Novel feed ingredients – such as spray-dried plasma (SDP) – in chick feed can play a role in improving bird health and lifetime performance.

“SDP in the first diet in broilers modulates the immune system, improves gut health and nutrient absorption, improves performance at slaughter age in healthy flocks and increases the tolerance to diseases and stress in a wide variety of situations,” said Dr. Ricardo Esquerra, global poultry manager at APC Inc.

“Additionally, these benefits are observed even when the challenge occurs at some point after SDP is no longer fed, which illustrates the importance of the first few days of life for future health and performance in broilers. A reduction in mortality is frequently observed in challenged and unchallenged flocks which may relate to its immune modulation effects.”

Esquerra, along with Rick Kleyn, founder of SPESFEED Consulting, will share insights on the importance of early nutrition in the modern broiler industry, during a webinar on Tuesday, August 4, at 10 a.m. CDT.

Free registration for “Early nutrition affects future broiler immunity & performance," is now open. The webinar is proudly sponsored by APC Inc. and presented by WATTAgNet, Feed Strategy and WATT Global Media.


During the webinar, Esquerra will give an overview of two experiments conducted under commercial environments in broilers. Conclusions of those studies reveal that the use of SDP in poultry improves overall bird health and performance as it:

  • Helps attain an efficient immune response to improve performance and health
  • Helps low-quality one-day-old birds attain better performance and health
  • Can be used in the context of other feed additives, and
  • Can reduce the negative impact of stressful management practices, including vaccinations, housing and heat stress

Other webinar highlights

Kleyn, in his presentation, will cover early chicken physiology, the main concepts of early nutrition, changing nutritional requirements and why the diets of young chickens need special attention. Kleyn will also highlight early nutrition as an opportunity to further advance nutritional practices and improve the overall performance and health status of commercial broiler flocks.

“The benefits and importance of early chick nutrition are many. In broad terms, the better broilers do during their first week of life, the better their performance throughout their lives is. Remember that chick is not fully mature, and our aim is to support it and/or help it overcome any inadequacies,” said Kleyn.

“The way in which we manage the chick impacts on: the development of the GIT and it microbiota; development of the chicks musculature and skeleton (bone strength); an optimal immune system and lastly, on the overall welfare of the bird. All of these factors lead to the enhanced sustainability of broiler production.”