March 16, 2007
Dutch study says zinc promotes feather recovery of birds
The addition of zinc to the drinking water promotes the recovery of the feather pack of poultry and supplementation of fresh straw seems to cure skin infections in the birds, according to research conducted by Dutch Health Institute for Animals (GD).
Dutch free range, cage and Freiland birds contend with mysterious skin problems since 2004. The birds lose their feathers and have round damages on belly and cloaca or the posterior opening that serves as the aperture for intestinal, urinary and genital tracts of an animal. The mortality of these problems can reach 1 percent or more per week. No correlation was noted between type of birds, feed producer or type of housing.
Dutch poultry producers try to minimise the mortality by adding acids to the drinking water or feed. Furthermore, the farmers supplement the animals with extra vitamins, biotin, selenium and zinc. The Dutch GD found out that the supplementation of Federfein, a zinc product, has the best results in reducing the skin infections. An elevated zinc supply does not lead to a higher zinc concentration in the liver, but increases the zinc level in the manure.