Supporting body weight during heat stress

Dr. Connor Padgett, PhD, Poultry Technical Sales Manager

Broilers under heat stress increase heat exchange between their body and their environment by diverting blood and nutrient flow away from internal body organs including the intestine, to peripheral tissues such as the skin. In sustained heat stress situations, this process can eventually lead to hypoxia of the intestinal epithelium, which compromises intestinal integrity, ultimately leading to “leaky gut syndrome”. In order to help mitigate the negative effects of “leaky gut syndrome”, Safmannan supplementation helps to act in two different ways.

  1. The high content of Mannan-Oligosaccharides in Safmannan provides a high binding affinity to a broad spectrum of pathogens, which in high doses have been shown to result in negative effects on broiler performance, including Salmonella, E. coli, and Clostridium perfringens. When these pathogens bind to the mannan-oligosaccharides found in Safmannan, this inhibits their ability to attach to the intestinal mucosa. With less pathogens bound to the intestinal mucosa, there is a lower probability of those pathogens crossing the intestinal barrier and resulting in systemic infection. This is the first way Safmannan helps to improve performance in the face of heat stress.
  2. Secondly, the high content of β-Glucans found in Safmannan supports immune function, allowing the body to utilize its natural defenses to fend off pathogens. In the case of “leaky gut syndrome”, as the epithelial barrier weakens, pathogens are able to enter the blood stream. This triggers an immune response in conjunction with the neuroendocrine system and the concomitant secretion of adrenal corticosteroids to attenuate the immune response in the animal. These corticosteroid secretions will decrease the release of thyroid hormones that are responsible for controlling body temperature and metabolism. Ultimately this weakens the immune system, which when combined with heat stress, typically results in lower feed intake as well as increased risk of inflammation, morbidity and mortality.

Trial 1: Effect of Safmannan on feed conversion and body weight of broilers


450, 1-day-old male broilers on a corn-soybean diet, were randomly assigned to 3 different groups for this 42-day floor pen trial where heat stress conditions were 95 ± 3.6°F. Control group was at 95 ± 3.6°F for the first week and then decrease of 5.4°F per week until it reached 78.8 ± 3.6°F. SafMannan was supplemented at 1lb/T.


Trial 2: 60 Day commercial grow-out field trial, Southeast Integrator


During a 60-day target grow-out period, this on/off trial alternated supplementation with Safmannan in two-week time periods. Safmannan was supplemented at 1 lb/T in the finisher diets during the weeks specified below.


Two week periods of Control vs SafMannan in Finisher Diets

Wk ending 7/20 – Control

Wk ending 8/3 – SafMannan

Wk ending 8/17 – Control

Wk ending 8/31 – SafMannan

Wk ending 9/14 – Control


It is widely known that heat stress can have detrimental effects on broiler performance and overall bird health. Therefore, a multi-faceted approach is necessary in most situations to help mitigate the negative effects of heat stress. In order to effectively mitigate these effects, a multi-hurdle approach which includes proper management, program monitoring, and effective tools such Safmannan are necessary. Safmannan is a premium, sustainable, nature-based solution that has been specifically selected and scientifically validated to improve natural defenses and intestinal mucosal integrity.



Safmannan combines the power of a high Mannan-Oligosaccharides (MOS) content with the high content of β-Glucans.  The MOS binds with would be pathogens to prevent them from attaching to the intestinal lining and therefore preventing them from crossing the intestinal barrier to infect the chicken.



β-Glucans partner with the natural immune system to prevent infection of the bloodstream. Avoiding infection, avoids the additional adrenal corticosteroid secretion, which would inhibit thyroid hormones that assist chickens in controlling their body temperature.



Neither of these components is a complete solution to the heat stress problem on their own. However, a balanced and appropriate level of both Mannan-oligosaccharides and β-glucans provides a synergistic benefit by reducing the pathogen load in the intestinal tract and strengthening the bird’s natural immune system in order to provide the best opportunity to overcome heat stress.



In instances of heat stress, Safmannan serves as a biological approach to those physiological problems induced by heat stress. Through scientifically validated processes, this supplement helps to mitigate these negative zootechnical performance effects, resulting in improved body weights in broilers across multiple growth targets. Overall, this results in improved performance, bird health and animal welfare.

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