Reports from IPPE

Novus assessing link between maternal nutrition and gene expression in the chick

© istock/Ugreen

On-going Novus gut health research in poultry includes a focus on breeder feed and trace mineral load, says researcher director. 

We caught up with Mercedes Vazquez-Anon, director of animal research at Novus, at IPPE in Atlanta.

She said the company is trying to increase its knowledge around gut health and poultry production including the areas of digestion, controlling for microflora, reducing inflammation and improving the barrier function in the gut to reduce leakage or the ability for pathogens to enter, she said.

Novus presented several abstracts at the expo. These included papers on the use of phytase on performance, bone ash and mineral digestibility; the interaction between wooden breast myopathy and dietary oxidized fat; and use of essential oils and organic acid on growth and gut health in challenged broilers.  

Trace elements 

The company has also been exploring the link between maternal nutrition and gene expression in the chick, said Vazquez-Anon.

“We studied zinc and what we found was that zinc in the mother regulates the expression of genes in the chick, more than zinc fed to the chick, where it has an effect is gut development and gut immune system,” she said.

Zinc can act as an anti-inflammatory, explained Vazquez-Anon. “Now we understand how zinc does it. At the gene level, zinc is inhibiting the cascade reaction of the pro-inflammatory proteins very early,” she added.

Next steps in its ongoing effort to optimize gut health in poultry include the examination of how diet interacts with vaccine use, as well as identification of methods to improve digestion and reduce inflammation, said Vazquez-Anon.

“We see those are the areas where we want to have a better handle,” she said. “We’re always looking for new products to be able to do those things and we use models to evaluate more prototypes.”

Zinc and copper precision

Another area that the company has been investigating is the reduction of zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) used in bird diets, said Vazquez-Anon.

Concerns over the amount of the minerals found in fecal matter, and questions over Zn/Cu levels in feed and antibiotic resistance in bacteria are leading to a push to limit amounts of such minerals in livestock production..

Novus has been finding that when bio-available versions of the trace minerals are used, adding excessive amounts can be counterproductive, she said.

“The benefits of chelated [minerals] is that you are providing the right amount,” she said. “You reduce the interaction and antagonism with the minerals, and it’s better for the environment and you reduce the antibiotic resistance.” 

Regional focus

Novus also has been tracking digestibility of feed ingredients in local markets. “We do research in the US, in Latin America, in China, because we realize that conditions are different, needs are different, regulations are different so we want to adapt to local needs,” added Vazquez-Anon.

That work has also had wider ranging implications in terms of learnings around skin healing or reduced scarring, she said. “We studied the genes that are involved in the process of wound healing and how nutrition can help that process,” she said.

That research led to a way to address footpad lesions, she said. A reduction in lesions is taken account of in some countries when measuring overall bird welfare, noted Vazquez-Anon.

Related News

'Producers need to keep zinc to copper ratios in mind, but they also need to look at their absolute zinc and copper supplementation levels to optimize productivity and return on investment.' © istock/Arie Mastenbroek

Should producers hike zinc levels in high producing dairy cows?

'Every living species has HDPs. I like to think of them as the animal’s natural antibiotics, they are peptides that are acting just like antibiotics that we have used for therapeutic control of disease for decades.' © istock

What do vitamin D and host defense peptides have to do with poultry gut health?

© istock.com/MaXPdia

Cargill making gut decisions when it comes to poultry

© iStock

Can spray-dried plasma boost gut health in young poultry?

© iStock.com

Sugar beets may offer feed alternative, boost young pigs' gut health

Cargill leveraging interest in mycotoxin binders and gut health additives

Cargill leveraging interest in mycotoxin binders and gut health additives

Cargill talks gut health, rumen functionality and antioxidants

Gut health, rumen functionality and natural antioxidants – Cargill reveals additives strategy

Nutreco fine tuning gut health research to support prudent use of antibiotics

Nutreco fine tuning gut health research to support prudent use of antibiotics

Broiler gut health: is Novus backed research showing the way?

Gut health in broilers: is Novus backed research showing the way?

Photo: istock/pichet_w

Genomics expose the role of phytogenics in gut health: Biomin

Bromelain supplement boosts gut health in sows and piglet growth

Bromelain supplement boosts gut health in sows and piglet growth

© iStock.com

Feather meal may boost growth, gut health in nursery piglets

© iStock.com

Finer grinding yeast supplements may boost broiler immunity, gut health

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.