Poultry nutrition: Implications of changing immune function

There is strong evidence that current knowledge of nutritional immunity will allow for improved bird health and productivity.

Many nutrients are capable of modulating the immune system, said Doug Korver, Poultry Research Centre, University of Alberta, during the pre-show Nutrition and Poultry Health Symposium at the 2013 Midwest Poultry Federation Convention.

Nutritional immunomodulation holds great promise as a means to increase poultry productivity and health, said Korver; however, a greater understanding of the avian immune system will be required in order to take full advantage of this approach.

According to Korver, it may be possible to use nutrition to manipulate the immune system to allow the birds to maintain a vigorous local defense against pathogens, while at the same time reducing the negative systemic effects. There is strong evidence that the poultry industry’s current knowledge of nutritional immunity will allow for improved bird health and productivity. The future is likely to bring even more options to increase the productivity of poultry operations.