DFMs are products that contain viable and live microorganisms, such as yeast or bacteria. These organisms are most often found in poultry feed. DFMs can also be called probiotics. Whatever the term, DFM, or probiotic, their purpose in poultry production is to provide sufficient live microorganisms for the bird to confer a health advantage on the host.
Many people don't realize that hatchlings have an immature mucosal immune system and that their gastrointestinal tracts do not have a mature microbiome. This is when the bird becomes more susceptible to imbalanced microbiome populations. By producing direct fed microbials for poultry, the bacteria can colonize their gastrointestinal tracts and fight pathogenic bacteria.
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Two main types of DFMS currently are used in poultry: endospore-forming and lactic acid bacteria. Endospore-forming bacteria is preferred because they are more resistant to the feed manufacturing process.
What does Direct-Fed Microbials do?
DFMs, or probiotics, provide large amounts of beneficial bacteria to the host. They can occupy adhesion sites in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby preventing colonization by non-beneficial species. Beneficial bacteria can also compete with other bacteria species for nutrients and produce anti-microbial substances that directly inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
The Benefits of Direct-Fed Microbials
High-quality probiotics are not only good for supporting a healthy microbiome. They also have the ability to boost the immune system and increase livability.
You can optimize the microbiome in the gastrointestinal tract by choosing a DFM with the above attributes.