Nutrition management without antibiotics

Published on: 08/27/2019
Author/s : Steve Blezinger / Nutritional and Management Consultant.

As of January 2017, the FDA began a stricter regulation of antibiotics commonly used in the animal-feeding industry. Livestock and poultry producers alike have been accused of overfeeding various antibiotics, largely for growth promotion purposes (i.e., for increased feed efficiency and profitability). The ones the medical industry and the consumer have been most concerned with are those deemed m...

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DR-Al Mamun DR-Al Mamun
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine(DVM),MS in Microbiology
August 27, 2019
Very nice and informative post.
Thanks...
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August 30, 2019
Nice article sir.
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August 31, 2019

I'm not sure why the term "overfeeding of antibiotics" is used. The antibiotics have been used for their stated -and FDA approved- purpose of improving growth rates and feed conversion. It's not like the industry has been sneakily using them for nefarious purposes just to improve profits.

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Joshua Jendza Joshua Jendza
Animal Nutritionist
September 3, 2019

Park W. Waldroup,
Any description of antibiotic use in livestock has become a description of "overfeeding of antibiotics" in popular press for years now. It's concerning, though not surprising, that an industry trade site would use the phrase. Particularly since many sponsors who peddle alternatives use it as well.

No one did anything nefarious, true, but it really doesn't matter at this point. The industry has lost the argument and other groups have shaped public opinion such that any use of antibiotics by animal production is perceived to be some sort of overuse, regardless of what the laws or science or animal experts say about that use.

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September 11, 2019

Park W. Waldroup Unfortunately some poultry operations using in-feed antibiotics without considering consumer sensitivity and health (antibiotic residue in carcass, etc). Though I am not personally with total ban on in-feed antibiotics, but it seems that in most countries around the globe, consumers would prefer to use antibiotic-free poultry meat and egg product in very near future. So it would be kind of market force under the public preference which will force poultry companies to restrict or totally ban antibiotic in animal feed diets (monogastrics or ruminants). Therefore, it seems that antibiotic as a growth promoter product will not have any place in modern poultry nutrition in most countries around the globe including US and poultry companies and feed industry should think on effective environment friendly-alternative to compensate for antibiotic benefits.

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September 2, 2019

In addition, the antibiotics used for this purpose are not absorbed and work in the intestinal tract resulting in healthier chickens, thus accounting for the improved performance. They are NOT absorbed into the chicken's body and thus not passed on to the consumer. I may not be totally correct (but I think I am) the growth-promoting antibiotics used in the US poultry industry are not used in human medicine.

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September 3, 2019
Park W. Waldroup Theorically, are not absorbed in healthy animals. Do you have information regarding animals with epithelial barrier damage as occurs during coccidiosis or enteritis?
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September 3, 2019

Park W. Waldroup Since 2017, drugs considered medically important by the FDA can not be used solely for growth promotion in the US. The problem with this is that bacitracin, which is used in human medicine, can be used to promote growth in animals because FDA unlike WHO does not consider it medically important. Bacitracin has recently been shown to select for bacteria that carry the mcr-1 gene that confers resistance to the drug of last resort colistin. FDA is planning to update its list shortly so bacitracin may be moved to medically important and possibly bacitracin would then require a prescription and could not be used for growth. The last part would require the makers of bacitracin to make voluntary changes to their labels to align with FDA guidance.

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September 5, 2019

Steve Roach As noted above, Bacitracin is 100% Unabsorbed. In fact, FDA/CVM had quit asking for data on this point, when potentially new combinations were submitted, as it had been proven too many times before. As the EU (including WHO) has adopted the precautionary principle versus the precautionary approach, their classification is not surprising. In addition, bacitracin in humans is only used topically, and so the two applications can't really be directly compared. You should consider this article: Avian Diseases 2004 48: 317-323. In this article, it was shown that Bacitracin (and other antibiotics) can reduce bacterial resistance transfer through the pilus as they can cause a lysis in the bacterial cell wall (which includes the pilus). Evidence also exists in scientifically published articles that many of the alternatives now being used, which often also have antibacterial activity, can lead to bacterial resistance. So, the questions remains - are we really making any progress in this area from a change - especially since the AGP ban, little reduction (if any) in bacterial resistance has been reported. I think perhaps we are just fooling ourselves in an attempt to placate a largely uneducated populous.

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Sataluri Satagopa Raja Ayyangar Sataluri Satagopa Raja Ayyangar
B .Sc ( Mathematics , Physics and Chemistry ) ; P G Diploma in Environmental Studies ; P G Diploma in Industrial Pollution Management ; Industrial Chemistry ( B I E T )
September 5, 2019
If it is not absorbed in healthy animals it will be thrown to litter which again contaminate the soil ..
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September 7, 2019

Paul B. Tillman, Ph.D. Antimicrobial resistance can be promoted by many other factors besides the use of antimicrobials. I agree we need to go deeper with the prudent use of antimicrobials and the use of any other technology or products that also indirectly select resistance. We have to change our view and support the use of new alternative products considering also if they are or not promoting antimicrobial resistance selection, as well as we do with antibiotics. The antimicrobial resistance problem is real and it is not under discussion, at least in most of the specialized scientific community. Your comment regarding "little reduction (if any) in bacterial resistance" is not right. Limiting the use of antibiotics (a real limitation, no only the claim) reduction of resistance is observed.

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October 23, 2019

Mariano Fernandez Miyakawa , Thanks for your comments! Absolutely right! Now there is strong opposition against feed antibiotics ban because a lot of firms have appropriate business. But I think so, feed probiotics are much more interesting, and gives possibility to obtain healthy, organic production. It is possible: one of my customer (2 millon.broilers) in Ukraine is producing organic broiler meat, completely without feed antibiotics! For instance, price of these meat is twice more expensive if to compare with an ordinary broiler meat. Quality is important!

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May 4, 2020

Park W. Waldroup Dear Sir, I have checked it that antibiotics residues are in body of chicken. I have spread a culture of bacteria on nutrient agar plate and I removed a small piece of chicken skin and plated on the culture to see antibacterial effect of antibiotic given to chicken after 24 hrs I found zine of inhibition in test and no zone of inhibition in control. I think it proves that antibiotics can be absorbed by chicken intestine and get circulated throughout body.

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Alejandro Romero Alejandro Romero
General Director
September 4, 2019
It is important to pay attention to what the market demands and make all necessary adjustments to satisfy it in order to assure permanence and growth. There are already different products in the industry that can replace antibiotics safely in the feed. Also, it is very important to consider the animals environment. If we make sure manure degrades organizedly in a natural form by adding desired bacteria, the incidence of pathogenic bacteria in the barns will be reduced drastically.
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September 7, 2019

Dr. Steve Blezinger Everything? I heard that the problem is the misuse of antibiotics, either in human or animal medicine (i.e. giving antibiotics to healthy animals as growth promoters or unnecessary use in human patients). I also understood that use of antibiotics (doses and timing) are related with resistance and around 70% of all antibiotics produced in the world were fed to animals. So OIE, WHO and FAO are wrong?

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Dr. Steve Blezinger Dr. Steve Blezinger
Nutrition and Management Consultant
September 29, 2019

Hello Mariano Fernandez Miyakawa. Perhaps the word "Everything" was a bit of an exaggeration but based on ongoing reviews of the literature I as well as many others, believe that a significant amount of the problem human medicine has incurred is due to the over-prescription and mismanagement of antibiotics by human Drs and patients as well as other factors. Antibiotic feeding of food animals for therapeutic and growth promotion may be a contributor but I believe this is much more limited than many experts would like to have us believe. By placing the blame on the food animal industry this lessens the responsibility of medical Drs and human drug companies as related to this problem.

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October 8, 2019

Dr. Steve Blezinger it's been some time since I saw it but there was a study many years ago where they compared antibiotic resistance in Iowa hog farmers who had been using them in their herds. they actually showed less antibiotic resistant than a general population

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October 23, 2019
Alejandro Romero 100% agree
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Dr. Steve Blezinger Dr. Steve Blezinger
Nutrition and Management Consultant
September 4, 2019
The article was written as per applications in ruminant production systems. I know, by experience, that producers have "overfed" antibiotics for years. Not from the standpoint of feeding higher levels that legally allowed but in situations where it may not have been necessary. I.e. feeding it as a form of insurance. Personally, no, I don't believe that fed antibiotics, particularly in ruminants has had any contribution to the "antibiotic resistance" faced in human medicine. I believe it has EVERYTHING to do with over prescription of various meds by human Drs. and failure by the patient to manage prescriptions properly.

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Mr. Manoj Maruti Patil. Mr. Manoj Maruti Patil.
Assistant Manager
September 5, 2019

Does the use of antibiotics are pass in the human body through poultry? Chicken? Please suggest your opinion. 

Thanks and regards,
MANOJ PATIL.

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October 15, 2019

Mr. Manoj Maruti Patil. In most third world countries the practice of using antibiotics as feed grade growth promoters is not very popular. The practice here is the use of antimicrobials for the treatment of infectious conditions and there is little if any form of control in this area. This is where I feel the real scare lies.

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Hassan Khan Hassan Khan
Mr. Hassan Khan
September 7, 2019

Your personal views are respected but I have come across with certain studies that both resistance and passing over to human is true.

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mohammad aslam mohammad aslam
Specialist in Animal Nutrition
September 7, 2019

The discovery of Antibiotics made Livestock production easier, as it masked manage-mental mistakes on farms around the world but it is also a reality that with passage of time the recommended dosage of sub-therapeutic antibiotics increased, as in 1950s 10-20gms/Ton, in 1970s it increased to 40-50gms/Ton and today it is 30-110gms/Ton.

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Zeshan Zulfiqar Zeshan Zulfiqar
M.Sc (Hons) Poultry Science
March 4, 2020
mohammad aslam Even 150-200g/T
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mohammad aslam mohammad aslam
Specialist in Animal Nutrition
March 5, 2020
Zeshan Zulfiqar yes you are absolutely right.
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September 9, 2019

I think so, there are other possibilities to decrease pathogenic bacteria in the gut: proper feed enzymes, probiotics, acidifiers. Bacitracin? It is more preferable in comparing of tetracyclin or enro. Maybe, theoretically, bacitracin can cause resistance but chemical formula of bacitracine is totally different and resistance develops very slowly.

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September 9, 2019
Health based on nutrition, improve the intestinal environment through probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes and phytogenic additives are some strategies at hand to reduce and eradicate the use of APC.
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Emmanuel Nwaotule Emmanuel Nwaotule
Higher Diploma In Animal Health and Husbandry
September 10, 2019
Personally, the use of chemical agents - synthetic chemical substances as disease controling agents are gradually fading out. Organic substances or the principle of symbiotic is becoming more popular and more efficient in terms of safety to both animals and humans. Even in Nigeria here the use of moisture optimization program using blend of esterified organic acids in water is equally helpful in producing healthy livestock feeds for our animals. The feeds becomes less dusty and more palatable to the animals thereby reducing respiratory involvements.
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October 23, 2019
Emmanuel Nwaotule Yes it is. Combination of organic acids and probiotics gives excellent results.
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TOKASI TOKASI
Student
September 15, 2019

Bacteriocins from profitable bacteria (bacillus and ...), plant extracts, organic plants are control pathogen factors in the animal gut and promote its growth.
Using of antibiotics must limit by FDA & WHO in animal feeds.

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October 14, 2019

With integrated broiler production system good quality chicks are being produced with minimum bacterial contamination. Breeder birds are given killed vaccines whose maternal antibodies protect the chick up to 4 weeks. The very life span of broiler has come down to a few days above a month. Feed in the form of crumps is steam steralised. water quality is taken care of. All in all out housing farm wise is taking care of batch to batch spread. Well formulated feed is producing desired growth and conversion. There is hardly a need to give antibiotic growth promoters. gut active antibiotics do not get in to muscle tissue or blood. antibiotics like terra cyclines which were used to suppress non specific bacteria are not being used. Tetraclycines have gone out of human treatment 3 decades ago.
Hence, there is hardly any possibility of humans getting antibiotic resistance to the extent the propaganda is made.
This campaign helped poultry industry to improve biosecurity at all levels and the industry is forgetting the use of these things. I think the topic can be treated as a closed chapter.

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Rodel Villaraza Rodel Villaraza
Animal Nutritionist
October 15, 2019

As Dr. Kotaiah mentioned with the latest breed, housing and feed mill technologies together with the strict biosecurity, the topic should be a closed chapter but in reality, there are countries that still rely on antibiotics like in the Philippines. That's why as a nutritionist I am pro nutrition management without antibiotics as growth promotant. With the latest and numerous studies on gut management with use of organic acids, essential oils, herbs and spices or plant extracts and proper use of raw materials, we had achieved to balance the microbiosystem of the gut. With the help of proper management Includes, housing, stress, vaccination, biosecurity, waste disposal and health limiting the use of antibiotics as growth promoters can be eradicated. This is true for broilers, layers and swine. We came along way of eradicating the use of the likes of fura drugs as regular medication in feeds. Just be open in other nutraceutical products available and proper nutrition.

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October 15, 2019

What are the antibiotics poultry used. terra cyclones (oxy and chloro). neomycin doxycline colistine bacitracin. none of them are being used in human treatment.
Human beings stop taking complete course once they get alright with initial doses. This can cause resistance for the second treatment.
Animal products are blamed for nothing. any way good has happened. Biosecurity all over has gone up. Selection at breeder level is covering the gap may be in a years time.
Let us forget about antibiotics and strive to prevent infections. Good for everybody.

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March 6, 2020

Dr.Talapaneni.Kotaiah Dear Dr. Nalapaneni, sorry I do not agree with your opinion. The main groups of antibiotics are still the same in use in veterinary as well as in human medicines, for example, doxy, amoxycilline, enro... it's easy to check, you can open in internet the list of registered antibiotics in human medicine to compare it with an registered antibiotics in veterinary medicine. Active substances are practically the same.

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Ranganathan Ranganathan
International Trade COACH
March 12, 2020

Dr.Talapaneni.Kotaiah respectfully Doctor,

Breeding, commercial poultry farms are swarmed by Fly and Larvae* who's are indirectly depressing productivity and high Social hygiene issues*

Though many products being used literally no stopping the menace.

We have come out with a herbal extract which kills flies at its fastest, 10 minutes Max and Larvae in around 5 hours
almost permanently, but if the farmer retain and keep adding litter till a year No permanent remedy. Our product help in bio security.

Antibiotic feed supplements are sidelined by plant sources for faster, better overall performance.

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Lawal Sesan Lawal Sesan
B.SC, M.Sc and Ph.D IN VIEW
May 11, 2020

Yes you are right Dr Fiodor, the same list of antibiotics are also used in human medicine but if you refused to complete the dose of antibiotic as a human patients, resistance may occur, we cannot try this in poultry because it may be disastros and may make the farmer Loo's completely.

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dan hofer dan hofer
Poultry farmer
October 22, 2019

I think clean water and organic acids, essential oils, herbs and spices is good it has to be that's why it was created its even healthy for humans

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Muhammad Salman Akram Muhammad Salman Akram
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
March 7, 2020
Instead of antibiotics one must use photogenic
Growth promoter.
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Kiran Doranalli Kiran Doranalli
Technical Director, Gut Health Solutions
Evonik Animal Nutrition Evonik Animal Nutrition
Hessen, Germany
March 7, 2020

How about the use of antibiotic usage in fermentation industry and the residue left in the water? What about antibiotics used for prevention and treatment? Growth promotion is just a small piece of the puzzle?

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Ranganathan Ranganathan
International Trade COACH
March 12, 2020
Kiran Doranalli Growth promotion is of Vital importance*
Reply
April 9, 2020
Kiran Doranalli Some of That work has been done. To use DDG's safely, there may be times when the use of some products is necessary.
Fate of virginiamycin through the fuel ethanol production process
Kenneth M. Bischoff1 • Yanhong Zhang2 • Joseph O. Rich1
Received: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 8 February 2016 / Published online: 2 April 2016
Reply
March 12, 2020
Please tell natural fruits and  chemical ( mineral mixer ) combination for development of cattle body & high held of milk.
Reply
Dr. Steve Blezinger Dr. Steve Blezinger
Nutrition and Management Consultant
March 12, 2020
Dhanraj Hello! Thanks for your question. I am not certain of specific fruits that are useful in improving body weight and milk production. However, there are a number of plant extracts/phytobiotics/essential oil products that are considered more natural that have research showing effects on rumen function that support both growth and milk as well as animal health. In this context, these products are worth reviewing.

Mineral supplementation should be based on animal requirements for whatever production that is of concern. Mineral balance (all minerals) are required as some level for virtually every biological function in some capacity.

Hope this helps.
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Ranganathan Ranganathan
International Trade COACH
March 12, 2020

Dhanraj we are promoting a herbal extract composition since 20 years in India.

Is a research product by a team of plant cell biology in Coimbatore agricultural University.

Based on NO secretion from the endothelial cells"

Till date No other composition could match the performance......

Natural dewormer
Enhanced gut health,
Better metabolism of feed, fodder consumed,
Enhanced productivity of better quality milk as on 3-4 days of administration*

Minimum Guaranteed Extra yield in 4 days is 1.30 lpd* with an enhanced FAT, SNF @ 20%.

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