Monitor poultry gut health through the feces:
Identify gut health problems before they become more significant
Optimize natural immunity
Maximize nutrient digestion
How does poultry intestinal health affect litter quality?
Feed passes through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and anything that is not digested and absorbed will pass through as feces. This will be combined with uric acid as the bird’s form of urine. Birds produce two types of feces: cecal and intestinal. These should be identifiable through differences in texture and color (e.g., intestinal droppings generally contain white uric acid crystals).
Deviations from these standards highlight potential issues within the gut. If something — be it a dietary change, dysbacteriosis or stress — changes the gut’s microbial population, it will affect the nutrients digested and absorbed from the diet. This, in turn, will change the makeup of the feces. Around 70% of the immune system functions through gut tissue, and as a result, pathogen challenges can often be initially identified in the changing feces, too.
Cecal: cecal droppings should have a pasty consistency and be dark brown or black with no bubbles.
Intestinal: A healthy intestinal dropping should be brown in color, reasonably dry and free of grains. Generally, these droppings have some white color in one section as this represent the uric acid crystals.
Fat is the most difficult nutrient to digest and absorb, so it is often the first nutrient to be lost during times of challenge or if there is a problem in the GI tract. Due to its hydrophobic properties, fat will not mix with water, meaning that it cannot be evaporated and will instead sit on the surface of litter, causing a cap. This removes the absorptive capacity of the litter, making water removal very difficult. Usually, this is seen as wet litter.
As a result, litter quality can be a good indicator of the intestinal health of the bird.
Gut health has a significant impact on both poultry performance and poultry welfare parameters, thereby impacting economic performance. Gut health is difficult to measure, primarily because the gut is an internal organ. However, there are multiple ways in which the health of the flock can be monitored:
Posting birds: A person with experience should be able to quickly identify the birds’ health status through this method, but it is invasive and necessitates sacrificing birds.
Sending samples: Blood or fecal samples can be sent for analysis, but this can be costly.
Analyzing chicken feces: The color, consistency and contents of the birds’ droppings can say a lot about what is going on inside the gut.
The Alltech Poultry Manure Online Scoring System is a support tool to help you easily monitor the health status of your flock. It offers all of the resources you need to determine your flock’s gut health status and pinpoint potential issues within the birds.
Scientists believe that
90% of diseases can be traced back to gut health and the microbiome.
70% of the immune system functions through gut tissue.
Alltech’s global poultry team is committed to promoting bird health and welfare. The Poultry Online Manure Scoring System is led by:
Dr. Dulmelis Sandu
Poultry Veterinarian and Technical Support Services
Dr. Kayla Price
Poultry Technical Manager
Dr. Harriet Walker, PhD, BSc (Hons), ANutr
Step 1: Apply for access
Apply for access to the Alltech Poultry Manure Online Scoring System and receive your personalized login information.
Step 2: Create a profile
Create a personalized profile using some basic information from your farm.
Step 3: Use the preparation tips
Use the preparation tips provided to successfully examine bird droppings.
Step 4: Analyze and grade droppings
Analyze and grade your birds’ droppings based on the texture and color by benchmarking against the reference images.
Step 5: Receive customized feedback
Receive customized feedback with potential problems and tips on how to improve your birds’ gut health.
Fill out the form below to apply for access!