Follow Returns by Chr. Hansen

Improve broiler performance on lower-cost diets with 'Flexible Feed Formulation'

News   •   Jun 13, 2016 21:43 GMT

New research from Chr. Hansen confirms that GalliPro® — a direct-fed microbial (DFM) for poultry containing a unique strain of Bacillus subtilis — allows producers to reduce energy, protein and amino-acid content in feed, without reducing broiler performance. GalliPro® is marketed as GalliPro® Max in the US.

These findings — combined with Chr. Hansen’s 100+ years of experience in microbial product development — are the basis of the company’s new “Flexible Feed Formulation” concept, which was presented in a forum at the 2016 International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The forum included research presentations by Dorthe Sandvang, senior research scientist with Chr. Hansen; Michael Sims, president, Virginia Diversified Research Center; and Prof. Horácio Rostagno of Brazil’s University of Viçosa.

“Our Flexible Feed Formulation concept reflects our commitment to supporting successful and sustainable poultry production with solutions that help our customers produce more with less,” says global product manager Mickaël Rouault.

“Feed can account for up to 70 percent of the cost of broiler production, with energy, protein and amino acids representing some of the costliest components. By boosting enzyme production while enhancing intestinal function, GalliPro® is provento increase both the availability and uptake of energy and nutrients. As a result, broilers can maintain performance on diets that are lower in energy, protein and amino acids — and consequently, lower in cost.”

Improved digestibility and performance 

In several trials conducted under commercial conditions in the US and Brazil, GalliPro® was shown to contribute 35 to 100 kcal/kg feed, depending on feed composition and flock-health conditions. That means dietary energy can be reduced by 1 to 3 percent, without compromising weight gain or feed conversion in commercial broilers (Table 1, Figure 1).

Further studies from Brazil and the UK showed that the DFM increases protein and amino acid digestibility, compensating for a 1 to 5 percent reduction in these potentially costly feed components (Figure 2).

According to Alfred Blanch, PhD, DVM, a poultry consultant for Chr. Hansen, results were consistent across the controlled studies, each of which evaluated the effect of the probiotic supplement on several different concentrations of dietary energy or protein. “Many factors can influence digestibility and performance, so we intentionally introduced several variables in these studies, including location, diet, and protein and energy levels for each diet. Yet across the board, results are remarkably consistent,” Blanch explains. “Although actual energy and protein compensation can vary based on nutrition, environment and subclinical infections, GalliPro® clearly and consistently improves broiler performance by helping them get more energy and nutrients from their feed.”

Proven mode of action

The consistency of the study data reflects the proven mode of action of the B. subtilis strain in GalliPro®, which works by increasing enzyme activity, while improving intestinal function. 

Using a proprietary tool known as reducing-sugar release (RSR) analysis, Chr. Hansen scientists demonstrated that by breaking down fiber and making more reducing sugars available to birds, the probiotic contributes 40 to 60 kcal/kg feed, confirming the trial results.

B. subtilis enhances carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism by producing digestive enzymes that birds don’t produce on their own,” Rouault says.

“As our RSR analysis proves, this particular strain gives birds access to more metabolizable energy from their feed, which partly explains the increased digestibility and performance we observed in the in vivo studies.”

In addition to making more nutrients available to the bird, GalliPro® aids the uptake of nutrients by promoting healthy microbial diversity in the intestine. This not only allows birds’ natural digestive enzymes to work more effectively, but it also makes it more difficult for harmful bacteria to colonize the gut. Furthermore, the probiotic has been shown to increase villus length, thereby increasing the gut’s capacity for nutrient absorption.

More with less

According to Blanch, the ability to maintain broiler performance on energy- and protein-reduced feed has clear economic benefits for producers and nutritionists, but there are other benefits, too.

“Lower-protein diets mean not only lower feed costs, but also less ammonia — a natural byproduct of protein digestion — resulting in better litter quality, fewer footpad lesions, better air quality in the poultry house and reduced ammonia emissions,” he explains.

In addition, he says, the B. subtilis strain in GalliPro® has been shown to improve broiler weight gain and feed conversion both with and without antibiotics, making it a valuable tool as the poultry industry comes under pressure to reduce antibiotic use.

“At its core, the Flexible Feed Formulation concept is about producing more with less — not just less energy, protein and money, but also less waste, less ammonia and potentially fewer antibiotics,” Rouault emphasized. “By using less, we believe the industry stands to gain much more in return: more profit, more sustainability and more successful poultry production overall.”


Jin, Frank et al. “Effect of Bacillus subtilis (GalliPro® Max) on energy conversion of broiler chickens fed with corn-soybean meal diets at varying energy levels.” 2016 International Poultry Scientific Forum abstract book, p. 49.

Harrington, D et al. “The use of GalliPro® to improve broiler performance on protein-reduced diets.” 2014 Poultry Science Association, abstract #233.

Abudabos, A.M. et al. “Effects of prebiotics and probiotics on the performance and bacterial colonization of broiler chickens.” South African Journal of Animal Science, 2015, 45, no. 4, pp. 419-428.

Opalinski, M et al. “On the use of a probiotic (Bacillus subtilis - strain DSM 17299) as growth promoter in broiler diets.” Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science, Apr-Jun 2007, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 99-103.