CCPA: Dedicated poultry nutrition research

07-12-2016 | |
CCPA: Dedicated poultry nutrition research. Photo: Fred Mouraud
CCPA: Dedicated poultry nutrition research. Photo: Fred Mouraud

Thanks to its research and innovations on phytobiotics, the French CCPA Group is able to carry out tailored nutritional solutions for poultry farmers and the international feed industry.

For more than 15 years, phyto-expertise has been at the heart of the know-how of the CCPA Group for all animal species, in particular for poultry. In addition to its feed plant in Janzé, near Rennes, the Group has several unique tools in Europe (see below – The CCPA Group’s unique tools) all aimed at finding ways to use less antibiotics on poultry farms. “The selection of plant extracts involves three areas of expertise,” says Gaëtan Rocaboy, head of the poultry and rabbit department of CCPA Group. “These are: chemistry (quality control of the plant extract, characterisation and quantification of the active ingredients), bacteriology (in vitro evaluation by the analysis laboratory of the effectiveness of the plant extract against various pathogenic bacteria) and animal husbandry (experimental station trials and field trials for in vivo evaluation).”

Balance of intestinal flora

CCPA has its own product range*, including plant extracts and essential oils (hereafter called plant extract). For poultry, tailored products for layers, broilers and turkeys have been developed, all aimed at balancing the intestinal flora of the animals and optimising the digestibility of rations in the context of reducing the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry.

The plant extract product range has been used for over 15 years all over Europe and also finding its way into premixes in North Africa, Latin America and Asia. Several trials have recently been done in Northern Africa with products from the range.

One of which was done in Morocco in 2015 with turkeys (18,000 turkeys in the control group and 19,000 animals in the trial group). The goal of this trial, made by a leading feed producer of Morocco, was to compare a classical diet supplemented with Enramycin (12 ppm the 10 first days, and then 10 ppm) with a diet supplemented at 0.2% with the plant extract during 28 days. This trial highlighted less mortality (-2 points in the trial group compared to the diet supplemented in antibiotics) and a better weight at 10 weeks: +2.5% in the trial group, compared with antibiotics, and +6 % compared with the standard (Figure 1 and 2).

Figure 2 – Male weight at 10 weeks.

“After this trial, our client decided to include the plant extract in all their diets,” explains Gaëtan Rocaboy from CCPA. Another interesting trial was done in South Africa with 182,000 broilers fed with the plant extract (0.2%) during 35 days, compared to a control group of 182,000 broilers. The plant extract improved all parameters (Table 1), with a significant feed conversion decrease of 3% and a better performance index.

Health nutrition approach

CCPA Group has also implemented an ambitious research programme** on animal nutrition and health interactions in 2004. “With this novel approach we are studying the relationship between nutrition and resistance of animals to their environment. The goal is to raise animals preserving their health status, by minimising the use of antibiotics,” explains Gaëtan Rocaboy.

The programme hence led to a complete range of feed additives, based on plant ingredients with specific biological effects, formulated to adapt to the health status of the animals. “Our strength is to have a research expertise from A to Z, to better know the digestive ecosystems of the animals through international research partnerships and to adapt our know-how to the farmers’ issues,” adds Marisela Arturo-Schaan, R&D Project Manager for CCPA Group.

Weighing poultry during a trial at Euronutrition station at CCPA. Photo: Fred Mouraud

Weighing poultry during a trial at Euronutrition station at CCPA. Photo: Fred Mouraud

In poultry for example, one of the products*** has been shown to maintain the performances of layers and the feed consumption during the natural stressful events met by the animals, such as the peak of lay or other stressful periods (heat, infections…). In addition, this supplement improves the laying performances and feed efficiency by a more regular consumption of feed and a quicker recovery of the animals. “Therefore we see interest from hot countries (and even in France) for this product to have a tool to manage the peak of lay,” according to Gaëtan Rocaboy.

This range of additives can be included into the premix or added apart according to the wish of the client, and it is recommended to include it into the feed at the rate of 2kg / t continuously during the risk periods, both for layers and broilers (with addition to a liver-protector every eight weeks for layers).

An interesting trial with this product was done in the Czech Republic in 2015. The supplement was given to 2 million broilers. The control group consisted of 1.2 million broilers Ross PM3. All studied parameters were improved by the supplement distributed at 0.2% during the last week of the trial (from 28 to 34 days of age): reduced slaughter age (33.3 days instead of 34.1 days for the control group), a 3% feed conversion reduction (1.680 instead of 1.721 for the control group), and a significant better performance index (339 instead of 321 for the control group).

More trials are being done on various continents, such as South America, Asia (a trial is about to start in Sri Lanka with a major Malaysian player), or Africa (South Africa). In Morocco, trials started last summer with three clients.

Forward thinking

“Our strength is our forward thinking and being able to adapt our offer to the clients ‘needs,” explains Gaëtan Rocaboy. Thanks to a poultry team, composed of five specialists (nutritionists, formulation and R&D managers), CCPA group helps its customers to optimise the use of antibiotics on farms. At the end of 2015, CCPA poultry team re-evaluated digestive energy for young animals (below 30 days of age) and a new formulation matrix is now used in 2016. “This segmentation of our matrix of formulation takes the maturity of the digestive tract of the animals after 30 days into account,” explains Marina Panheleux-Lebastard, CCPA Poultry Nutritionist. “We will also work on new axes such as meat quality (nutritional and organoleptic quality) in order to meet the downstream players’ requests (slaughterhouses, supermarkets, consumers),” she concludes.

*ProActiv’® Poultry, **Axion®, ***, Axion® FeedStim

The CCPA Group’s unique tools

  • The Euronutrition monogastric experimental centre, managed with three partner companies, is one of the largest European centres for applied research about animal nutrition. It consists of four experimental centres, a laboratory, a feed plant and tests more than 720 diets per year for poultry, pigs and rabbits.
  • A laboratory of more than 1,400 m² specialised in animal nutrition and health: inaugurated in January 13th, 2013 in Janzé, the analysis laboratory ARTEMIS was completely reorganised and enlarged, representing a €1.4 million investment. This tool is one of the rare private French laboratories dedicated exclusively to the animal sector, with the specificity to work at the same time in animal nutrition and health (120,000 raw materials, compound feed or premixes analyses per year);
  • A national network of test farms for the validation of innovations in real-life farm conditions;
  • +7.5 million tonnes of feed produced under CCPA
  • €100 million turnover, of which 50% was exported (2015)
  • A presence in more than 40 countries all over the world
  • 12 companies
  • 273 employees
  • R&D and innovation budget: €3.4 million
  • A Research & Innovation pole of 65 scientists
  • Over 200 trials conducted per year (130 raw materials tested and more than 700 evaluated diets)
  • A formulation data base of more than 6,000 raw materials and ingredients and over 1,000 informed nutrients
  • Over 50 international scientific publications in the last eight years.
Philippe Caldier Journalist