritional factors that interfere with the utilization of nutrients.

a) Some reduce protein digestibility, bind to dietary nutrients, or damage the gut wall.

b) With the ever-higher prices for corn and soybeans, many producers and companies are looking at alternative feed sources. 

c) Although several alternatives exist, most of them contain one or more antinutritional factors.

d) This can be corrected by supplementing a diet with enzymes, xylanases, proteases etc that are able to digest.

Mould Contamination and Mycotoxin Reduction:

a) Mold inhibitors such as organic acids are used to prevent mould growth.

b) Many poultry feeds contain a mycotoxin binder that binds to the mycotoxins and prevents them from being absorbed through the gut and into the bloodstream.

The use of Immunomodulators has many advantages including the modification of host metabolism, immunostimulation, exclusion and inhibition of pathogens in the intestinal tract and performance and decreases the human health risk.

Probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, for chickens and other avian species are commonly added to poultry feed or drinking water in order to help support birds' health, performance and growth. This is particularly important in young animals in which stable intestinal bacteria have not yet been established.

It is only recently that we have come to recognise and understand their importance in achieving high production and efficiency, maintaining health and wellbeing, improving product quality and safety and reducing the industry’s impact on the environment.