Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?

Published on: 09/15/2016
Author/s : Jacky Michard / Hubbard Nutritionist

In modern poultry nutrition, traditional fibre sources are associated with some negative attributes such as energy dilution of the diet and mycotoxin contamination and are usually not included during linear formulation. However, fibre is also suggested to have a positive effect on the intestinal microflora and the intestinal health including for poultry. While some nutritionists believe that crude...

Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
15/09/2016 |

Very good article. A recently published paper from a Polish University confirms your statement that insoluble fiber increase the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Pak Vet J 2015, 35(2): 212-216. They used different Level of an insoluble crude fiber concentrate made of lignocellulose in Broilers. The researchers could see at almost all inclusion level (between 0,25 and 1 %) a significant increase in lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria and at the same time a signifgicant reduction in e coli and clostridia in Ileum and caeca.

Joe Stanyer
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
15/09/2016 | EXPERIENCE WITH TURKEYS further confirms this trend.
Even Free Range Turkeys, with enhanced fibre intake, still go crazy when given access to fresh bedding. I estimate consumption of 60-70% of bedding material within a few days.
Feed text books recommend a maximum fibre of 4-5% in Turkey Rations, but the high dilution rate from bedding produces minimal effect on growth or FCE.
We are now developing higher fibre rations based on tropical ingredients.
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
22/09/2016 |

Thank-you. The article "Pak Vet J 2015, 35(2): 212-216" mention "There was no significant effect of lignocellulose inclusion into the diet on broiler performance indices" and as you know in broiler, technical and economical performances are the driving force.
So two comments:
- Results is the field or in the "real world" can be different especially when we talk about gut balance and mortality.
- There are many sources of insoluble fiber. Some work show positive results using oat hulls for instance. A cheap raw material in some place.

Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
22/09/2016 | Thanks for the nice article the highlights again the importance to chose the right types of fibre to get positive effects in poultry.

One important comment on Fermentability and Solubility: That´s two different parameters which must not be mixed up. Soluble means degradable in the SMALL intestine. Fermentable means metabolized by gut microbiota in the LARGE intestine. It´s true that soluble raw materials (f.e. pectins) often contain as well fermentable fractions, but its not an automatism! The physiologically best fibre source is one that is insoluble (in the small intestine) BUT (partly) fermentable (in the large intestine). Such a fibre source combines the positive physical (mechanical) effects with prebiotic effects (= enhancement of positive bacteria growth in the large intestine producing higher amounts of SCFA)

Recent studies conducted at the University of New England (AUS) by a group of researchers (Choct, Swick, Wu, Kheravii) clearly prove that lignocellulose containing insoluble AND fermentable fibre enhances production of lactic and butyric acid in the large intestine of Broilers.
The combination of insoluble fibre which can be fermented at the same time in the large intestine is very beneficial to the formation of butyric acid. Butyric acid is THE key for a healthy gut and improved energy supply of the bird.
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
23/09/2016 | Nice comments and explanation especially from Dr. A. Kroismayr.
Dr. Hassan Kazim
BSc(Hons)Poultry science
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
24/09/2016 | Kindly sorry to understand ur topic is to large to understand kindly divert in small Pieces to easy to understand for better ans.
Thank-you brother
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
24/09/2016 | Very interesting and would be great to have as well some comments on how pigs cope with soluble and indigestible or more fermentable fibre. They have higher digestive capacity, so more to benefit from. Thanks for the paper, Rafa from Spain.
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
25/09/2016 | It is right, oat hulls will do as well in a certain extend a good job. Just need to find a source with a reasonable mycotoxin contamination. Thinking about oats is important to distinguish between the hulls and the bran. Oat hulls contain more then 99 % insoluble fiber while oat bran conains more than 50 % soluble fiber
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
25/09/2016 | Hi,
Nice contribution!!
Grateful for it.
Nasser Odetallah
Executive Manager global Technical sservices
Missouri, United States
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
26/09/2016 | Thanks for the great comments from all. Indeed, during these hard times with expensive SBM and corn prices, turning to higher fiber cheaper ingredients will truly help reduce feed costs
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
27/09/2016 | If you want to introduce fiber and/or reduce feed cost:
- to lower ME level in you feed and in broiler for instance, accept a slight increase in FCR. Effect in growth may not be great.
- to secure quality control of your local and high fiber raw material.
Dr. Ali Mashhood
Specialist in Animal Nutrition
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
03/10/2016 | Thank you for such an informative article, helped so much in understanding more about fiber
Rodel Villaraza
Animal Nutritionist
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
04/10/2016 | Dear collegues,

Nice article and comments. When i graduated my b.s. studies i learned to limit the crude fiber of my formulation based on the animals and its age as we know that nutrients are compromise by the effect of fiber. Through the years of practice and seminars i have learned much of the positive use of dietary fiber which i always incorporate in my formulations especially the younger ones. Dietary fiber used in animals same with humans is for nutriceutical effect. Dr. Kroismayr gave a good definition and explanation on the topic. i do used lignocellulose fiber as dietary fiber source, however i found other source that i think has more advantage than that of lignocellulose. we should know the proper combination of insoluble and soluble fiber.
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
04/10/2016 |

As recommended level of crude fiber in broilers should not exceed 5% in the final feed. But can we increase more than 5%, especially during grower and finisher phase?

Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
11/10/2016 |

Interesting topic

Lawal Sesan
B.SC, M.Sc and Ph.D IN VIEW
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
16/10/2016 |

Fibre, as explained, is a forgotten nutrient but very important in a formulation for some reasons. In poultry production if it's too high the birds may not perform as expected and its complete absence is still not very good. Therefore, there is need to balance the fibre and be sure it does not exceed the limit of broilers, cockreal and layers.

Imran Hassan
Animal Nutritionist
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
20/10/2016 |


Damien Hubaut
Agricultural Engineer
Re: Dietary Fibre, the Forgotten Nutrient?
03/02/2017 |

Hi everybody, i think that we forget to speak about the type of the fiber. Is it soluble fibre or non soluble fiber !!! very important ...

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