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Hy-D® is a metabolite of vitamin D3, 25-hydroxycholecalciferol [25-OH-D3]. Hy-D® provides a more bioactive form of vitamin D3 to the animal, which has proven advantages over vitamin D3: improvements in weight gain, feed efficiency, shell quality, laying persistence and reductions in bone disorders.
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Identification & Functionality

Chemical Name
Animal Feed & Nutrition Functions

Features & Benefits

Product Highlights

All animals need a strong skeleton, which is important for longevity, production, welfare and product quality. Hy-D® delivers stronger skeletons effectively.

Vitamin D3 is essential for developing robust bones. It regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which both play a critical role in bone calcification.

The difference

When vitamin D3 is fed in the diet, it has to go through two changes before it reaches the form that can be utilized by the animal. This process reduces the effective amount of vitamin D3 available to the animal and is time-consuming.

Feeding Hy-D® allows the first of these stages to be bypassed. The result is more efficient and faster uptake of the required metabolite 25OHD3, meaning stronger skeletons and healthier, more productive animals.

Hy-D® delivers significant benefits in poultry and swine production, which cannot be achieved by feeding D3 alone.


Hy-D® is supplied as a spray-dried beadlet using DSM’s patented technology. This gives a more uniform, better-flowing product with outstanding mixing properties. It is stable when included in premixes and pelleted feeds under standard conditions up to 90°C.

Strength to Succeed in Swine

Swine profitability is increased when sows and gilts produce more piglets over their lifetime. Hy-D® helps them achieve their potential, increasing their lifetime performance and maximizing their profitability.

More productive sows

A strong skeleton is crucial for high productivity – and this is precisely what Hy-D® delivers. Frame and leg weaknesses are among the major reasons for sow culling. Hy-D® helps reduce these losses by building stronger sows.

Experience shows that stronger sows:

  • Last longer
  • Produce more piglets per litter
  • Produce heavier piglets at birth
  • Produce larger weaned piglets in greater numbers

These combined benefits result in greater lifetime performance and higher financial returns.

More gilts selected

Replacement gilts have the best genetics, so farmers want as many as possible available to enter the herd. Improving body conformation – particularly leg and feet soundness – will mean that more gilts are selected for the herd. Hy-D® enables higher gilt selection because it delivers a stronger skeleton.

Trials across the world have proven the power of Hy-D®. On average 7% more gilts were selected when diets were supplemented, resulting in a return on investment of 9:1.

Hy-D® is an essential building block for stronger sows and gilts – and for bigger profits.

The Nutritional Benefits of Hy-D®

Broilers, turkeys and laying hens all benefit from Hy-D®. Hy-D® has been shown to enhance the long-recognised nutritional benefits of vitamin D3, with additional advantages. In various broiler studies (see Figure 3), birds receiving Hy-D® realised an average improvement of almost 2% in weight gain and around four points in feed conversion when compared to birds that received only vitamin D3. Similar advantages have been achieved in turkey production, in both hens and toms.

DSM Hy-D The Nutritional Benefits of Hy-D - 1

Hy•D® is therefore an integrated part of the OVN concept improving health and welfare, productivity and food quality in the most economical way.

DSM Hy-D The Nutritional Benefits of Hy-D - 2

Stronger bones give advantages during growth and processing

Studies have shown that the use of Hy-D® significantly reduces the bone problems known to negatively affect weight gain, feed conversion, end-offlock liveability and processing plant condemnations. By improving the birds phosphorous and calcium utilisation, Hy-D® reduces the overall incidence of field rickets and results in higher tibia ash percentages in broilers and turkeys. Hy-D® has also been shown to reduce tibial dyschondroplasia (TD) in birds (see Figures 4 and 5). The economic return poultry producers achieve from using Hy-D® extends beyond health and welfare advantages realised in the live production operations.

DSM Hy-D The Nutritional Benefits of Hy-D - 3


Product INFO

The bone health benefits associated with Hy-D® mean fewer condemnations and downgrades during meat grading and fewer broken bones and bone chips during processing. By addressing these bone-related factors, Hy-D® used consistently may result in substantial weight gain, better feed conversion and other live production improvements that equate to more overall meat output.

Improved vitamin absorption in the presence of intestinal disease

As Hy-D® has a different mode of absorption, it is not compromised by intestinal disease. Studies (see Figure 6) show that birds receiving Hy-D® during times of malabsorption maintain their plasma 25-OH-D3 levels, thus helping to maintain their bone integrity.

Hy-D® has been shown to help a bird minimise the effects of a disease challenge. This reduces both mortality and morbidity, enabling the birds to grow even under minor disease stress.

DSM Hy-D Product INFO

Benefits From Using Hy-D® in Poultry

Vitamin D Metabolism

  • Potent and effective source of Vitamin D3
  • Improves plasma 25-OH-D3 when liver immature
  • Better bone mineralisation in young animals
  • Optimises calcium and phosphorus homeostasis
  • Maintains plasma 25-OH-D3 under intestinal disease conditions like malabsorption

Bone Metabolism

  • Helps prevent field rickets
  • Improves bone growth and strength
  • Ameliorates leg disorders like tibial dyschondroplasia
  • Maintains bone mass longer


  • Optimised weight gain and feed conversion
  • Stronger egg shells – fewer broken eggs
  • More eggs per hen, extends layer cycle
  • Better hatchability
  • Combines with phytase feed enzymes

Enhanced Health and Welfare

  • Reductions in skeletal problems
  • Less leg problems
  • Assists in cage layer fatigue
  • Limits osteoporosis in laying birds

Processing Plant Management

  • Less rejects and downgrades
  • Fewer broken bones during processing
  • Lessens bone chips during further processing
  • Important particularly in heavy bird production

Hy•D® has shown to be a cost effective and flexible source of vitamin D3 when used in combination with standard vitamin D3 sources

Applications & Uses

How to Use Hy-D

For use in broiler, turkey and layer operations, Hy-D® 1.25% or Hy-D® Premix should be incorporated into the feed. The recommended levels in Europe are the current amalgamation of science and practical experience, to offer the most cost effective solutions and benefits of Hy-D®, the most flexible source of vitamin D, and the safety of vitamin D3.

DSM Hy-D How to Use Hy-D

Technical Details & Test Data

Vitamin D3 Metabolism

Besides photo-conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin, the supplemented
diet represents the major source of Vitamin D to most animals.
Vitamin D3 has first to be absorbed from the intestinal tract, and transported to the liver to be converted to the D3 metabolite 25-OH-D3. This is then transported to the kidney for conversion into a number of metabolites, the most important of which is 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol [1,25-(OH)2-D3] (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Metabolism of vitamin D3 and Hy-D®

DSM Hy-D Vitamin D3 Metabolism - 1

The metabolism of Hy•D® is different, once absorbed it bypasses the hydroxylation step in the liver. Hence, it is readily available in the active form to be utilised by the animal, yielding a wide range of health benefits (see Table 1). This means that when Hy•D® is supplemented, the active metabolites known to help poultry overcome various health problems are available for the bird very soon after Hy•D® is ingested. Thus providing a more readily available source of this metabolite in the serum (see Figure 2) than vitamin D3 .


DSM Hy-D Vitamin D3 Metabolism - 2


DSM Hy-D Vitamin D3 Metabolism - 3

Lay Persistence

Significant advantages for broiler and turkey breeders and laying stock.

For egg producers and breeding operations, Hy•D® represents an excellent nutritional tool for addressing the problems of poor shell quality, osteoporosis, cage layer fatigue and hatchability in hens. Poor shell quality is normally a result of poor metabolism of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, feeding Hy•D® can help overcome this. Research
shows that feeding Hy•D® improves shell quality by increasing eggshell thickness. Fed during the early lay cycle, Hy•D® results in marked reductions in hen mortality and minimises the loss of skeletal reserves, thus adding five to ten percent more useable eggs per hen housed (see Figure 7).

For the breeder, profitability is measured in chicks or poults per hen housed. Hy•D® has been reported to improve hatchability by two to three percent.

DSM Hy-D Lay Persistence

Storage & Handling

Strength to Succeed in Poultry

Birds need a strong skeleton if they are to achieve their potential. Hy-D® is a specific feed additive proven to:

  • Improve bone strength and density
  • Optimize health and immune function
  • Maximize meat and egg yield
  • Improve hatchability and day-old chick quality
  • Increase meat and egg quality

Experimental trials and the results of extensive global commercial use show that Hy-D® can deliver a return on investment in excess of 5:1.

Hy-D® and poultry meat

Achieving a robust frame is fundamental to breeding strong, high-yielding broilers and turkeys.

Profitability in poultry meat production is driven by:

  • High survivability
  • Increased breast meat yields
  • Higher carcass acceptance by processors
  • Greater skeletal strength

Hy-D® has shown to deliver on all fronts:

  • Increased daily liveweight gain
  • Superior feed conversion rates
  • Increased meat yield per bird
  • A higher proportion of acceptable carcasses
  • Superior meat quality with higher consumer acceptance and reduced incidence of black bone syndrome

Hy-D® for breeders and layers

To produce better eggs and chicks in greater numbers, farmers must first breed a better hen.

To maximize profitability in poultry egg units, farmers need to:

  • Increase lay persistency
  • Minimize mortality rates
  • Achieve high hatchability rates
  • Produce top quality day-old chicks
  • Maximize the number of chicks born per hen

Adding Hy-D® to breeder and layer diets has shown to deliver big benefits, such as:

  • Increased survival rate of birds in early lay
  • Superior lay persistency – up to 1.5% more eggs
  • Greater proportion of saleable eggs with fewer broken shells
  • Increased number of live chicks hatched and reduced incidences of early mortality
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