Newsletter June 2019

Boosting day old chick activity

Day-old chicks are frequently dehydratedand hypoglycaemic at the time of placement. This is due to logistical factors at the hatchery such as time of hatch, sorting, vaccination, packing and transport 3 . The newly hatched chick can experience feed and water deprivation for up to 72 hours 4 . This can negatively affect the bird’s growth potential in the first 7-days, as dehydrated and hypoglycaemic chicks have low energy levels which will reduce the chicks feed consumption and also compromise the development of the immune system during this period.

The yolk sac residue can provide the chicks with an energy and protein reserve up to about 4-days of age. However, research has shown that the energy provided by the yolk (20 kcal) is insufficient to meet the energy requirements of the chicks 24-hours post hatch (25 kcal) 3 . The chicks, therefore, don’t meet their growth potential and are more susceptible to pathogens during this period 3 . Early feeding of chicks not only provides essential nutrients but has also been shown to aid in the utilisation of the yolk sac which is promoted by antiperistaltic movements stimulated by the presence of feed .

Superstart liquid® has been specifically formulated to boost the activity levels in day-old chicks as well as piglets. Superstart liquid® provides high levels of energy, antioxidants and Vitamin D3 to give the chicks/piglets the necessary energy boost for increased feeding activity.

Superstart liquid® provides easily accessible energy in the form of glucose and fructose. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels will be minimised with the addition of fructose to their diet, as fructose does not induce insulin production. Glucose is necessary for the diet to not only provide a highly utilizable energy source, but research has shown that it has a stimulatory effect on the rate of electrolyte absorption into the blood 3 . Electrolytes are produced when essential minerals in the body such as sodium, potassium or chloride are dissolved in fluid producing positive or negative ions1. Electrolytes are essential for proper nerve and muscle function, they also regulate the pH balance and promote hydration within the body.

Practises such as vaccination, handling & transport place a high amount of stress of the young chicks. These stressful conditions will increase the production of free radicles in the body leading to cellular damage, inflammation and allergic reactions in the body and gut of the chick. Superstart liquid® provides strong antioxidants that are heat and light resistant that prevent damage associated with these free radicles. provided by Superstart liquid® is easily absorbed and will aid in bone metabolism to help prevent early leg problems.

The first week constitutes around 23% of the modern broiler’s life and the 7-day weights strongly correlate to their weights at slaughter 2,3 . Therefore by supplying the essential nutrients to the chicks in the first few days of life could result in improved growth rates, feed efficiency and improved uniformity throughout their lives. A reduction in the number of slower starting chicks will increase flock performance more than increasing the 7- day weight of the faster starting chicks .

Superstart liquid® is applied at a rate of 4 litres per 1,000 litres of drinking water for a period of 3 to 5 days. A sick bird that has reduced energy levels due to infection and inflammation will also benefit from supplementation with Superstart liquid®. 1,2,3,4

References available upon request