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Healthy poultry through adequate management and balanced nutrition

Date of publication : 11/8/2016
Company : Phileo Lesaffre Feed Additives
Source : Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care
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Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care Symposium in Brazil focuses on health issues in relation to management practices and proper feed formulation regimes.

With the growing popularity of poultry meat around the world, poultry production is steadily on the increase. As a result, the food safety issue is receiving increased interest, as poultry health is closely related to human health.

Treating birds with medication to combat diseases is of course not the answer to obtaining a good health status of flocks. Specifically this holds true for the use of antibiotics. In recent years the use of this way of medication has come under pressure, as it is well known that antibiotic resistance strongly influences human health.

The answer primarily lies in keeping pathogens away from the farm. That all starts with understanding the physiology of the bird, specifically its intestinal tract and immune system. And based on this knowledge, feed well balanced rations to birds in order to enhance their health status and thus let them be productive. Moreover, also proper management of poultry, particularly under hot climate conditions, is essential to having productive flocks. A Phileo symposium on this theme, entitled “Advanced pathogen and stress management in poultry production” was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Oct 25 and attracted more than 150 attendees. Here, experts from around the world and professional poultry producers gathered together to learn and share the latest views in this field with each other.

Good gut health
First speaker was Professor Richard Ducatelle from Ghent University in Belgium. He addressed the audience with his presentation called “What is good gut health from microbiological and morphological views?” According to professor Ducatelle, intestinal health is determined by several factors, including feed composition, the intestinal barrier, and the microbiota. Since feed is one of the three factors involved, it is possible to influence intestinal health by modifying the feed formula. Several substances that are
present in feed have documented effects on intestinal health, either by directly acting on the intestinal barrier and the tight junctions, or indirectly by modifying the intestinal microbiota composition.

Influence of feed quality
“When designing feed for broilers, optimal intestinal conditions should be regarded as the highest priority”, said nutrition consultant Mr Gert Hemke from The Netherlands. According to Hemke, the broilers intestines enable the absorption of all essential nutrients on one hand and avoid the absorption of toxic and pathogen elements on the other hand. Also, the intestines form an important part of the immune system, since 65% of the immune system is concentrated in it. When birds are born, their active immune system is not yet present. Intestinal bacterial flora is also absent, but within 2 days the intestines contain a large amount and big variety of microorganisms. These bacteria are essential for the development of active immunity. In recent years, feed formulation mainly focused on maximum growth. Since antibiotic usage should decrease, a balanced feeding of the intestines will become the new focus. This balance can be influenced by feed strategies, basic nutrients, ingredients, feed processing and additives.

Successful antibiotic free production
Dr. Maartem de Gussem of Vetworks in Belgium zoomed in on the European approach of antibiotic free poultry production. “Pressure on antimicrobial use seems to be a challenge, but has already led to better understanding why and when antimicrobials are used”, he said. “In the end, reduction of use will be unavoidable, but will not lead to production problems. On the contrary, it is expected that, especially in gut health, improvements that will be made to prevent the use of antibiotics, will lead to performance that better approaches the genetic potential that modern meat-type birds present.”

Yeast to enhance pathogen prevention
“Genetic evolution in poultry production has been tremendous in the past decades”, said Dr Alain Riggi, Global Poultry Manager of Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care from France. “In 1960, at 42 days of age, broilers were reaching 1.7 kg of body weight. In 2013, at the same age, they were reaching 2.8 kg. This selection was based on the growth rate, but also on the feed intake capacity of the birds. Objectives for layers for the coming years are moving towards 500 eggs at 100 weeks of age.” This evolution makes the birds more sensitive to disorders which can occur during a production cycle. Depending on the circumstances, modifications in the farm management and a good observation of the birds will help to limit the predisposing factors and the different stress which can occur during a production period. As certain safeguards are put into questions, like antibiotics, a yeast product like Safmannan®, associated to good farm management and monitoring, can be a good alternative to help the birds grow in an optimal way.

Limiting the effects of heat stress
Dr. Guillaume Tabouret of the INRA Institute in France addressed the effect of heat stress in chickens. “Stress is considered as a symptom resulting from exposure of an animal to a hostile environment”, he said. “Physiologically, stress consists of external body forces that alters or disrupts homeostasis. To face this loss of homeostasis, many physiological adaptations are needed to cope with stressors. Both broilers and layers negatively respond to heat stress. Temperatures exceeding 35°C reduces nutrient intake. Consequently, heat stress seriously impacts production performances: in broilers to reduced protein production and increased fat deposition. In layer hens it reduces total egg production, egg mass and decreases egg shell resistance.” Dr. Tabouret stated that, due to global warming, it has become essential to define efficient strategies including zootechnical, nutritional or immunotherapeutic measures to limit heat stress.

Heat stress management on the farm
Various management practices are currently available to deal with heat stress in poultry, said Dr. José Arce Menocal, professor at the Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo University, Mexico. Dr. Menocal extensively covered this theme for both broilers and layers. In general, these practices can be applied to both types of birds, although their differences must be understood and measures applied accordingly. The measures Dr Menocal addressed were: temporary feed restriction, using wet feed, using pellets rather than mash feed, expose birds to high temperatures in the early stage of life, early age feed restriction, careful selection of medication, accurate water consumption and avoiding vaccination during extreme hot days. When birds do not have enough space to spread the airflow around them, radiation is limited and heat loss is low. Thus, stocking density must be low. Dr. Menocal finally recommends avoid catching, loading, and transportation of broilers during the hottest part of the day.

Managing and controlling oxidative stress
Poultry and poultry meat are susceptible to oxidative stress, states Dr. Mario Estevez of the University of Extremadura, Spain. “The negative impact of stress on growth performance and food quality has been studied extensively in recent years”. Emerging muscle abnormalities related to fast growth, such as white striping and wooden breast, are related to this oxidative stress. Lipid oxidation has been recognized as a major threat to the quality of processed poultry products. “Furthermore, there is growing awareness among consumers about the impact of diet and oxidation on health and age”, says Dr. Estevez. Hence, antioxidant protection of poultry meat is unavoidable. Therefore, the application of phytochemicals and other microelements (Se, Cu, and Met) with antioxidant potential in animal feed, or directly in the meat product are significant.

Effects of yeast fractions and Selenium yeast
In addition to the range of strategies and solutions, discussed by the various speakers, Dr. Alain Riggi of Phileo, zoomed in on the benefits of commercial yeast products specifically designed for animal feeds, like Safmannan®. He summarized the effects of trials in this field and concluded that supplementation with Safmannan® can help reduce the detrimental effects of chronic heat stress. This was endorsed by the corticosterone level, which is considered as an indicator of heat stress. Broilers supplemented with Safmannan® presented lower serum corticosterone concentrations than birds that were grown without this yeast product. Similar results were found with the use of Selenium yeast Selsaf®. Various stressors like heat, diet, transportation etc. can disturb the balance between the pro-oxidant and antioxidant systems, also known as oxidative stress. Trials in both layer and broiler flocks, proved the benefits of feed additive Selsaf®. Layers showed reduced mortality, as well as a better laying rate and FCR per egg, compared to the other Se sources.  Broilers demonstrated a higher body weight at 42 days of age (from 2.60 kg to 2.74 kg). Also the water holding capacity and tenderness of the meat were positively influenced. In conclusion, Selsaf® is a natural source of selenomethionine and selenocysteine, offering a dual protection against both oxidative stress for the animal, but also exhibits benefits for farmers and consumers.

IHSIG 2016
On October 26 and 27, Intestinal Health Scientific Interest Group (IHSIG) group organized its fourth symposium on poultry gut health. The 2016 edition in Brazil focused on the One Health principle and implications for intestinal health management in poultry. The event gathered more than 300 attendees and Phileo was the Platinum sponsor. During this session, Ruth Raspoet, Poultry R&D manager at Phileo, showed that inclusion of nucleotides in the diet may have beneficial effects on gut health by improving the development of the absorptive surface of the intestine and by strengthening the intestinal barrier function due to an increased expression of tight junction proteins and mucins.

Re: Healthy poultry through adequate management and balanced nutrition
21/11/2016 |

Dried leaf of Cassava has sufficient proteins .Sweet potato stem after crop,Fresh dried cassava stem powder as carbohyrtes with starch etc can be searched for depending upon regional crops available as feed to cattle and poultry . There are so many herbals availble as food and medicine with out side effects.Make aware of your surroundings and find the food as well as medicine in plants for animals.

Re: Healthy poultry through adequate management and balanced nutrition
23/11/2016 | Re: Healthy poultry through adequate management and balanced nutrition
Healthy poultry products can only be obtained by taking seriously the issue of bio security. Management must emphasize extreme environmental cleaniness inorder minimize the need for growth promoters. Spices and natural herbs which have no known residual effects and functions as growth promoters have been tested. This will improve feed utilization and reduced cost of production. So try bio security and natural growth promoters.
Lawal Sesan
B.SC, M.Sc and Ph.D IN VIEW
Re: Healthy poultry through adequate management and balanced nutrition
23/11/2016 | An attempt to get an alternative feed ingredients for protein source is a good idea so as to reduce the cost of feed because feeding alone takes about 60-80% of total cost of raising birds. I must tell you that for better performance of poultry birds both animal and plant protein is very necessary and important for birds so you can only reduce the quantity of fish meal to be used (required minimum level) and not completely removing the ingredient out. Also if these ingredient is well processed it cannot transfer any disease to our poultry birds. A lot of alternative and abundantly protein rich seeds could be used an example is JATROPHA that i have worked on and a paper was also presented on it just last week in Malaysia.
One can add acidify-er in broiler water, it may give a good result but most importantly water should be made available to broilers at all times
What Andri Widjaya from Indonesia mean by the abrevation agp
Has anyone worked on how to processed the potato and cassava leaf and what is the quantity of crude protein in these ingredients.
The use of plants/herbs as growth promoter and preventing and curing poultry disease is a welcome idea because there is no residual effect
John Kaijage
PhD in Tropical Animal Production
Re: Healthy poultry through adequate management and balanced nutrition
23/11/2016 |
Adequate management of poultry improves healthy because for example proper husbandry practices such as cleaning and sanitation of feeders, drinkers, houses and surroundings could minimizes disease causing micro-organisms such bacteria, viruses and protozoa which impairs healthy of birds. Moreover, bio-security measures and proper housing could minimize spread of infections and harmful gases or substances such ammonia that could impair health of birds. On the other hand,f balanced nutrition could improve immunity of birds against different diseases. Also, balanced nutritional could prevent nutritional deficiencies that could impair healthy of birds.
Animal Nutritionist
Re: Healthy poultry through adequate management and balanced nutrition
23/11/2016 | But most of the fish meal did not processed well. From little experience I had through laboratory analysis of some imported fish meal when I was working at Fol_Hope farms LTD, Oyo State, showed that they are harbouring diseases and transfer it to the body of birds fed on such feed eventually leading to mortality. So looking for alternative underutilized legumes are imperatives. From my research at Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora, showed that African yam bean seeds can be used even to replace Soybean meal without fish meal in the diet of broiler is one of the solutions. Some outcomes of this finding had been published in different journals like archivos zoctecnia, tropical Agriculture Production investigation, while severals in different proceeding like ASAN-NIAS, NSAP, world poultry, etc, bye for now
Gert Hemke
Animal Nutritionist
Re: Healthy poultry through adequate management and balanced nutrition
24/11/2016 | Dear all that responded. Here some additional information.

Alternative protein sources :
Low glucosinolate rapeseed / canola.
Synthetic amino acids ( max 25 - 30 % of digestible essential amino acids)
DDGS - control quality and mycotoxins
Yeast protein
Pea, lupins, beans - demand processing / dehulling
Insect, algae, seaweed - so far too expensive

Please do not forget the spread of diseases by fine dust via the air.
One part of fine dust can contain hundred thousand bacteria, toxines en viruses.
This can "fly" in the air more than 10 km
There will be no healthy future without cleaning the out coming air with water curtains.

Water quality
Fully agree with the comments : good water is essential.

Alternatives for AMGP.
Here I would suggest, not only ban AMGP, but strongly reduce ALL ANTIBIOTICS.
Antibiotics are very negative for the development of a balanced immune situation.
Bacteria are very relevant for the development of an active immune system in the first period.
A wide variation of strains present in the gut should be advised.
With antibiotics this produces is very much disturbed.

Alternative concepts depends on what type of problems are dominant.
General : Feed as early as possible after chickens are out of the eggs.
Coarse feeding of grains : stimulates functioning of gizzard and is relevant for healthy digestion
Plant protein products like soya, rape, DDGS are better more fine ground.
Low protein and optimal amino balance of good digestible essential amino acids is better for gut health.

For gut integrity : butyric, Zn- and Cu-glycine, polyphenols, glutamine.
Reduce adherence of pathogens : oligosaccharides from yeast, algae
Reduce overload of bacteria : limit fermentable NSP, use MCFA, formic, benzoic, enteric oils ( synergic effects)
Reduce quorum sensing : butyrate, cinnamon, allicin, catechin
Immune modulation (e.g. anti inflammatory) : omega 3, beta glycans from yeast, algae, arginine, polyphenols

Gert Hemke
Animal Nutritionist
Re: Healthy poultry through adequate management and balanced nutrition
24/11/2016 | Dear all.

One of you made a comment on fishmeal. The advantage of fishmeal is the omega 3 and the good amino acid pattern. When fishmeal in broeken down by bacteria, some histamine and cadaverine will be formed. This is negative for the performance and immune status. In case of heating of "rotten" fishmeal, also gizzerosin will be formed, causing erosion and poor functioning of the gizzard.
But good quality fishmeal can contribute positive. !!
Re: Healthy poultry through adequate management and balanced nutrition
04/12/2016 | Can we add crayfish to layer's feed in order to improve the quality of protein in the feed? Thank you
Hiren Pancholi
Graduation in commerce
Re: Healthy poultry through adequate management and balanced nutrition
14/12/2016 | Bio Security, Water Sanitation, specially bio-film in pipe lines, is very important.
Right selection of animal source of protein to avoid disease transfer to the bird.

Right selection of Plant source specially toxins free and claimed value for protein must be checked, otherwise nutrition will become imbalanced.

Good Acidifiers to take care of pathogens in the crop and small intestine and higher PKa value classifiers like Sodium Butyrate, particularly special fat coated or Esterified will take care of pathogens in the hind GUT will ensure consistent good production.

Butyrate along with other acidifiers ensures good GUT health by improving Villi surface area, crypt depth and height, strengthening tight junction.

Combined effect of all above and quality feed supplements will ensure goof production and ultimately good profitability
Lawal Sesan
B.SC, M.Sc and Ph.D IN VIEW
Re: Healthy poultry through adequate management and balanced nutrition
25/12/2016 | With feed a lot could be done, disease can be control and production can be inproved
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