Hamlet Protein, presented new findings at the 7th International Conference on Poultry Intestinal Health, that took place in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

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, Hamlet Protein said.

During the conference, the company presented the results of a scientific study carried out with professors Sam Rochell, Guillermo Tellez, and Dr. Kyle Teague from the Department of Poultry Science of the University of Arkansas (US).

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, including intestinal permeability, fecal moisture, epithelial morphology and 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.

Prof. Tellez said: "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, said: "The study shows that there is a linear effect on the conversion rate of the chicks: the higher the amount of stachyose and raffinose in the diet, the higher the conversion rate; in other words, (lower) feed efficiency.

"Regarding the live weight of the chicks, we observed that levels below 1.2% of stachyose plus 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.

Visit Hamlet Protein at: www.hamletprotein.com
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