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Chickens on a Hawaiʻi Island farmer’s field

An associate professor and graduate student from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) won the 2019 Best Paper award for their scientific paper on the intestinal health of chickens. The award was given by the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology and is also featured as one of the journal’s “Top 10 Papers in 10 Years.”

Rajesh Jha and graduate student Sudhir Yadav of the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences co-authored “Strategies to modulate the intestinal microbiota and their effects on nutrient utilization, performance, and health of poultry.”

Rajesh Jha

The paper reviews alternatives to antibiotics, such as probiotics, prebiotics and others “that mimic the functions of antibiotics as growth promoters and modulate gut microbiota for their beneficial roles,” such as improving “nutrient digestion, absorption, metabolism and overall health and growth performance of poultry.”

The poultry industry has long used the routine administration of antibiotics “to promote the growth of poultry and manage gut microbiota,” the authors explain. However, a growing understanding of the environmental and human-health consequences of antibiotics overuse in livestock production has led to banning or regulating them as feed additives.

The authors hope to help producers and regulatory agencies “to develop new dietary and managerial strategies that will ultimately lead to enhanced feed utilization and improved growth performance of poultry.”

For more, visit the CTAHR website.

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