Effects of Zearalenone in Poultry
PDF Chapter from Zearalenone Compendium
Zearalenone is a one of the mycotoxins commonly found in poultry feed. Due to its structural similarity to estrogen, fungi-produced zearalenone latches onto the estrogen receptor, which can induce hyperestrogenism and lead to lower reproductive performance in poultry.
In poultry, zearalenone affects egg quality and can increase embryonic mortality leading to reduced hatchability. Zearalenone also affects feathering and can cause polycystic ovary syndrome. Continued or repeated exposure of birds to zearalenone through feed can have lasting long-term effects.
BIOMIN has compiled all of the latest research on the effects of zearalenone in breeders, layers, broilers, turkeys and ducks in the new book, Zearalenone Compendium.
“If we look at egg production in particular we see that on average across studies exposure to zearalenone over a long term can reduce egg production by about 6%,” noted Professor Todd Applegate, Head of the Department of Poultry Science at the University of Georgia in the United States.
“As far as susceptibility, the turkey is very susceptible to these chronic exposures followed by broiler breeders then layers, ducks and lastly broilers. So, with chronic exposure especially during that pullet phase of rearing we’re seeing delays in reproductive tract development. Those birds may not peak as well in production and may not have persistency of lay over the long term,” observed Prof Applegate.