Field trial to study the possibilities of using probiotic bacteria in drinking water replacing antibiotics/growth promoters in feed during broiler rearing and to investigate the effect of catalyst activated water (CAW) when combined with the probioti

Published on: 03/06/2018
Author/s : D. C. Hettiarachchi / Consultant industrial microbiologist, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Antibiotics are commonly used in food animals to promote growth and prevent disease, as well as to treat sick animals. This has led to the development of antibiotic resistant pathogens and subsequently different countries have banned the use of antibiotics as growth promotion (AGPs). To eliminate the use of AGPs and to maintain animal productivity, some farmers have been using live microorganisms ...

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March 6, 2018
Thankfully. ..so good explaning...
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Aurelio Tayao Aurelio Tayao
Veterinary Doctor
March 6, 2018
What antibiotic was used in the positive control group and why was the mortality much higher (13% vs 3%) in this treatment group than T1-T3? What was the cause of the mortalities?
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March 7, 2018
Aurelio Tayao
Dear Dr. Aurelio Tayao, Thank you for the interest shown in the technical article. A broad spectrum antibiotic containing fluroquinolone which inhibits DNA gyrase was used in the positive control group. The day old chicks used in the trial were culls. We followed the same procedure that normal broiler farmers here use, administration of prophylactic dose of antibiotic during first 3-5 days to control bacterial diseases (particularly E.coli & some times Salmonella gallinarum) coming from the hatcheries. Whatever the the weaknesses or infections that the chicks had, must have continued until the end of the trial causing mortality through out. Competitive extrusion, antibacterial compounds produced by the probiotic bacteria coupled with its immune stimulating properties must have contributed for controlling the moralities in treatment groups while CAW is known to reduce stress and improve immunity of farmed animals.
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Steffen Hansen Steffen Hansen
Animal Nutritionist
March 7, 2018
As I understand from the description of the trial design each treatment group had one replicate i.e. one pen per treatment? If this is the case, you cannot draw any conclusions at all. The results you have observed can be pure coincidence.
I am also missing a description of “catalyst activated water”.
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March 7, 2018
Steffen Hansen
Thank you Dr. Steffen Hansen for your comment. In my conclusions, the last one, I have mentioned that as the trial included only one replicate (31 chicks) per treatment, more trials should be done with at least four replicates for each treatment before a solid conclusion is made. The point that I wanted to make is that a mixture of spores of Bacillus species could work beneficially when administered via drinking water because some of the spores may germinate in the reservoir by the time (at least 4 hours) the birds drink making sure that the vegetative cells are consumed instead of spores. And also we have seen that 48 hours old Bacillus subtilis culture showing good inhibition of growth of some Gram negative bacteria (well diffusion method).. CAW is a patented product which has been invented by Dr. John Willard of USA. A synonym for this is Willard Water.
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Steffen Hansen Steffen Hansen
Animal Nutritionist
March 7, 2018
Dr. Christopher Hettiarachchi, thanks for elaborating on trial design. The application of probiotics in the drinking water is a promising concept. I wonder if you have made any thoughts on dosage; maybe a dose response trial? Bacillus products are usually added with 10^6 per gram feed. Another important issue is also if the addition of the probiotic product creates slime inside the water tubes.
In my opinion the concept of “catalyst activated water” is a scam. It is not possible to find any scientifically sound publications on this product. The suggested mode of actions on Dr. Willards homepage are also hilarious. I consider this “Dr. Willard water” in the same class as “Grander water” which is pure humbug.
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March 7, 2018
Steffen Hansen
Dr. Steffen Hansen I did not do a dose response trial. The bacterial density of the original solution was 2.44x107 CFU per ml, 100 ml of this was used for 1000 litres of drinking water. As you mentioned, there can be a build up of slime in the pipes & nipple drinkers which can hinder the water flow as the production cycle progresses but one has to do a trial to see how long it will take for slime to build up.
About CAW, I happened to read an interesting, lengthy article written by Dr. Willard on the invention of this product. I used this in Penaeus monodon hatchery together with a probiotic/bioaugmenter without antibiotic during larval rearing in 6, 5000 liter tanks each. It synchronized moulting. I tried CAW product for plant on seed germination. It gave higher % of germination. Though more replicates are needed, the present trial with CAW has produced some positive results.
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Kb Bohara Kb Bohara
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
March 15, 2018
I fully agreed with Mr Steffen Hansen's comments here that the problem in front of our generation to be addressed is that we have to preserve nature's biodiversity in this planet,ways out to increase food production ( 30 to 70 percent by 2030 -2050)without violating animal welfares and rights, and be able to deliver a safe and quality food products in a affordable prices. So under such circumstances we got to learn just lesions from Hilarious class of research for example Gardener water(early 20 th century), Dr Willard water or CAW (1930s) and so called world changing class of research by Dr Ancel Keys (1950s) but do powerful research which could not be prove fake.
The point is in your nice research study's result you recorded 3 percent vs 13 percent mortality on treatment vs control groups which is very significant difference but recommendation is you need a properly designed study again ! The risk is that some cleaver company can take this unripen reference to make money -loss to our sustainable food production goal.
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March 16, 2018
Kb Bohara
Dear Dr. KB Bohara, Thank you for the comment. I am not interested in promoting CAW. I have nothing to do with this product or I have no connection with this company. What interested me in this product is the mode of action of its constituents on biological activities and that is why I included this in my field trial. The main point which I wanted to share with the community is that the mode of delivery of probiotic bacteria, particularly Bacillus species. The Bacillus species containing broiler feed contains only the spores because vegetative cells do not withstand pelleting process of feed manufacturing and the spores ingested through feed will take few hours for germination. But if we can deliver vegetative form of the probiotic bacterial cells with water, the effectiveness could be better. Also the administered bacteria can proliferate in the drinking water system with time displacing other undeniable bacteria such as E.coli. If this process last without blocking the drinking water system for 45 days, Hydrogen peroxide flush will remove the slime. Antibiotic free broiler rearing is a challenge unless feed millers and veterinary doctors are geared toward it.
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Christoph Hutter Christoph Hutter
Poultry farmer
March 17, 2018
Hi

Very interesting to read this discussion.
I wonder if you did trials with adding acid in the water as well in the past.
There are new generation of liquid acid to be added and to keep the formation of slime and other things in pipe down.
And if you have a good mix some will end up in the destine of the animals with the water.
In case of Bacillus could be synergy between acid and Bacillus.
We are running trials with lactic acid in liquid pig feed systems as well in fermentation of feed.
So for poultry this could be interesting as well in the future a lot of scientist believe.
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March 19, 2018
Christoph Hutter
Hi Christop Huter
Yes I have used a commercial product containing a blend of organic acids in drinking water to curb bacterial infections in broiler rearing in evap. cooling houses.
The optimum pH for growth of most Bacillus species is close to neutral and therefore, addition of an organic acid like lactic acid will bring pH of drinking water to around 4 (recommended pH). It is known that activity of probiotic bacteria is manifested when they are physiological active (growing actively), Bacillus sp. in a medium of pH 4 would not grow actively and probiotic activity can not be expected under such situation except some enhanced immune activity due to bacterial cell wall components. As it was stated, it could be a good treatment for dislodging the climes in drinking watering tubes & nipples.
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Christoph Hutter Christoph Hutter
Poultry farmer
March 19, 2018
Today i dont go anymore to 4,0 as the risk of less water intake and other things could be too much. You only need to go to 4.0 if you have acids in which some bacteria could se as feed like lactic acid. With an good blend to go to 4,4 - 4,5 it sould be enough to stopp nearly all reactions. Soem Bacillus should be still happy at this ph but depend on the kind you are right.
Maybe there are some other once we should use.
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April 18, 2018
Good article which every farmer should read
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