Hostazym® X in Laying Hen Nutrition: The Cost Savings Reformulation Tool

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Article | 14.11.2021
Formulation of more efficient and cost-effective feeds relies on optimizing the animal's use of the nutrients in the raw materials. Animal performance indicators must not be compromised, rather improved, and health status should not be negatively affected. This apparently simple statement has a significant weight in the decision process of the nutritionist, under constant pressure to find the most cost-effective solutions for their business. Fibre-degrading enzymes are one tool in their nutrition toolkit that optimizes both business and animal performance.

Evaluating the added value of such nutritional tools can be an exhausting endeavour as multiple factors, such as animal age, diet composition, fibre, particle size, chosen enzyme and microbiome in the gastrointestinal tract will directly impact animal response to a particular product. Moreover, all possible interactions and synergies are far from being fully understood, which makes the drawing of conclusions a complex subject.

Hostazym® X in layer nutrition

Hostazym® X, a non-starch polysaccharide degrading enzymatic complex, plays a key role on the health status and nutrition of high performing birds which, due to the wide range of feedstuffs used to formulate feeds, are frequently under nutritional stress. 

Our research has already demonstrated and showcased the efficacy of Hostazym® X in increasing egg production, increasing egg mass, and improving feed efficiency across different diets and production systems.

The layer response to Hostazym® X is related to the combination of the different actions of the enzymatic complex that together result in better animal performance and better intestinal health. The hydrolysis of arabinoxylan (both soluble and insoluble fractions) contributes to the release of additional nutrients that are used by the animal. In addition, the formation of arabinoxylan oligosaccharides (molecules that are recognized for their prebiotic properties) enhances caeca fermentation, increasing the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). 

The validated mode of action allows Hostazym® X to be used as a tool for feed reformulation, aiming to reduce the cost of the feed without compromising animal performance.

Raw material price volatility and increasing costs of energy and protein sources when formulating layer diets stresses the need for alternatives that support overall business profitability.

The results of this research trial build evidence for the added value of the feed reformulation approach. The trial was set to demonstrate that the replacement of soybean with alternative sources of protein can be done when Hostazym® X is used as a reformulation tool without compromising performance and with significant economic advantage.

The trial ran for 5 months using 432 Lohmann Brown hens (18 weeks of age at the start of the trial) and compared three treatments: 

  • Control - feed formulated to the nutritional specifications of the breed
  • Reformulated diet - control feed reformulated to the same nutritional specifications but replacing soybean with sunflower meal, rapeseed meal and wheat bran
  • Reformulated diet + Hostazym® X - reformulated diet with Hostazym® X at 1,500 EPU/kg

The trial feeds are described in Table 1 showing the details of soybean replacement and the reformulated feed.

Table 1. Diet compositions

The results (Table 2) clearly show that when the control diet was reformulated, the technical performance dropped: 

  • Laying rate dropped by 1.5%
  • Egg mass decreased by 1.3 g
  • Feed conversion rate (FCR) increased by 4 points

However, when the reformulated feed was supplemented with Hostazym® X, all performance parameters were brought back to the level of the control diet. These results point out the benefits of Hostazym® X in supporting feed cost reduction strategies, by reformulation of feed with alternative raw materials.

Table 2. Effect of different dietary treatments on the technical performance of laying hens


Hostazym® X is a proven nutritional tool to optimize the technical and economic performance of laying hens. It is a tool for better nutrition, better health, and a reliable support for alternative formulation strategies.


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