Feed additives

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Reduce antibiotics, keep profitability

A Chinese broiler study showed the efficiency of a feed additive to improve animal performance in antibiotic free environments.

The trial proved positive results for body weight, feed intake, feed conversion ratio and footpad integrity, outperforming antibiotic growth promoters. This is important, as the global livestock industry wants to further withdraw antibiotics from animal production. The challenge is to keep performance up, protecting animal welfare and business profit.

The results might indeed encourage the poultry industry. In the first half of the trial, the addition of the feed additive significantly increased the body weight gain and feed intake, while decreasing the feed conversion ratio. Photo: Bart Nijs, RBI
The results might indeed encourage the poultry industry. In the first half of the trial, the addition of the feed additive significantly increased the body weight gain and feed intake, while decreasing the feed conversion ratio. Photo: Bart Nijs, RBI

Driven by market needs, several companies are working on solutions. Feed additives have a preferred place within this concept as they can offer support in antibiotic free environments. Trouw Nutrition has developed several programmes based on a feed- farm- health approach and keeps researching to prove results towards this aim. As part of this effort, a trial was carried out in China in order to determine whether the use of a feed additive could improve broilers performance when no antibiotics are used.

Trial in broilers

The study evaluated the performance of 900 male Ross broiler chickens. The animals were fed either a basic commercial diet with no additives at all, with an antibiotic growth promoter (AGP), or with a feed additive. The AGP in the trial was Bacitracin zinc and the feed additive was Selko-pH. During the 42-day trial period, the animals were monitored for performance.

Results are positive

The results might indeed encourage the poultry industry. In the first half of the trial, the addition of the feed additive significantly increased the body weight gain and feed intake, while decreasing the feed conversion ratio. These improvements continued during the second half of the study. The feed additive group showed a significant improvement in animal performance, compared to both the negative and the positive control. The results show that the group receiving Selko-pH had a 0.04 improvement in feed conversion ratio compared to the negative control, and a 0.02 improvement compared to the positive control. Also, the addition of the feed additive improved the footpad integrity of the broilers.

[Source: Selko]

One comment

  • LifeCircle Nutrition

    It is always positive to see people looking for feeding strategies and practices to minimize or eliminate the use of AGPs! Trials pleading for one or another solution candidate should consider production conditions that are similar to those at regular farming operations. Showing a (small) gain when a negative control is as good as a positive group doesn't tell much about expected performance in farming conditions.

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