Laying persistence, egg shell quality and gut health are still very hot topics in today’s layer production, where the cycle is getting longer and pressure on poultry producers to reduce the use of antibiotics is growing. But what does a healthy gut really mean in laying hens?
Gut health in layers
In the first instance, early post-hatch optimum nutrition plays a critical role in gut health by promoting the establishment of a healthy microflora, ensuring proper immune response and nutrient absorption capacity. Secondly, the development of a rich and diverse microbiota has to be in balance with an efficient defense of the gut mucosa and lastly, a holistic approach to the choice of in-feed eubiotic additives and feed composition will positively influence the intestinal microbial community. Different rearing conditions, physiological stages and microbiota call for different solutions.