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.
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.
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.
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.