Chickens on a Diet

NEWARK - Millions of chickens, like many Americans, are starting a new diet regimen, but instead of helping to lose weight, the diet helps the environment.
calendar icon 1 February 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

Millions of chickens eat a lot, and excrete a lot of waste - which can get into soil and can get carried off in storm water waterways. Now, poultry nutritionists are watching what chickens eat to help keep chemicals out of the environment.

"What we're doing is to make changes that will enable the bird to grow well, to be healthy and still have a reduction on the environmental imprint," William Saylor, Ph.D., Nutritionist at the University of Delaware, told Ivanhoe.

Chicken feed contains an essential nutrient called phosphorus - but chickens bodies can't absorb it, so any excess passes thru the bird -- polluting the environment. Adding an enzyme called phytase to chicken feed helps birds digest more phosphorus.

Inside the birds digestive track, the phytase enzyme breaks down phosphorus molecules, so that the bird can absorb and utilize more of it … and less goes to waste.

Source: Ivanhoe
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