Over the past decades, increased human population growth and consumption have led to the exponential growth of world poultry production, especially in Asia. This increase has been achieved by dramatic improvements in genetics and nutrition. Specifically, production efficiency has been improved with birds having increased growth rate fourfold in 50 years time.
However, it is not clear if the digestive system and its physiology evolved at the same rate. The forced removal of antibiotic growth promoters from poultry diets has emphasised the importance of the immune system and the potential nutritional interventions - in particular the use of additives - to control bacterial infections and support the immune response.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Nutriad.