Latest breakthroughs in poultry production

10 May 20246 min reading

Jose Manuel de la Fuente García
Trouw Nutrition

Trouw Nutrition is unveiling poultry research findings targeting key production challenges. Antibiotic reduction, mycotoxin mitigation and Salmonella control will be highlighted at 8th International Conference on Poultry Intestinal Health.

Trouw Nutrition, Nutreco’s livestock feed business line, is contributing four research posters to the 8th International Conference on Poultry Intestinal Health (ICPIH) in Manila, Philippines, 17–19 April, and hosting a pre-event Salmonella control gathering on 16 April. Scientific study posters will offer new insights to inform some of the poultry industry’s most pressing concerns including Salmonella control, mycotoxin risk management and reducing antibiotic use in poultry production. 

During ICPIH, Trouw Nutrition researcher technician, Eva Vidal will deliver an oral presentation sharing findings from a study evaluating the use of a microencapsulated feed additive to reduce the excretion of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli in the production environment. Other highlights of Trouw Nutrition’s scientific contributions to ICPIH are previewed below.


 As chicken production transitions toward antibiotic-free practices, the use of organic acids (OA) and copper (Cu) has emerged as a promising alternative to in-feed antibiotics. A study involving 400 laying hens compared the effects of in-feed antibiotics with a synergistic blend of free and buffered short-chain with medium-chain fatty acids (Selacid® Green Growth) in combination with a high-dose of Cu hydroxychloride (IntelliBond® C) on performance and egg quality during the early phase of laying. Study findings showed that layers receiving OA plus Cu exhibited higher egg weight, egg mass, and yolk colour scores compared to layers given in-feed antibiotics. Additionally, layers supplemented with OA plus Cu had a lower feed conversion ratio (FCR) and reduced feed cost per kilogram of eggs produced. Study results suggest that the OA plus Cu supplementation strategy can be an economical and effective alternative for antibiotic-free egg production during the early stages of laying.


In 2024, supply chain disruptions will play a key role in increasing mycotoxin risk in raw materials and ultimately the poultry feed, especially in Asia. As binding mode of action can’t address all the mycotoxins in question, employing mitigation efforts that rely on multiple modes of action may deliver a more comprehensive strategy for managing mycotoxin risk. A study involving 360 laying hens looked at the effects of mycotoxin mitigation feed additives (TOXO®-HP and TOXO®-XL) in reducing negative gut health effects in birds exposed to dietary mycotoxins. In the study, birds consuming mycotoxins demonstrated several adverse gut health effects, including atrophy of villus in the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. Most of these adverse events were alleviated in the groups fed mycotoxin mitigating feed additives, indicating that producers can offset the health risks of mycotoxins in feed with the use of mycotoxin mitigating feed additives deploying multiple modes of action.  


Concerns about the development of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms has increased the market’s demand for alternative solutions to antibiotics. Organic acids (OA) have been regarded as a potential tool to reduce the need for antibiotics as they can support gastric acidification, enhance nutrient utilization, and inhibit pathogenic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). In a study involving 308 broiler chickens, researchers evaluated the efficacy of a water acidifier based on a synergistic blend of free and buffered short-chain fatty acids (Selko® AlpHa) compared with the effects of in-feed antibiotics. The results revealed that Selko AlpHa was equally effective as antibiotics in improving FCR and overall growth performance of broilers. The synergistic blend also was found to be better than antibiotics in reducing pH in various segments of the GIT, and in enhancing the villus height in the duodenum. Furthermore, the return over feed cost was higher for birds supplemented with Selko AlpHa compared to those given antibiotics. This study highlighted the potential of OA supplementation via water as a cost-effective approach to improve broiler growth performance and maintain gut health.


Compromised gut health can make birds more susceptible to Salmonella infection. A study involving 396 broiler chickens examined the effects on gut health for birds fed diets including a feed additive blend incorporating organic acids, medium-chain fatty acids, and a phenolic compound (Presan®-FY). Birds in the study were also challenged with Salmonella infantis. Treatment group birds demonstrated improved gut health scoring, and also showed lower levels of caecal Salmonella versus control. Findings indicate the feed additive was effective in helping to promote better gut health enabling birds to maintain health despite the Salmonella infection.


On April 16, Trouw Nutrition will host a special event, “Salmonella in poultry production: From feed to food”. Guest speaker, Jean-Michel Nebout will discuss emerging research and solutions to address one of the costliest pathogenic threats in poultry production. “This presentation will provide context for an event that consistently helps advance understanding of factors influencing flock health, productivity, and safety across the supply chain,” said Jose Manuel de la Fuente García, Global Feed Additives Lead Performance & Health, Trouw Nutrition. During ICPIH, delegates visiting Trouw Nutrition’s stand (#5) can explore a range of science-based solutions to maintain flocks’ intestinal health and productivity.