New scientific study under heat stress presented at the 7th Mediterranean Poultry Summit
Heat stress is an important environmental stressor challenging poultry production worldwide and a topic of particular concern for the Mediterranean poultry sector that gathered this week in Cordoba, Spain, for the 7th Mediterranean Poultry Summit. A commercial trial conducted under chronic heat stress with an Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) challenge in India was shared at the Summit. It showed that a novel yeast cell wall (YCW) product (OPTIWALL, Lallemand Animal Nutrition) helps maintain broiler performance and survival rates despite the combined challenges (Dhara et al., 2022).
Heat stress and APEC challenges
Heat stress is a growing concern worldwide. It negatively affects the welfare, productivity and immune response of poultry. APEC, the causative agent of colibacillosis in chickens, is also a major threat to all sectors of the poultry industry and causes important losses. It appears that stress is the most important predisposing factor for APEC infections in broilers. In the trial, performed under chronic heat stress, it was confirmed that the APEC challenge signifcantly affected broiler growth performance, resulting in a 34-unit reduction of European Efficiency Factor (EFF).
The aim of the trial was to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation of a novel YCW (OPTIWALL), on the performance of broilers exposed to chronic heat stress, with or without an APEC challenge.
Under the stress conditions, the YCW supplement showed improved broiler performance and survival with:
- Significantly higher final body weight
- Lower mortality rates
- Significant improvement of the EEF by 27 units
The authors concluded the YCW can help alleviate the negative effects of an APEC challenge on broiler performance.