A new approach to improving feed conversion


Production performance can be significantly increased by feeding more bioavailable trace minerals to animals. This has been confirmed by numerous poultry and swine studies on hydroxy trace minerals. Due to their unique crystalline structure and strong covalent bonds, hydroxy trace minerals improve the bioavailability of copper and zinc, which are essential to maximise growth performance, feed efficiency, and meat yield.


Delivering more nutrients to the bloodstream

Bioavailability and its effect on feed conversion are critical aspects nutritionists and producers must consider when comparing feed additives. The real value of feed additives lies in the amount and quality of the nutrients supplied to the blood for use by the animal, along with their availability within the digestive tract. The best performing mineral additives should have low reactivity, thereby minimising nutrient antagonisms and maximising availability. This results in the delivery of the mineral throughout the length of the gastrointestinal tract. The stable structure of hydroxy trace minerals fits all these criteria. This provides producers with an affordable means to feed animals to maximise weight gain and meat yields.

Protecting the nutritional value of feed

Furthermore, hydroxy trace minerals delivered as OptiSize™ particles provide a more uniform blend of trace minerals throughout the feed. Considering a one-day-old chick eats 12 grams of feed per day, this means 1 tonne of diet provides over 83,000 individual meals. If the minerals are not uniformly mixed, long lasting negative effects on animal performance may be realised during this critical developmental window.

Another benefit of feeding hydroxy trace minerals as OptiSize particles is their low reactivity within the feed. The low reactivity of hydroxy trace mineral particles prevents the destruction of other expensive dietary constituents like phytase, vitamin E or added fat typically observed when feeding more reactive mineral sources. Therefore, feeding hydroxy trace minerals also improves the availability of other expensive nutrients.

Proving growth performance through research

As a result of the better bioavailability and more uniform delivery of minerals to the animal, supplementing diets with hydroxy trace minerals consistently improves growth performance and productive efficiency. Feed Conversion Ratios (FCR’s) in 13 separate poultry studies were improved by an average of 5.2 points. Considering it takes less than one point in FCR to justify the added cost of feeding hydroxy trace minerals compared to sulfates and/or oxides, there is little financial risk to upgrade to more bioavailable hydroxy trace mineral sources.

In addition to the benefits observed in poultry, swine trials confirmed the growth benefits of hydroxy trace minerals.  Nursery pigs gained an average of 846 grams across five studies, while feeding hydroxy trace minerals to grower and finishing pigs resulted in an additional 2 kg of live weight across six studies.

Hydroxy trace minerals in the market

OptiSize particles have been shown to effectively supply more mineral to the blood of the animal, and this exclusive technology can be found in Selko IntelliBond hydroxy trace minerals. Bioavailability and feed conversion are two of the most valuable benefits feed additives can provide. Trouw Nutrition leads the industry in both of these aspects with Selko IntelliBond

About Selko

Selko is the feed additives brand of Trouw Nutrition, a Nutreco company. Selko’s portfolio consists of natural feed additive solutions that add value to integrators, feed mills and farmers. Focus areas are Salmonella control, feed safety, gut health in antibiotic-free production systems and trace mineral nutrition solutions. Selko solutions are offered as a complete package consisting of products, know-how and services. The Selko brand encompasses blends of organic acids, organic and hydroxy trace minerals, betaine and mycotoxin binders. Trouw Nutrition’s global sales organisation commercialises the Selko feed additives brand.