Importance of OVN

Vitamins play crucial roles in both human and animal nutrition and the new concept of OVN is essential in this modern era of farming.

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Poultry Breeders

Animals selected for breeding purposes require specialized attention, precise management practices and a diet of high nutritional quality...

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Laying Hens

Commercial egg-laying strains have changed a great deal in a few years. Logically, these changes in themselves should call for increased nutritional requirements in general, and in particular, increased vitamin requirements...

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Broilers & Turkeys

Broiler and turkey diets need to be supplemented with vitamins as the primary materials do not contain them in sufficient quantities.

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Most recommendations for vitamins in swine nutrition are based on studies carried out several decades ago. There are several reasons to suggest the need to update the guidelines and these are covered in this chapter focusing on swine nutrition...

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Beef Cattle

Recommendations for vitamin levels in beef herds has been completely reviewed in this chapter, with the purpose of supplying vitamin levels appropriate to this group of animals...

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Dairy Cattle

The increase in productive yield of the dairy cow has revealed a series of production problems which, in recent years, have enabled deficiencies of some vitamins to be identified. This chapter updates best practice.

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R. Cepero Briz
A. Blanco Pérez

Department of Animal Production and Food Science, Faculty of Veterinary Science. University of Zaragoza, Spain

OVN in Broilers & Turkeys


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Vitamins were once regarded as "unknown growth factors," and were mostly discovered in the course of the 20th century. The quantities of vitamins required are very small, but they are essential for tissue integrity, normal development of organic functions, and the maintenance of health.

Their physiological and metabolic roles are very varied and of great importance, as they are involved in many biochemical reactions and they take part in the metabolism of the nutrients derived from the digestion of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. A single vitamin may have several different functions, and many interactions between them are known.

Broiler and turkey feed should be supplemented with vitamins as the primary materials do not contain them in sufficient quantities, and (apart from vitamin C) the birds are either unable to synthesize them, or do so in very limited quantities (B group, K2), most of which are excreted in any case. An animal’s body is able to store some vitamins, principally in the liver (A, D3, B12, and to a lesser extent E and K3). Vitamin deficiencies produce non-specific signs of illness (loss of appetite, retarded growth, defective plumage, rise in mortality) as well as specific signs, amply described in the basic literature on poultry pathology and nutrition.

Contents: OVN in broilers and turkeys

Vitamin requirements: concept and definition
Vitamin supplementation: general aspects
Current recommendations
Latest investigations in vitamin nutrition
Thiamine (vitamin B1)
Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
Pyridoxine (vitamin B6)
Vitamin B12
Pantothenic acid
Folic acid
Vitamin C
Vitamin A
Vitamin K
Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 metabolites
Vitamin E