Providing a ‘continuous nutrient link’ is one of the main challenges for poultry nutritionists. This was the key message of Prof Zehava Uni, of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.
Prof Uni spoke at the seminar 'Feed Your Brain', organised by Danish animal nutrition company Hamlet Protein at the first day of EuroTier, in Hanover, Germany. She is an expert in the digestive system of the chicken, and the influence of feed and specific nutrients.
She pointed out that there are various phases during a broiler's life when different kinds of nutrients need to be applied in order to ensure optimal growth. During each phase the broiler has different nutritional needs. Prof Uni summarised, "In poultry, at the immediate post-hatch period, the intestines are immature and are going under intensive process of proliferation and maturation."
She added that the first week post-hatching is critical, as there might be low resistance to physiological stress and microbial challenge. In addition, some nutrients, minerals and vitamins may not be absorbed.
Prof Uni distinguished the phases 'egg', 'incubation' and 'growing', and suggested the following actions during these phases:
Egg: Supplying nutrients to the developing embryo before hatching with in ovo techniques;
Incubation: Supplying feed within hatchery/delivery to the farm;
Growing: Using highly digestible/quality pre-starter diets.
All these elements need to be integrated in order to create a continuous feeding process from several days prior to hatching, during hatching and during the placement on a specialised farm.
Hamlet Protein can be found at EuroTier in Hall 16, stand A16.
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