The Importance of Early Nutrition in Broiler Chickens: LICUICEL COMPLEX®, an Innovative Feeding System
The “hatch window” is known as the 24 to 48 hours period during which eggs hatch. The newly hatched chickens remain in the incubator until all the eggs have hatched, after which chicks are collected. After collection, chickens undergo routine treatments such as selection, vaccination, sex determination and sorting. Then they are transported to the farm. From the moment of hatching until their arrival to the farm, chickens are usually not given neither water nor food. The length of this period may vary depending on the hatchery window, the hatchery procedures and the trip’s length to the farm. The time elapsed before the administration of the first water and feed can even be up to 72 hours. While the yolk sac may be sufficient for the first few hours of chicks’ survival, all the other requirements fail during the long hours until their arrival to the farm. The chicks come out from an embryonic condition in which the energy basis of their nutrition is yolk’s fat and egg white’s proteins. Immediately after birth, during the first hours of life there is a significant reduction in the endogenous glycogen levels, which need to be replaced preferably by glycogen from the consumption of corn starch or another source of starch. Chicks need to learn quickly to consume feed to allow their digestive system to undergo rapid anatomical and physiological transformation. Furthermore, early feed consumption also promotes the rapid development of the immune system. The chicks must also quickly learn to consume water to compensate for any dehydration that could occur from the hatch until their arrival at the farm, thus also favouring the consumption and digestibility of feed.
Access to food and water immediately after hatching is of paramount importance for chicks’ digestive and immune systems proper development. Nowadays, there are food management systems right in the incubator. In these systems, the hatching trays have openings in which the newly hatched chicks fall into a lower basket where they can find double-sided feeders with sufficient feed and water for the following 24-36 hours. This first feed provides the energy needed for the basic maintenance of the chick, while yolk’s high value nutrients are used for the development of the immune system and vital organs.
A recent innovative method to ensure the ingestion of nutriment from the first hours of life is the administration of hydrated gels that contain an increasing variety of nutrients and additives, such as vitamins and probiotics. These gels, considered as complementary feed, are sprayed on chicks in form of droplets directly in the incubators. These droplets are quickly consumed by pecking each other. In this way, chicks ingest all the nutrients contained in the gel drops without getting wet or cold.
Licuicel Complex ®
LICUICEL COMPLEX ® is one of the most promising strategy for feeding chicks directly in the incubation room. The product can be administered together with gel and specialized machines as it contains an innovative formulation that includes several nutrients, vitamins, minerals, highly digestible amino acids, and prebiotics that promote the stimulation of gastrointestinal development and functioning, and influence positively the growth and the productive yield, thus favouring poultry welfare.
The main ingredients that characterize and make LICUICEL COMPLEX® unique are the following:
Calcium chloride is a calcium supplement, indicated in cases of severe hypocalcaemia, hypermagnesemia, hyperkalaemia, or in case of toxicity caused by calcium channel antagonists.
- Magnesium sulphate helps decrease acetylcholine in nerve endings; it is necessary for the entry or exit of calcium, sodium, and potassium from cells, as well as for membrane stabilization.
Potassium chloride is a potassium supplement, intracellular fluid’s main cation, closely linked to cell function and metabolism, in particular carbohydrates’ metabolism, glycogen storage and protein synthesis.
Organic selenium has been introduced in the formulation for its important benefit compared to its inorganic form: it allows the creation of selenium reserves in tissues, mainly the muscular ones, in the form of selenomethionine. Selenomethionine is perceived as an amino acid, so it can be used in condition of stress or need to improve antioxidant defences.
C vitamin, or ascorbic acid, is a strong antioxidant agent that improves cellular immune response. The administration of C vitamin, in a range from 100 to 200 mg per kg, is able to reverse the stress factors in chickens, and therefore improve productivity.
Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) represent an important supply of dietary fiber and favour the selective growth of lactic bacteria and Bifidobacterium. Thanks to their ability to stimulate the growth of specific beneficial bacteria in the colon and to obstruct the growth of pathogenic bacteria, they are considered prebiotics. Thanks to their fermentation process, FOS can influence the intestinal epithelium by promoting the development of the mucosa and increasing resistance to intestinal diseases by creating a sort of barrier mechanism. Consumption of FOS has been shown to improve the absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and copper.
- Patented high-quality soluble extract obtained from a primary culture of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strain. This ingredient is an important protein source in chicken diet, being made up of 63% free amino acids, small peptides, and rich in nucleic acids derived from yeast cells’ content. It is a source of highly digestible essential amino acids, such as lysine, and contains a high level of glutamic acid, known to be palatable and useful during the first week of chick’s life.
Get the Licuicel Complex Brochure
Send download link to: