Gastrointestinal diseases pose a serious threat to commercial poultry production. Infections with pathogenic bacteria and their subsequent translocation to other organs and tissues, cause deterioration of feed conversion, increase mortality and reduce productivity. A number of studies have shown enhanced nutritional and growth parameters in poultry, using organic acids. However, most acids are corrosive, with negative impacts on work safety as well as on the feed intake of birds. In a new study, the effects of a non-corrosive sodium formate/formic acid combination, which overcomes such problems, investigated the performance parameters in poultry. Due to scarcity of published data on the use of dietary organic acids in turkey, the trial was carried out with Big 6 turkeys in a 6-phase-feeding program.
Material and methods
Each of the two groups (treatment: 0.4% acidifier Formi® NDF; negative control) consisted of 308 one day old male Big 6 turkeys, which were raised till 145 days in 4 replicate groups. The dietary acidifier was included from feeding-phase 3 (starting week 6) onwards.
Results and conclusions
Sodium formate/formic acid addition was found to enhance the individual live weight of birds. By the end of the experiment, treatment improved daily weight gain of turkey by 2.9% (see Table 1). The dietary acidifier also improved survival rates by 3% and thus had an overall beneficial impact on the productivity index by 2.9% (496 vs. 482 for treatment and control respectively). Furthermore, birds in the treated group showed improved health status of pads.
Table 1: Performance parameters of male turkeys fed with or without the dietary acidifier
These findings lead to the conclusion that addition of dietary acidifier in male turkeys may result in improved performance parameters as well as on the overall condition of turkeys. The trial further supports already published beneficial data on the use of sodium formate/formic acid products in poultry nutrition.
This paper was presented at the 10. BOKU Symposium Animal Nutrition, 28 April 2011, Vienna, Austria. Engormix.com thanks the authors and the organizing committee for this contribution.