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Main research question/goal
The central goal of this project is to maintain good gut health in broilers. How can we modulate the digestibility and gut health of broilers using feed and more specifically certain nutrients? The objective of this project is to study the impact of feed structure (raw material choice, particle size, feed form, feed technology treatments) and the addition of feed enzymes to improve the digestibility of the feed.   

Research approach
Trials are done exclusively with broilers. The study of physical differences (particle size, mash-pellet feed form) is tested in production trials where performances, litter quality and footpad dermatitis as well as gut health are evaluated. Effects of additives are first screened in digestibility tests and, if a positive effect on digestibility is shown, later in production trials. Specific diets are constituted to allow to study possible interactions with nutrients and to determine their optimal use.

Optimised gut health not only has a direct impact on production performances but also on welfare-related parameters (reduced footpad dermatitis because of drier litter) and also reduces excretion into the environment. Better retention of the dietary protein, carbohydrate and fat fractions can lead to a reduction of the nutrient losses. Problems with gut health are usually treated with antibiotics. However, increasing resistance to their use has led the European Commission to implement urgent measures to reach a significant reduction of antibiotic use in coming years.   
Effective start/end date1/01/11 → …

ID: 4154486