AvianFlu and zeolite

This post explores a Polish publication that claims that zeolites in the chicken feed and in the bedding makes their bones and guts stronger. [1] Why they need stronger guts may have something to do with spread of disease during slaughter. In November of 2022 the US CDC issued a report on the death of 49 million birds as the result of avian flu. What happens to chicken guts during and/or after slaughter?

US back yard chicken feed chicken guts to the birds still alive, to dogs, etc.

An image from Dreamstime

Here is another Dreamstime image of a chicken slaughterhouse It is not clear where the guts are and how they are disposed of.

This is another image from gettyimages of chicken guts. It is assumed by this post that the guts are transported to another location for processing into food for chickens or other animals.

Obtaining carcasses from chickens whose intestinal walls are characterized by a high level of strength is important from the processing point of view (biosafety when gutting carcasses). The presented research results are part of the “Safe Farm” project. The study revealed whether the alumi-nosilicates do not reduce the strength of the intestines and bones in the safety of post-slaughter processing aspect. Therefore, research was undertaken to assess the effect of the natural zoo technical additive in the form of aluminosilicates on broiler chickens’ production results, the digestive system’s physical features, and leg bones.
The research hypothesis is that adding aluminosilicates to feed and bedding impacts the production results and physical characteristics of the digestive system and leg bones of Ross 308 broiler chickens

Experimental Groups

The authors did not give the sources of the zeolite, which was 84% clinoptilolite, and halloysite. 500 Ross 308 chickens were divided into 5 groups.

I control, normal feed

II,- V were fed with halloysite and zeolite

  • (1:3 ratio) at 0,5% (1–35 days; starter, grower 1 and 2)
  • 1% (36–42 days; finisher) levels.
no halloysite130 g halloysite/m2250 g of halloysite/m2500 g of halloysite/m2
no zedolite II
250 g of zeolite/m2III
370 g zeolite/m2V
500 g zeolite/m2;IV
Table of mineral compositions of peat litter used for the chickens whose feed had already been supplemented with zeolite and halloysite

Halloysite is another alumina silicate with the formula Al2Si2O5(OH)4.. This mineral forms nanotube. There are over 23,000 PubMed references on hallyosite, a brief skim revealing many have to to with their nanotube structure. In reviewing white papers of other zeolite suppliers we need to remember these alumina silicates have many different names corresponding to different structures and elemental ratios.

At slaughter the strength of 10 cm segments were stretched until they broke. The authors recorded not only how much force it took to break the intestines, in Newtons, but also how much they stretched, in mm, before breaking. [1]

This is Table 4 of Biesek 2022 [1] The gray row of this table was stretched to make notes of the treatment groups that were significantly greater than the control group I.

Looking forward

Seeing a difference in the tensile strength between treatment groups and control of the parts the digestive tract that store bacteria is exciting. More information is needed to sort out the issues of which parts of the avian digestive tract are infected with avian influenza viruses. Does this matter if chickens in commercial farms are not fed the intestines of slaughtered birds?

A last honorable mention: A paper out of Mexico describes how to produce a zeolite from copper mine tailings. [2] Could this be a way of repurposing copper mine waste?


  1. Biesek J, Banaszak M, Kądziołka K, Wlaźlak S, Adamski M. Growth of broiler chickens, and physical features of the digestive system, and leg bones after aluminosilicates used. Sci Rep. 2022 Nov 28;12(1):20425. PMC free article
  2. Optimization of the synthesis process of zeolites with high cation exchange capacity using copper mine tailings as raw material. Volume37, Issue3 May/June 2018 Pages 996-1002 free article

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