as already in many of the comments noted, in challenging conditions, especially heat stress, there is no single product able to serve as the optimum solution.
Besides nutrition, all other factors need to been considered: biosecurity, cooling systems/ methods, ventilation, bedding materials, water quality and availability, stocking density...etc.
From a nutritional point of view, the higher the challenges, the higher the demand is on methyl groups.
I completely agree with and with Dr. Fiodor S. Marchenkov, betaine is a proven nutritional aid. As a multi-functional nutrient, betaine is acting as an efficient methyl group donor and as an organic osmolyte, with direct influence on the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and health. In heat stress conditions, the mineral and water balance might be disturbed and the cell wall integrity potentially damaged and the osmoregulatory responses are highly energy consuming processes. Betaine can improve the litter quality by reducing the litter’s moisture content and can reduce the wet litter related problems. Furthermore is involved in the energy metabolism, can reduce the energy required for the osmoregulation.
Additionally, has further potential benefits like lowering carcass fat content and increasing breast meat yield, has a significant role in hepatic protection and it is a source of glycine, relevant in low protein diets. Glycine is one of the amino acids present in the bile salts and one of its functions is to produce uric acid to eliminate the excess of nitrogen from the body via the urine.
All positive effects of betaine are dosage responding and in hot climatic conditions, betaine shouldn’t be applied in order to save methionine. It needs to be added “on top” at a level of min. 1000 mg (active betaine)/ kg of complete feed.
In such conditions is nothing to be “saved”; all vitamin levels should be increased min. 10%, Vit. C at the level of 200 mg/ kg of finished feed, sodium bicarbonate is beneficial of course and all measures together will help to have less medication costs, less mortality and better production efficiency in heat stress conditions.
Ana Gavrau, Product Manager, AGRANA Stärke GmbH.