Gut health

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Gut health

Intestinal health – a critical matter

A healthy gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is essential to ensure efficient nutrient uptake and feed utilisation and to maintain the health and performance of a flock. Gut health means a functional barrier that is further strengthened by symbiotic gut inhabitants. 

With respect to a symbiotic microbiota profile of the avian gut, breeding progress and production intensification are proving to be obstacles. Today's fast-growing breeds and the all-in/all-out principle prevent natural colonisation of the gut with beneficial bacteria. In addition, high stocking density can increase bacterial pressure from pathogenic bacteria. Coccidiosis for instance is a problem in poultry production systems worldwide. Therefore, it is important to target the gut microbiome in modern poultry diets to strengthen the resistance of the birds against pathogenic bacteria. 

The challenge of gut health

The microbiota plays a vital role in maintaining gut health and influences the overall performance of chickens. Age, breeding, rearing conditions, and stress factors affect the development and maturation of the gut tissue as well as microbial community. Consequently, microbial profiles differ between broilers and layers, as layers have a substantially longer commercial life span while broilers are slaughtered before reaching maturity. A beneficial host-microbiome interplay is crucial for maintaining the host's nutritional, physiological, and immunological functions, while diseases are often associated with microbial dysbiosis.

Gut pathogens are a major challenging factor in modern production systems. Coccidiosis, caused by Eimeria spp., is ubiquitously prevalent in all poultry production systems worldwide. Salmonella and Campylobacter cause clinical diseases in many animals and are a risk to humans, too. All dysbiosis related diseases have one thing in common, and that is causing high economic losses at farm level and increasing the need to use antibiotics. 

Why a healthy GIT is so important

The intestinal barrier protects the host from the invasion of unwanted substances and organisms. A "leaky gut" caused by dysbiosis and/or intestinal infection means less efficient nutrient uptake with increased nutrient consumption for the immune system. Therefore, it is important in poultry nutrition to promote a health-associated microbiome. This includes the metabolites of the gut microbiota, such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), indole, tryptamines, vitamins, and bacteriocins, which are involved in host-microbiota cross-talk, maintenance of barrier function, and immune homeostasis. Symbiotic members of the gut microbiota also limit and control colonisation by pathogens from livestock and feed.

Modern research shows that probiotics, botanicals and threonine (an essential amino acid) can be used to support chicken resilience during coccidiosis and other infections. 

The solution

Enzymes play an important role in this respect, as xylanases and glucanases reduce the viscosity of the chyme. 

  • Enzy Carboplus by Kaesler Nutrition can support here by improving nutrient absorption while reducing “sticky droppings” which are a hygienic challenge if occurring in a flock.

Lactic acid bacteria are part of the physiological microbiota and include Enterococcus faecium. Supplementing the feed with these bacteria helps to restore the microbiota as they produce lactic acid (with this reducing intestinal pH) and short-chain fatty acids, which are nutrients for the gut epithelium. They help to fight back potential pathogens.  

Diarrhoea further aggravates problems, with a loss of electrolytes and nutrients. It is vital to secure water intake to prevent dehydration, while providing a sufficient amount of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and other nutrients.  

  • The Lovit range by Kaesler Nutrition includes a number of products targeted at providing rapid relief via drinking water to support gut health. In addition to lactic acid bacteria and the much-needed nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and electrolytes, our products also contain substances such as oregano, thyme, rosemary and garlic oil or zinc to stimulate the appetite and support good intestinal health. These essential oils are known to disintegrate coccidia cell walls and can therefore be part of effective coccidiosis management on farms. 


Our products for gut health
  • Drinking Water Applications

    For short-term, targeted supplementation with selected nutrients to maintain poultry health.

    Find out more

  • Enyzmes

    Using feed enzymes is essential to improve nutrient digestibility and cost efficiency. 

    Find out more

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