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Why probiotics are necessity in poultry?

The world’s population is expected to reach more than 9 billion by 2050, imposing food security challenges particularly for developing countries like India. Moreover, economic growth has increased the demand for livestock products putting pressure on the livestock sector to produce more with limited resources. Enormous expansion of poultry industry in recent years poses issues regarding: the most efficient use of resources to produce food for humans; effects of land conversion and more intensified use on conservation of environmental services and biodiversity.

Despite the benefits to many of increased poultry production, this has created two major public health issues. First, sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics as growth promoters in poultry feed has evoked widespread concern, with their use banned in many countries, including the European Union (EU), due to the potential to develop antibiotic resistance in microbial populations associated with human and animal diseases. Second, some of the food borne zoonotic diseases like salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis and pathogenic Escherichia coli infection, among others are serious public health concerns around the world and can cause serious economic loss.

Probiotics or direct fed microbials as a poultry feed additives are becoming increasingly popular as one of the alternatives to Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGP’s). The most important objective for using probiotics in poultry feed are to maintain and improve the performance (productivity and growth) and prevent and control enteric pathogens. In the context of the growing concern with the sub-therapeutic use of AGP’s in poultry feed and greater appreciation of the role of the microbial ecology of the gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) in determining animal productivity, increasing numbers of probiotics products are being developed and used in poultry nutrition.

Advantages of Probiotics in Poultry Nutrition
• Probiotics increases the population of beneficial micro-organisms including lactobacilli and bifidobacteria which then inhibit growth of harmful micro-organisms by producing inhibiting substances (bacteriocins and/or organic acids) and by competitive exclusion.
• Healthy gut environment helps in improved feed digestion thereby efficient feed nutrient utilization.
• Inhibits growth and multiplication of pathogenic micro-organisms by altering the gene expression pattern.
• Improvement in innate gut immunity through restitution of intestinal barrier function.
• Builds up immunity against pathogens in early chick stage and mitigates infection risks including necrotic enteritis (NE).
• Reduces incidence of wet litter and pasty vent.
• Effectively reduces early chick morbidity and mortality.

Wednesday, November 4th, 2020

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