Consumers around the world are steadily increasing their demand for safe and nutritious animal protein. When compared to other meat production systems, broilers are an extremely efficient source of such protein. These animals quickly reach target weights with a very high meat yield and highly efficient feed conversion.
However, achieving profitability in the broiler industry is not only linked to better feed efficiency of live birds. Carcass and breast meat yield and meat and feet quality at the processing plant impact the bottom line as well.
What Challenges Could Limit Broiler Production
The most important aspects of meat quality from the perspective of a consumer are product appearance (color), texture (tenderness), flavor (fat content), nutritional value and, of course, food safety. These concerns directly impact decisions made at the poultry processing facility. Challenges that producing broilers will face in the process include,
- Gut health
- Pathogens challenging their health
- Immune health
- Leg health
- Vaccine efficiency
- Carcass yield and quality
- Animal welfare
To ensure profitability, processors need to quickly identify, quantify and estimate the economic impact of these challenges faced during broiler production and put a prevention plan in place.
A Holistic Approach to Broiler Production
In broiler production a holistic view of broiler health and operational management, and how both impact end yield, is crucial. Key areas of improvement to focus on include:
Nutrition and Formulation
Genetics play a key role in meat quality but so do management and poultry nutrition. Feed and feed supplement quality can have a significant impact on the final product.
We partner with producers to take smart approaches in mineral supplementation that deliver powerful health and performance benefits. We also recognize that the epithelial barrier is a bird’s first mode of defense of disease. That’s why we developed the Zinpro® First Line of Defense® program which focuses on immunomodulation support, BCO (Bacterial Chondronecrosis with Osteomyelitis) lameness prevention and food safety improvements. This program also includes the supplementation of Zinpro® Performance Minerals® in broiler diets, which has been proven to improve epithelial barrier, positively influencing the intestinal health, respiratory system and skin integrity of birds, along with improvements in skeletal structure development and maintenance. This then decreases the chances of external pathogens invading and colonizing any organ and/or tissue of the animal. This reduces the incidence of bone lameness/breakage and skin lesions and the potential for carcass condemnation, resulting in higher quality and volume of meat to be sold. Ultimately these benefits will positively contribute not only to the animal’s own health but also to the consumer with the improvement in food safety.
Formulation is also key. Our Zinpro® Global Poultry Mineral Guide an interactive document compiling trace mineral recommendations to help your operation address different challenges specifically for your species, like broilers.
The Zinpro® Perfect Carcass® tool is a one-of-kind animal welfare and wellness marker, pointing out areas of improvement all the way from the breeding barn to the processing plant. Zinpro Perfect Carcass enables users at the poultry processing facility to quickly identify, quantify and estimate the economic impact of lesions and other challenges found on broiler carcasses.
The food supply is safer today than ever before. However, according to the USDA there are an estimated 1.35 million cases of Salmonella that result in an average of over 400 deaths in the United States alone each year. Improving intestinal health and controlling foodborne illness are critical parts of poultry production. Formulating poultry nutrition with Zinpro Performance Minerals helps manage Salmonella through four primary mechanisms:
- Cell renewal in the epithelial tissue, mainly in the intestinal tract and skin
- Faster healing
- Strengthening tight junctions and intestinal barrier to maintain epithelial tissue integrity
- A more robust immune response to bacteria and other pathogens or toxin challenges
In addition to food safety, Zinpro provides animal producers with an overall system of preventive and corrective measures at each stage of the production process where food and feed safety hazards could occur. There are Zinpro® Specialty Products® that help prevent issues by applying control points in the food and feed production process to manage, reduce or eliminate hazards.
The genetic improvements reflected in broilers’ feed efficiency and fast metabolic growth rates are contributing to increasing concerns in animal welfare. These concerns include bone quality and lameness, foot pad dermatitis, delays in feather growth, skin fragility and exposed scratches and tears, among others. The utilization of Zinpro solutions in broiler diets has been shown to improve these welfare issues, and other stress factors such as oxidative and heat stress, supporting high standard life conditions in poultry growth and performance.
Ultimately, Zinpro Performance Minerals also allow broiler production to elevate sustainability practices. Environmentally sustainable poultry production starts by reducing excess nutrients in the diet. Doing so prevents them from being wasted via excretion while maintaining performance and health status of the flock. Trace mineral inclusion rates in commercial diets has become an important discussion to achieve more sustainable animal production. Formulating diets with the most bioavailable trace minerals, Zinpro Performance Minerals, allows producers to decrease the amount in feed without sacrificing performance. In fact, Zinpro Performance Minerals are proven to exceed performance at lower inclusion levels.
Partnership and Expertise Drive Improved Broiler Production
It’s no secret that broiler nutrition and poultry feed formulation will be a critical component to helping poultry producers meet an ever-growing consumer demand.
Visit our unique broilers species page to learn more about the solutions we can bring your animals and your business.