May 10, 2021


Perstorp holds webinar on improving gut health through nutrition


Last month Perstorp held a webinar focussing on the role of nutrition in poultry gut health, and covered subjects including early nutrition, feed characteristics, and antibiotic-free poultry production.

In a case study discussion by keynote speaker professor Mingan Choct from the University of New England, Australia, a strong reminder was sent that inadequate feed intake during the first few days of life could induce gut health issues and impair digestive capacity later in life. Vital organs reach their maximum relative functions during the first week of life, and Choct shared some numbers highlighting the critical role of early nutrition - a broiler increases its body weight by 30% overnight and more than 50-fold in five weeks. Choct also shared revealing graphics of how the microvilli of broilers which were withheld feed were structurally affected. Concluding the case study discussion, Choct gave a research overview of how early feeding of feed additives such as butyrate enhances gut health and bird performance.

Continuing his presentation, Choct discussed how feed characteristics and feed quality can also have significant impact on bird development and gut health.

It cannot be overemphasised that antibiotic-free production is increasing in relevance to poultry producers, and a poll held during the webinar only reiterated that - more than two-thirds of the audience had some extent of antibiotic-free production, and more than a third already had the majority of their production antibiotic-free.

But antibiotic-free production does bring its own set of disease challenges to poultry producers. Another poll revealed that almost half of the audience cited subclinical necrotic enteritis (NE) as their biggest challenge in antibiotic-free production.

Accordingly, Choct reviewed the literature on how bird performance was improved and NE lesions were less severe in broilers fed diets supplemented with a butyrate product. He further shared the results of a University of New England study where broilers subjected under NE challenge, were treated with a butyrate-based product. For starter, grower and finisher growth stages, body weight and feed conversion generally improved against the control.

A recording of the webinar can be viewed at:


- Ngai Meng CHAN