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Early nutrition is crucial for young broiler chicks

An immature gut and immune system makes highly digestible feed a vital factor in securing the optimal growth of young broilers. Katia Pedrosa, poultry nutritionist at HAMLET PROTEIN, expands on the topic in an interview with Far Eastern Agriculture.

During the first 10-14 days after hatching, the digestive tract and immune system in young broilers are still developing. The immature digestive and immune system means that the newly hatched chick has a low resistance to pathogenic bacteria and viruses, and is unable to properly digest protein.

This makes it crucial to select the right feed ingredients for the first days of the chick’s life, as the nutrition of the broiler plays a significant role in attaining its full performance potential.
– Soybean meal, a widely-used feed ingredient, contains several anti-nutritional factors such as trypsin inhibitors, oligosaccharides and lectins. While these factors are not a problem for older broilers, they will have a direct negative impact on the development of the intestinal tract, gut microflora population and immunity if fed to freshly hatched chicks, says poultry nutritionist Katia Pedrosa from HAMLET PROTEIN in an interview with Far Eastern Agriculture.

A sub-optimal feed will contribute to more challenges for the chick and force it to draw important nutrients from its yolk sack, limiting its ability to build immunity. A better strategy is to use special starter feed where the soy has been treated with enzymes to reduce anti-nutritional factors and improve digestibility.

Read a free copy of the full article from Far Eastern Agriculture here.