This article first appeared in the Poultry Health supplement published in August’s issue of Poultry Business
Feeding for good gut health is currently a popular topic as a result of pressures like the reduction of antibiotic usage and the ever-increasing pressures for efficient productivity.
Additives play an important role in supporting gut health with pre and probiotics being popular, but another alternative known to support a healthy gut, thus improving productivity is botanicals such as essential oils.
Essential oils, such as oregano, and their derivatives when included in a poultry diet can increase weight gain and improve feed conversion rates without the use of antibiotics. One such product is Techna’s Aviance.
This product is composed of a specially formulated blend of encapsulated active ingredient essential oils such as those found in oregano including oregano and thyme. Aviance has been proven in-field, across the world to improve FCR, increase weight gain and contribute to a well-balanced micro-flora.
When feeding essential oils, to gain maximum gain, slow-release encapsulation is important. The encapsulation ensures the active ingredient essential oils are available specifically to the intestinal tract, preventing prior degradation when passing first through the gizzard and stomach.
Techna’s trials with this method of targeted release of essential oils when developing Aviance, has shown that the targeted exposure to the blend of essential oils increased the length of villi in the intestine along the duodenum and jejunum. The increased villi length and crypt depth seen with Aviance, increases the absorption area, therefore allowing nutrients from the feed to be absorbed more effectively.
At the research facility Euronutrition near Le Mans, France, trials have been conducted to show that the efficiency of the encapsulation essential oils resulted in an improvement of metabolisable energy coefficient that equated to a matrix value of 50 Kcal.
Iain Campbell, Techna’s UK poultry technical manager, says: “Assigning a conservative matrix value to a product such as Aviance allows you to alter your formulation to account for the improved gut efficiency. So, you can get more out of your current feed or through precision nutrition, you can formulate to accommodate the extra energy available”.
“Some essential oil products, such as Aviance, are beneficial to both conventional and organic poultry while being verified to be used in organic systems. They are also incredibly versatile in that all poultry species, from turkeys and broilers to laying hens, can benefit from their use,” says Campbell.
So next time you are looking to feed for efficiency and improved productivity, consider the use of essential oils, and specifically if they are encapsulated or not.