Backyard Poultry

Keep Your Bird’s Digestive System Healthy

Flock Management : Flock Health

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Purina Animal Nutrition

Have you ever eaten something that you later regretted?

Your food regret was likely a result of an imbalance. Eating the incorrect nutrients can be problematic in humans because they cause digestive upset.Keep your Bird’s Digestive System Healthy

The case is the same for your backyard flock. To keep your birds healthy, focus on keeping their digestive system balanced through a balanced diet. Three keys to achieving internal bird health are: probiotics, prebiotics and yeast.

Focus on gastrointestinal health
The first step in keeping your birds’ digestive system healthy is understanding how it works. The digestive tract is also known as the gastrointestinal tract and is responsible for the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
For your birds to properly breakdown feed, a lot must go correctly in the digestive tract. Here’s a simple outline of your bird’s digestive tract:
  1. Birds gather and eat feed.
  2. The feed travels to the foregut (esophagus, crop, proventriculus and gizzard) where it is digested and prepared for absorption.
  3. Feed then travels to the midgut, or the small intestine. Here, nutrients begin to be absorbed.
  4. Remaining nutrients travel to the hindgut (large intestine, ceca, vent and cloaca) where waste is excreted.
Each step in the digestive tract is important in bird health, but how can we help our chickens’ digestive systems?
 
A healthy digestive system can be as simple as a balance of bacteria. Millions of bacteria, known as microflora, live inside the digestive system. Some of these bacteria are beneficial, while others are harmful bacteria which can cause digestive upset and internal damage.
 
The success of the digestive system depends on a higher ratio of beneficial to harmful bacteria. As flock owners, our goal is to keep the beneficial microflora healthy and productive and avoid the harmful bacteria.  
 
Three ways to help the beneficial bacteria inside your birds’ digestive tracts are: probiotics, prebiotics and yeast. Be sure your flock’s feed includes these ingredients. 

Probiotics strengthen beneficial bacteria
Probiotics are essentially the beneficial bacteria required by the digestive tract. They support the other bacteria in the digestive tract, helping feed to break down and supporting hen health. You can feed these beneficial bacteria directly to your birds through their feed.

Prebiotics balance digestive acids
While prebiotics help support digestive healthy, they work differently than probiotics.  Prebiotics are not actual live bacteria, but are a form of carbohydrate that provides nutrition to the healthy bacteria supporting their growth.

Yeasts prevent harmful bacteria
The third key to digestive tract health is yeast. Dried yeasts have been used in animal nutrition for many years, primarily as a source of quality proteins and B vitamins. More recently, yeasts have become an important ingredient to poultry feed because of their ability to support digestive health and immune function. 

Three ingredients in one feed
Because each ingredient plays a different role in digestive tract health, a combination of probiotic, prebiotic and yeast helps keep our birds healthy.

In addition to good sanitation and management practices, the most effective way to ensure your backyard flock is receiving these important ingredients as part of a balanced diet is through a complete layer feed, like Purina® Layena® Premium Poultry Feed. This feed includes all three ingredients in a unique formulation to help keep your birds healthy and producing quality eggs for your family.

Because of factors outside of Purina Animal Nutrition LLC’s control, individual results to be obtained, including but not limited to: financial performance, animal condition, health or performance cannot be predicted or guaranteed by Purina Animal Nutrition LLC.