Fibre is an intrinsic component of animal diets. Depending on chemical structure and physicochemical properties, fibre may affect both gut physiology and feed intake. In some species, viscous soluble fibres are linked to an increased satiety caused by gastric distension and a slower emptying rate, and thereby a reduced feed intake. This is at least partly caused by water binding and thus swelling of the fibre-containing stomach contents. Satiety effects induced by short-chain fatty acids produced in the lower digestive tract may also be of importance. Due to the unique grinding role of the avian stomach in the form of a gizzard, fibres in the form of large insoluble structures will have a major impact on the muscular development of this organ. Although development of the gizzard does not seem to have any systematic effect on feed intake, the increased grinding ability and the improved regulation of feed flow results in improvements in nutrient digestibility.
Presented at the International Fibre Summit 2019 (https://internationalfibre.com/). Reproduced with permission from the organizers.