Poultry producers know a healthy gut is critical for optimal performance. Unfortunately, managing enteric challenges – like coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis – in antibiotic-free production systems is anything but easy. To protect poultry from disease, using feed additives – like tannins – that offer a wide-range of potential benefits for optimal gut health is key.
Tannins are natural phytogenic molecules found in grains, tree wood, gallnuts and fruits. Known for their ability to bind proteins, tannins have traditionally been considered anti-nutritive when used in poultry diets. In reality, tannins represent a highly diverse group of molecules with variable structures and properties. Importantly, tannin source and tannin structure can greatly impact the nutritive or anti-nutritive properties of the tannin.1 Growing research indicates that dietary tannins – when dosed correctly – offer a wide-range of benefits that support optimal gut health and performance of poultry.