What is the effect of KiFAY on IGF-1 and protein accretion in broilers?

A comparative study was performed to investigate the efficacy of KiFAY™ as a feed additive on performance parameters, thyroid, and pancreatic hormone levels in broilers. Ninety birds (Vencobb 400) were randomly divided into three groups viz., Control (no DL-methionine supplementation), Treatment1 (containing added DL-methionine) and Treatment2 (containing KiFAY™ and without DL-methionine
supplementation). The performance parameters (weekly body weight, body weight gain, feed intake, and feed consumption ratio) were recorded and calculated during the whole study of 4 weeks.

Analysis of insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF1), triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4) and thyroid stimulating Hormone (TSH) were performed at the end of the study. The results show that birds on supplementation of KiFAY™ performed significantly (p<0.001) better than other treatments. The weekly body weight, body weight gain, feed in-take and feed consumption ratio improved in KiFAY™ treated birds. The study shows an increase in insulin and IGF1 levels (p<0.001) in KiFAY™ than other treatments.

Serum T3, T4 and TSH levels in the treatment2 were higher than other treatments (p<0.001). The KiFAY™ supplementation was able to improve performance with associated responses at a hormonal level in broilers.


Nitrogen is highly found in animal excreta and can exist in various forms. One such form is “Ammonia”. Primarily ammonia is a result of breakdown of urea present in urine of birds by the enzymes; urease and uricase. It is a potential source to create bad odor and negatively impact air and water quality and animal as well as human health. Presence of ammonia above 25ppm in the poultry house can damage the respiratory system of the birds and also there is a reduction in immune system; leading to declining flock health and performance. In addition to the effects on bird’s health, ammonia has significant hazardous effect on the caretakers and to the environmental ecology.

High levels of ammonia emission inside the poultry house have also become a cause of concern for the atmosphere outside the poultry house. Therefore there is a great need to develop strategies to reduce ammonia formation, volatilization, or downwind transmission of ammonia after it is volatilized from the poultry manure to minimize the harmful effects of ammonia on animal and human health as well as the environment.

Keeping this in mind and with a view to develop ‘ammonia- free ‘and organic environment for all, Vinayak Ingredients have launched a product with a brand name “KiFAY”. KiFAY is a blend of various herbal extracts in a diatomaceous carrier which acts as a DL-Methionine replacer and a nutritional feed additive and goes directly into the feed and acts as an amino acid optimizer and improves the apparent ileal digestibility of the feed and hence improves the protein turnover this also reduces the amount of amino acid degradation by the liver and excretion by kidney which form the major part of nitrogen compounds excreted by poultry. In turn these compounds are also responsible for ammonia and smell in the poultry house, apart from posing stressors for liver and kidney.

Vinayak Ingredients have also launched A Biosecurity product which combats the remaining ammonia emission in the droppings of the birds which acts as a litter amendment system under the brand name of “ESSENTIOLITT-POULTRY”. Essentiolitt poultry is an ammonia binder and has bactericidal action on urease and uricase enzymes and inhibit the ammonia formation by increasing 45% nitrogen retention and ammonia emission.

Role of antioxidants in feed

Antioxidants play a major role in animal health, production and performance. This is due to the detrimental effects of radicals and toxic products of their metabolism on various metabolic processes. It is a well known fact that oxidative stress is involved in many degenerative disorders. The oxidative free radicals are therefore considered as pathobiochemicals mechanism for initiating or progression of various diseases. The prooxidant-antioxidant balance can be regulated by optimal nutrient uptake or providing herbal antibiotics. Thus, the essential step in maintaining the balance between the oxidative damage and antioxidative defense in the animal body would be to boost the antioxidant capacity by optimizing the dietary intake of antioxidants.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant. It is an important anti-stress agent. However, it can be easily oxidized. Sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is required in collagen biosynthesis and protein metabolism.

Vitamin E is the found in the biological membranes and lipid droplets. Vitamin E is absorbed in the small intestine with various efficacies depending on the diet composition, level of supplementation, age, sex and other individual characteristics of animals. It is the main chain-breaking antioxidant in biological systems.

Carotenoid is a natural pigment, responsible for yellow, orange and sometimes red pigmentations in plants, insects, birds and marine animals. They possess antioxidant activity. They have some health promoting properties, including immune system modulation. They are found in some plant-derived feed ingredients.

Manganese has an essential part of a range of enzymes taking part in antioxidant protection, bone growth and egg shell formation carbohydrate and lipid metabolism including processing of cholesterol.

Zinc is the second most abundant trace element trace element in mammals and they take part in antioxidant defense as an integral part of SOD, hormone secretion, keratin generation and epithelial tissue integrity immune function.

Iron has a vital role in antioxidant defense as an essential component of catalase, energy and protein metabolism, hence respiratory carrier, electron transport, oxidation-reduction reaction.

Do you know the good, the bad and the ugly of inflammation in poultry?

know the good, the bad and the ugly of inflammation in poultry?

Inflammatory responses in birds are because of an immune response. These immune responses can be non-specific (innate) immunity and specific (adaptive) immunity. Thus, the inflammatory responses can be cell-specific as in case of cell-mediated immune responses which include T or B
lymphocyte responses. These are localized or site-specific whereas non-specific responses are more generalized involving phagocytic cells and innate antibody. A generalized mass inflammatory response has an overwhelming effect on today’s commercial poultry. The chain reaction of events caused by an antigen always involves the innate immunity reaction prior to the involvement of cell mediated immunity. As we learnt in in vaccination basics, vaccines improve specific antibody titers to prevent
infection of target microbes. But does this stop inflammatory responses arising from the innate side of the bird? Do these inflammatory responses affect poultry?
Immunity in its most non-specific forms has more demerits than otherwise. The preventive blanket of mucin and ciliary responses as in the case of respiratory and gut-associated infections is affected the most in the generalized inflammatory tidal wave. Many researchers have associated tethered mucin thinning and reduced ciliary activity as a primary reason for active infection in birds. Onc opportunistic commensals evade, they spread fast. Most cell-mediated responses that may are associated with these commensals would respond very late to such an onslaught. The most pronounced effects of these infections would be in high-stress conditions especially in heat stress. Heat stress and high ammonia concentrations or similar stresses would require rapid panting behavior which would mimic generalized inflammatory responses.
Immunization reactions are common in poultry where generalized immunity might be one of the reasons for morbidity. The birds are at this stage in their young but antibody deficient forms. As it is, Vaccination is a boon in the poultry industry but frequent respiratory outbreaks could point a direction towards controlling the span of their inflammatory reign. We have seen protection from certain diseases provided by warmth generated from poultry body, and have seen several mortalities from heat stress, similarly balancing this double-edged sword should be left to nature. It is most reassuring to see the improving specifics in immunization but at the same time, it is scary to see the broadening antigen carrying potential of the microbes. All considered, surely inflammation would play a vital part in the
future of poultry rearing.


The microorganism community in the gut is generally referred to as friendly bacteria, gut flora, gut microbiota, or gut micro-flora. The poultry gut is a diverse community of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. There are multiple interactions in the GI tract between the host (bird) cells, the intestinal environment, bacterial cells, and feed components. Hence, the gut micro-flora is extremely important in maintaining the health of the bird. 
The micro-flora in the gut prevents the growth of pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Clostridium Commensals (or friendly) micro-flora either inhibit the growth or make the environment unsuitable for less favorable bacteria.
The increased presence of bad bacteria is called dysbacteriosis. These bad bacteria affect nutrient absorption in the gut of birds which, in turn, affects bird’s health and performance. To tackle this issue, we have introduced Herbofloxin which is of natural origin and it maintains the health of the gut. It has phytoconstituents of antibacterial nature that target the gut pathogens including important zoonotic bacteria.
Herbofloxin maintains the acidic pH in the gut, which promotes the growth of commensals and resist pathogen attachment to the gut. The result is an immune-modulator effect which improves tolerance to pathogenic bacteria and improves gastrointestinal microclimate so as to improve the digestibility and uptake of nutrients. All these results almost nullify the
the requirement of antibiotics making it an effective Natural antibiotic growth promoter or an effective alternative to synthetic antibiotics.

Gut inflammatory status in poultry

The gastrointestinal tract is the most exposed surface in the body and many diseases are largely related to the gut health status of the broiler. It is an important organ system as poor gut health results in poor nutrient assimilation. Some bacteria play an important role in helping broilers digest feed. Feed constituents affect the viscosity of the gastric content which helps in the development of small intestine microbiota.  Any significant fluctuation in number or type of commensal leads to diarrhea which may cause severe damage to the intestine ultimately leading to poor performance and diseased birds. Dysbiosis that outnumbers good bacteria for which bad bacteria are then able to exert their undesirable effects on the gut lining. Thus, to maintain good health and welfare farmers should focus on the integrity of the intestinal system.

Many causes lead to the loss of intestinal integrity such as.

  • Immuno-suppression: This can be caused due to viral diseases, vaccination, or some disease challenges.
  • Antimicrobial activity: The use of antimicrobial growth promoter’s effect on bacteria can affect the natural microflora of the intestine.
  • Environmental factors: Many clostridial spores or coccidia can persist despite harsh environmental conditions that may gain infectivity later under favorable conditions.
  • Feed factors: Correct formulation of the diets play a critical role. Some of the ingredients such as enzymes incorrectly mixed or applied can have devastating consequences to intestinal integrity.
  • Water: Adequate supply of clean potable water is a norm. Any deviation in water quality has a direct effect on the gut.

Disturbance in the intestinal integrity may affect the health status and overall performance of birds in poultry production. Strategies such as prevention programs towards infectious disease and using alternatives to antibiotics are advisable replacing the existing chemical antibiotic to maintain intestinal homeostasis.

How important is the biosecurity of the litter important to broiler health?

The deep litter system is the most widely used for broiler rearing. Although the litter material differs in type from region to region, it is the most closely connected non ingested input for birds. The litter microbiome comprises a myriad of bacteria and fungi which many times directly influence the gut microbiology of poultry. Many efforts are in place to improve the poultry gut balance so has to improve performance and maintain positive health status without the use of antibiotics. In these gigantic efforts to convert the industry into a clean non-antibiotic origin, we may miss the miniature looking effects of the poultry litter.
Several co-factors arising from the litter including, but not limited to bacteria, Ammonia, wet litter, zoonosis, and environment have been consistently raising eyebrows without much actions taken to inhibit the same. Bacterial contaminants like salmonella, campylobacter, and E.coli have found a safe haven in the untreated litter. Ammonia emissions from these houses are coupled with other agricultural ammonia sources result in approximately 55 % of originating from manure management (Ammonia
emissions, EU-28, 2013.png). In the USA, Campylobacter is the second most isolated agent of foodborne illness, whereas, in the European Union (EU), Campylobacter is the main pathogen that causes human gastroenteritis, with approximately 198,252 cases in 2009
Wet litter predominately originates from gut dysbiosis, especially in stressed birds. The easiest route to acquire an infection, in this case, is the litter. Poultry litter is the main reason for the persistence of infection in poultry flock even after brutal antibiotic treatment due to re-infection cycles by litter contamination. Bio-aerosols arising from these bacteria and fungi are one of the most important effectors of the respiratory cascade. Everyone focuses to disinfect water, bird, house, and feed. It comes as no surprise that poultry litter/bedding forms a very important vertex of the etiology pyramid for broilers which spend their entire rearing cycle on it, as the most contagious contact.


Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (also called IGF-1 or somatomedin C), is a highly conserved molecule similar to the molecular structure of insulin. It is made up of 70 amino acids encoded by the IGF1 gene.

IGF-1 has many effects on the body.

It plays a key role in the control of skeletal characteristics, metabolism, and growth of adipose tissue, and deposition of fat in chickens. IGF1 promotes cell division and cell growth in the body. It also plays a role in cellular repair in the brain, heart, and muscles of the animal. The perturbation of IGF1 can cause many consequences to the animal. IGF-1 is a major mediator of effects of growth hormone (GH) produced in the pituitary gland, then released into the bloodstream, later triggers the liver to produce IGF-1.

Few studies have shown no direct correlation between GH levels and the growth rate in chickens; hence this has led to study IGFs as mediators of the functions of GH. The action of the mechanism is initiated by binding of IGF1 to its receptor called IGF1 receptor which is present on many cell types in many tissues. This mediates intracellular many cellular signal transductions at the molecular level. The mechanisms of involvement of these proteins in insulin/IGF signaling pathways are largely speculative and require further study. The IGF1 produced in the muscle offers the main benefits to the gain of the muscle. They trigger different protein activities involved in muscle protein synthesis.

There are multiple factors associated with the production of IGF1, such as low levels of glucose or deficiency of a protein that can trigger a significant decline of the IGF1, vice versa. full Endocrinology in birds has always been an unfamiliar subject to the researchers, even though endocrinopathy in birds has a high occurrence. Hormones such as the growth hormone, IGF, thyroid hormones, and insulin, play important and diverse roles in animal growth.

Very few information is available that explains the nutrient-IGF relationship in the poultry industry. However, IGF1 has been sensitive to the alteration in the nutrition in domestic fowl. Studies performed by two separate groups shows food deprivation for 5 days depresses circulating IGF1 concentration and upon re-feeding, concentration return to near initial concentration.

Other studies in contrast reported that a complete return to normal IGF1 was observed following depriving of feeding suggesting that the extent of nutrient deprivation determines the rate at which IGF1 synthesis and secretion return to normal following periods of nutrient modification. The study led by Del Vesco and its colleagues in 2013, has evaluated the effects of different dietary methionine levels on IGF1 and GH gene expression in liver and muscle tissues. The IGF1 and GH gene expression in muscle tissues was not affected by methionine supplementation. However, IGF1 gene expression in the liver was higher in broilers fed methionine diet. They further demonstrated the effect of heat stress and supplementation of methionine on the GH and IGF1gene expression in the liver and found that methionine supplementation increased IGF1 and GH expression.

They observed that the highest GHR expression occurred at normal temperature and not at heat stress in supplementation of methionine in the diet. This suggests that protein degradation is induced by the heat stress but supplementation of methionine triggers protein deposition because it increases the expression of gene-related protein synthesis and reduces the expression of genes related to protein catabolism.
Jaromir Kadlec along with other workers has found IGF1 as a potential candidate gene responsible for various metabolic traits in chickens. They have identified a single variable gene known as single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in a total of 132 birds using molecular techniques
and have correlated the genotype frequencies with growth and fat deposition in chickens.

The results depict identical IGF1 amino acid sequences among chickens, rats, and human peptides. In spite of the wealth of knowledge that has accumulated concerning IGF1 in the past few decades, still many details of IGF1 in broilers remain to be clarified about the role of different pathways.

What is The Term Matrix Related to The Poultry Feed Industry?

Matrix is a term people will generally relate to Keanu Reeves; even google will present you with this as a first-page result. However, the matrix in the feed analogy is more related to something mathematical. The words digestible nutrients of feed ingredients and matrix are generally used as synonyms.  But matrix actually represents the nutrients available in the feed additive together with the nutrients spared or made available by use of the same additive in the feed formulation.  It represents the total nutrition provided to the animal body directly or indirectly by affecting the digestibility of feed. So, what is the use of a matrix? We all remember our schooling days in mathematics and associate with a name called Linear programming problems acronym as LPP. These are mathematical equations to link variables together to extract optimum results. One can set the key parameters such as price, dosage, availability, standards as variables with monetary profits as realistic outcomes. To give an example of LPP, let’s try this, for what combination of three machines A, B and C can work together with efficiency using each other’s limitations on different levels of time, use, power, and accuracy to obtain an algorithm best suitable to manufacture maximum units of D in the least possible time, consuming least electricity and maintaining quality standards by reducing standard deviation. In layman terms, it will give you a method of best utilization of available resources. So a matrix will enable us to use  LPP, which are nowadays coded in software that helps in formulating feed.

So how does one calculate the matrix of a feed additive? The answer is to run digestibility trials. These trials evaluate the nutritional availability of the ingredient to the animal. The availability can be further refined as in the case of terms in energy as gross energy, metabolizable energy, and so on. The digestibility trials also are needed to be refined on the basis of species, age, breed, sex, and diet. A mature broiler breeder will have an ability to digest nutrients from corn which will be different for a layer chick and a corn-soy diet with fishmeal will have a different matrix than a corn-soy-bran diet with lupins. Once individual ingredient digestibility values are calculated the nutritional content can be corrected with these fractions to determine their true potential in feed formulations. Many phytogenic origin products have tried to replace certain high-cost matrix products in the feed. But very few have succeeded to relate the plant-sourced additive in terms of a compatible matrix value. The matrix can be also formed on the basis of growth studies where ingredients for ingredient replacement can be tested by using performance parameters. A correlation graph can be utilized to compare the new ingredients which fit better in an LPP for cost reduction with the old ones, falling short on the price front or other long term frontiers. In the case of certain additives like phytase enzymes which result in mobilization phosphorus, the tibial ash content comparisons are also used to form a matrix.

An in vivo digestibility assay in the case of poultry ideally focuses on an ileal sampling of digesta and deductively analyzing the same with oral fed feed. The birds are sacrificed and digesta is sampled at different levels of the gut to understand the digestibility of ingredients. As ileum is the terminal region of the small intestine and digestion is considered at its optimum here, the feed sampled in these zones is used for developing a matrix. The fecal collection is generally contaminated with renal excretions and is not considered ideal to evaluate digestibility of precision fed feed. The most accurate theoretical method to estimate digestibility values is to use selectorized roosters. Only a few attempts to replicate the digestive values in vitro are successful and are not as accurate as in vivo methods. Most of the values tested in vitro were based on the activity of enzymes on a certain feed grain and do not replicate real-time complexities of in vivo trials.

Research is now moving to the molecular level, and ultimately it is the nutrients that are utilized at a cellular level that matters the most. Current digestibility studies focus on the nutrients absorbed from the intestinal lumen to the blood, whereas growth studies compare the net benefits from the additive. In the future, our goal should be a point of intersection between these two studies with molecular markers used to light up our path to the least cost matrix for success.



So yes, we see it all around. Everyone is going gaga over how to organic food products. Many research and studies have shown the benefits of consuming organic food. From inflammatory to immunity they carry a load of benefit originating from this supposedly small scale market. So, how small is this market? According to USDA estimates the total organic food sales in 2015 were $ 37 billion with a yearly increase of 12 %. The organic poultry retail sales have almost quadrupled since 2003, and estimates of annual growth rates range from 23 to 38 percent through the end of the decade, with annual sales reaching almost $600 million by 2010. From 2014 to 2015, when total egg sales in the U.S. were down 1.1 percent, organic egg sales increased an astonishing 119.8 percent, according to data from Euromonitor, proving that consumers will indeed pay a premium for what they think is a better product. The difficulties that most organic poultry producers face today are to deal with the ban on the use of synthetic amino acids, only methionine can be partially used as per the National Organic Program( NOP). The farmer then either has to use high crude protein content which not only increases the price of feed but also increases ammonia emissions. Along with this severe footpad lesions develop with the increased non optimized amino acid levels. Up till now farmers had no options but to live with it to fetch high returns from the NOP certified sale.

Amino acid optimization is a vast topic, which starts from ingredients and goes all the way up to on feed line near-infrared imaging to predict real-time amino acid nutrition. The research on amino acid nutrition is endless; however, with the growth of the organic market, the faster-growing varieties do not fulfill the economical criterion for being organic. KiFAY™ our solution for the feed industry was innovated for the market as a suitable amino acid optimizer. The primary goal of KiFAY™ is to reduce feed prices without impacting performance. As all ingredients used in KiFAY™ of plant source and can easily be sourced as organic. We see a huge potential in using it as an organic matrix for the replacement of chemical amino acids in the feed. As amino acid optimization with KiFAY™ requires no high-end machinery and continuous monitoring of ppm levels of nutrients. We can use simple body physiology derived mechanisms to rear conventional fast-growing broilers the organic way. If only, all additives focus on protein utilization rather than supplementation, this concern of small farms producing organic for the masses in a cost-effective and eco-sustainable manner can be easily resolved.