At the occasion of the XIVth European Poultry Conference (EPC) recently held in Norway, Lallemand Animal Nutrition was pleased to share three studies that further document the features and efficacy of its probiotic strain Pediococcus acidilactici CNCM MA 18/5M (BACTOCELL®) in different poultry production systems: conventional and organic laying hens; fattening ducks. The benefits shown concerned zootechnical performances and immune response, translated into greater pathogen resistance. At a time when natural and effective alternatives to antibiotics are a real necessity in animal production, our studies attracted much attention from the participants of this key event for poultry production, which was attended by around 1000 delegates from all over the world.
Improved laying performances in organic egg production
The efficacy of BACTOCELL® to improve laying hen performance has already been strongly documented, mainly as part of its European registration dossier (Reg. 212/2011). However, it has never been officially evaluated on organic farming, for which it is also authorized.
An original study was conducted in Franceon a commercial flock in organic farming conditions. The originality of this study lays in the zootechnical performance follow-up of two successive production cycles, with inversion of the barns in-between cycles.
This trial confirmed the precedent results in laying hens. It showed that, despite an apparent barn effect on feed consumption and feed conversion, BACTOCELL® significantly improves the performances of laying hens in organic production too. When considering the two cycles:
ü Laying rate was significantly improved by 2.5%.
ü The Egg Mass Output was significantly improved by +2.7%/hen/week (more and heavier eggs produced).
It was concluded that BACTOCELL® represents a potential nutritional management tool for organic poultry farmers.
Improved Immune Response, pathogen resistance and vaccine efficacy in Laying Hens
The second study presented looked at the benefits of BACTOCELL beyond zootechnical performances, on the immune response and resistance to pathogens of laying hens.
This trial, performed in CairoUniversity(Egypt), showed that the supplementation of laying hens with BACTOCELL® via drinking water:
ü Significantly increases cell mediated immunity (higher phagocytic activity).
ü Significantly increases antibody-mediated immunity following vaccination against Newcastle Disease, potentiating the effect of vaccination.
ü Reduced the effect of Newcastle Disease virus challenge (lower lesion scores).
ü Improved resistance against pathogenic E. coli challenge (lower lesion scores).
In conclusion, the targeted use of BACTOCELL® helped stimulate the hens immune defenses and increase their resistance to stress situations (pathogen pressure), maintaining optimal performance.
Improved fattening ducks performance
The last study presented confirmed the benefits of BACTOCELL® on the performances of another poultry species: duck. This zootechnical trial was conducted in aResearchCenter inCzechRepublic. It showed that the probiotic, when fed to fattening ducks from one day of age to slaughter (42 days), significantly improved the main performance values for each phase of the production cycle (starter, grower, finisher), as well as over the whole trial period:
ü Average Live Weight is improved by 2.7% over the whole period.
ü Average Daily Weight Gain is improved by 2.8% over the whole period.
ü Finally, Feed Conversion Rate is improved by 1.8% over the whole period.
These data complemented previous studies in ducks and confirm that the probiotic bacteria exert a positive effect on duck microflora balance and digestive function, which is translated into better feed utilization
 Effect of Pediococcus acidilactici on organic laying hens performances. E.Chevaux, E. Duteil, F. Avril, V. Demey, A. Sacy. – Poster # P179 XIVth European Poultry Conference
 Effect of Pediococcus acidilactici supplementation through drinking water on immune response and E. coli infection, in layer hens. M. Awaad, A. Atta, S.A. Zoulfekar, A. El-Sawey, H.B. Gharib, M. Elmenawy, A.A. Nada, V. Demey– Poster # P1 XIVth European Poultry Conference
 Effect of Pediococcus acidilactici probiotic on the performances of fattening ducks . K.Holub, B. Šimerda, V. Demey – Poster # P179 XIVth European Poultry Conference
 The effect of the supplementation with Pediococcus acidilactici MA18/5M on growth performances and fecal microflora of fatting ducks. Sacy, A. et al. (2012). World Poultry Congress 2012 – Salvador, Bahia,Brazil – 5-9 August 2012