For the first time ever, a scientific study was done on the effect of antinutritional factors of soybean meal on the intestinal health of starter chicks. The outcome provides relevant insights to poultry nutritionists on the level of stachyose and raffinose they can afford to have in starter diets.
Ever since the first event, the International Conference on Poultry Intestinal Health has been recognised as the most important scientific forum of its kind. It brings together researchers, scientists, and industry experts from all over the world to review scientific studies and innovative concepts.
Hamlet Protein presented the results of a scientific study carried out with professors Sam Rochell, Guillermo Tellez and Doctor Kyle Teague from the Department of Poultry Science of the University of Arkansas (the USA).
The scientific trial was set up to demonstrate how soybean stachyose and raffinose harm intestinal health in starter chicks. In addition to the productive performance of the chicks, several intestinal parameters were evaluated: intestinal permeability, fecal moisture, epithelial morphology, cellular immune response. The results showed that the level of stachyose and raffinose in the feed of young chicks indeed has an effect on their productive performance and on their intestinal health.
Guillermo Tellez commented, “New insights were acquired on the linear effect of dietary stachyose and raffinose levels on the ratio of heterophils / lymphocytes in blood, which is a marker of immunological stress in birds. For the first time, the level of these two antinutritional factors in starter chick diets has been shown to have a negative effect on immune stress at the systemic level: the higher the content of stachyose and raffinose in feed: the higher the heterophils / lymphocytes ratio in blood.”
Alfred Blanch, category manager poultry at Hamlet Protein, added, “In other words, worse feed efficiency. Regarding the live weight of the chicks, we observed that levels below 1.2% of stachyose + raffinose in feed can have a positive effect, possibly due to a certain prebiotic role of these two compounds. However, when 1.2% of stachyose and raffinose in feed is exceeded, the weight of the chickens does not increase, and feed efficiency significantly worsens.”
Hamlet Protein will continue evaluating data from this project, focusing on microbiota, and will share further data when they become available.