By Alfred Blanch, PhD, Poultry Category Manager, Hamlet Protein
Successful animal performance depends on the interplay between the intestine, microbiota, diet, and a multitude of environmental factors. Inherent, persistent challenges with successful transitioning from conventional poultry production that utilizes growth promoters to antibiotic free production has facilitated an interest in elucidating what negative factors may have been previously masked through antibiotic usage, for example, the impact of various ingredient's nutrient compositions.
The shift to antibiotic free production often results in the increase of soybean meal inclusion as all-vegetarian fed programs are limited in the number of efficacious protein sources that successfully reduce soybean meal content.
Soybean meal is the most widely used major protein source in poultry production across the world. Soybean meal has a consistent, ideal amino acid profile for poultry and is particularly abundant in lysine. However, soybean meal contains various anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) that may affect intestinal homeostasis and impair nutrient utilization in poultry. The main anti-nutritional factors in soybean meal are trypsin inhibitors (TI), oligosaccharides, such as raffinose and stachyose, and the antigen β-conglycinin.
Excessive quantities of TI in feed will cause pancreatic hypertrophy leading to poor growth and decreased performance. This pancreatic hypertrophy is a compensatory modulation by the body to offset the effect of ingested trypsin inhibitors. However, this mechanism is limited and is not effective in overcoming the continuous daily intake of high amounts of TI, ultimately reducing the digestibility of the dietary protein.
Trypsin inhibitors can not only adversely affect the productive performance of chickens but can also impair their intestinal health. Strategically, reducing SBM content below 30% in starter feed diminishes adverse performance attributed to high TI in finished feed.
Starter diets including high levels of SBM contain proportionally higher anti-nutritional factors and may pose the risk of impaired gut health. The elevated variability of the ANF content in SBM and its potential negative impact on gut health and performance, highlights the importance of reducing SBM in starter feeds. This can be done by replacing part of the SBM with low ANF-content protein sources, that have been enzymatically treated to lower the ANF content but at the same time keep the amino acid profile intact. A specialty soy protein that does just that is HP AviStart from Hamlet Protein.
Read more about HP AviStart here.