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Synergistically improving energy efficiency in poultry production

The rise of antimicrobial resistance, together with increasing global pressure to reduce or remove antibiotics from the food chain, is driving fundamental change within the animal production industry

Without the traditional use of in-feed antibiotics as the first line of defense against disease, the animal is more susceptible and will lose valuable energy reserves. In fact, studies show that during an immune response, energy is diverted away from growth and this accounts for around 25% of the total drop in performance (see Fig. 1).Milan Hruby 1Fig. 1. Immune responses cost 25% of performance drops during challenge,
which can be attributed to the animal.

These increasingly complex external factors have accelerated developments in the science of animal nutrition. It has led to a new research approach, known as nutribiosis, which aims to bring a deeper understanding to the interactions between three pillars: nutrition, gut and immune function and the microbiome.  

Our research into the synergistic effects of the feed additive Syncra AVI provides compelling evidence that nutribiosis may hold the key to unlocking the full potential of animal nutrition – even when challenges are present.

Strength in synergies 

Combining two proven technologies, Syncra AVI is known to optimise gut health and maximise performance in poultry production. Its unique formulation contains enzymes, which improve nutrient digestibility and flock uniformity, and probiotics formulated to protect against health challenges and accelerate immune development.


Results of trials demonstrate that Syncra AVI improves digestibility and uptake of key nutrients such as starch, fat and protein. Analysis shows a significant increase in Ileal Digestible Energy (IDE) with the Syncra AVI treatment, compared to using the enzymes and probiotics individually; indicating a synergistic energy response when the two products are used together.


Syncra AVI has been shown to increase levels of beneficial bacterial populations, such as lactobacillus, while inhibiting nonbeneficial bacteria. This results in a drop in the levels of opportunistic pathogens, such as coliforms, which may cause gut health issues given the right conditions. All of which helps to reduce sub-clinical disease challenges which would otherwise reduce overall performance and profitability.

Gut and immune function 

Clear effects on gut structure are also observed, with Syncra AVI shown to improve intestinal integrity and structure, strengthening the gut barrier and optimising nutrient absorption.

In addition, enhanced immune function is also demonstrated in both in vitro and in vivo studies; proving that Syncra AVI can help reduce the risk of inflammatory responses, reducing physiological stress in the bird and the energy costs of a challenge.

Improved performance  

Evaluation of calorie conversion data gathered from a study carried out on broilers shows that the effect of Syncra AVI on the three pillars of nutribiosis – nutrition, microbiome, and the gut and immune function – results in a more energetically efficient bird that requires less energy per kg of liveweight gain. Crucially, an improved performance with the use of Syncra AVI is observed even when a challenge is present (see Fig. 2). 

Milan Hruby 2Fig. 2. Syncra AVI results in a favourable nutribiotic state giving improved
energy efficiency. 

Importantly, analysis of this data provides an indication of the energy cost of the immune response in challenged birds; they require more calories to be fed per kg growth than the unchallenged birds. This is likely due to energy being diverted towards fighting the pathogen and away from growth. However, the study also shows that in the presence of a challenge, the multi-pronged mode of action of Syncra AVI helps to restore balance in the GIT environment and maintain performance at the level of the unchallenged bird.

This article was written by Dr Milan Hruby