Birds have evolved in direct contact with natural nanoparticles (NPs) that are identical to artificial trace-element NPs. This relationship, the high action potential and their ability to reduce environmental pollution make NPs a promising component of bird diets. However, from available published studies there is no unity in justifying the applied dosages of NPs and their calculations. NPs are used in the studies in various doses, for example: Cu 0.5-50 mg/kg, Ag 10-1000 mg/kg, Se 0.2-5 mg/kg, Cr 500-1500 ppb. Therefore, universal approaches and criteria of NP investigations are necessary for the establishment of their use in feed.
The mechanisms of action of the trace elements in artificial NPs in birds vary from the those of ionic forms of trace elements, which determine the differences in the productive effect. According to data from different authors, chickens receiving NPs in feed have higher chickens body weight by 13-24%. Such benefits have increased interest in sources of trace-element NPs significantly over the past two decades. The design of trace-element NPs has led to promising developments in the safe use of NPs for poultry nutrition, such as coating NPs with inert substances and adjusting their size. However, constraining circumstances determined by the difficulty of predicting the toxic properties of nanostructures exist, even though artificial trace-element NPs are a relatively safe class of nanostructures due to their production requirements, and metal NPs are already used in human food and medicine. The following review discusses the benefits and potential hazardous effects of NPs and the possibility of using them as feed supplements for poultry.