What on earth is ‘Eubiotic Lignocellulose’??

I hope no-one loses their lunch over this photo but in the spirit of a picture being worth a thousand words, please bear with my photo of chook poop and spare a thought for my sweet daughter who agreed to hold it!

While flicking through one of the poultry industry magazines we periodically get sent and having a quiet rant to myself about industrialisation and “technological advancements”, I came across two ads for poultry feed additives siting amazing health benefits.  What was this new wonder substance? Wait for it…It’s fibre.  From a bit of googling I found it was actually a finely mulched up wood.

Cellulose and lignin are, in extremely basics terms (because I don’t have time to look up more than basic terms), the parts of plant cell walls that give it shape and structure and hold all the more gooey components inside.  When a “monogastric” animal (eg us, chooks, pigs) eats a plant the two types of fibre (soluble and insoluble) pass through the digestive system, as both are indigestible and aren’t absorbed into the blood.

The benefits listed by these companies selling this finely mulched wood are very true.

The insoluble fibre creates bulk and moves food through the intestines.  This makes the manure drier and decreases diarrhoea, makes the bird feel full, and reduces stress.  The soluble fibre (also called “fermentable fibre”) dissolves in water to become gel-like and promotes nutrient absorption by slowing digestion and the fermenting process increases the population of lactic acid bacteria (the same sort of good guys found in yoghurt and probiotics) which in turn suppress the bad bacteria (like salmonella and e-coli).

I’ll go out on a limb and say that if mulched up wood does all this, then grass might too.  So I suppose that ‘eubiotic lignocellulose’ is a fancy way of saying that the animals should be out eating what they need to eat – grass.  Lucky we had some scientist to confirm what the birds already knew.  Pity humans don’t have the same instinct to eat their salad.