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effect of the thermoneutral control group versus the group under heat stress (factor 1) and the effect of no feed addi- tive versus supplementation with IQs (factor 2). Fluorescin isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran in blood plasma was meas- ured on day 42 to assess any impact of heat stress on gut in- tegrity. This is because high levels of FITC-dextran indicate an impaired gut barrier function. The birds fed the diet containing IQs had lower levels of FITC-dextran in their blood plasma, suggesting better main- tenance of gut barrier function under heat stress conditions. What’s more, feed intake in the IQ-fed group was signifi- cantly improved, leading to better performance as evi- denced by a lower FCR (Figure 1). The dietary use of IQs to mitigate the impact of heat stress has also been studied in laying hens. Birds on a commercial layer farm in Poland were fed a negative control diet and one supplemented with IQs from 62 to 70 weeks of age, respectively. From weeks 66 to 69, the birds were subjected to heat stress (>30°C). The birds on the IQs diet recorded a higher feed in- take (+13g/bird/day) with egg production and quality nota- bly improved as a result (Figure 2). This new trial work highlights the undoubted potential of proven plant-based feed additives to mitigate the ongoing challenge of heat stress in poultry production units around


the world. Modern, fast growing poultry genotypes exhibit higher metabolic activity which increases heat production. What’s more, higher stocking densities – invariably in con- trolled environments – make broiler farms particularly sus- ceptible to heat stress problems, especially in the summer months. Fortunately, nutritional science is keeping pace with this difficult issue and producers worldwide now have an effective solution to manage and mitigate this increasingly important challenge.


Birds that are too warm reduce their feed intake by as much as 20%. Clearly, this can have a catastroph- ic effect on both broiler growth and egg laying performance.


Figure 2 - Influence of IQs on the performance of laying hens under heat stress conditions.


Control 90


80 70 60


50 40 30 20 10 0


Week 62


Week 63


Week 64


Week 65


Heat stress occurred from week 66 – week 69. ▶ POULTRY WORLD | No. 3, 2021 35


Week 66


Week 67


Week 68


Week 69


Week 70


8383 8382 8385 8183 62 79 61 IQs 78 60 78 59 77 65 78


Egg production (%)


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