Reduce antibiotics, keep profitability

13 April 2017

A Chinese broiler study showed the efficiency of a feed additive to improve animal performance in antibiotic free environments. The trial proved positive results for body weight, feed intake, feed conversion ratio and footpad integrity, outperforming antibiotic growth promoters.

The need? Withdraw antibiotics from animal production. The challenge? Keep performance up, protecting animal welfare and business profit.

There is no need to explain why antibiotic reduction is needed. Increasing antimicrobial resistance, the serious risk for animal and human health and growing legislation worldwide about the issue speak for themselves. With no question about the must of decreasing antibiotics use, animal producers face now another difficulty. Maintain performance and profitability.

Feed additives prove results through research

Driven by market needs, several companies are working on solutions. Feed additives have a preferred place within this concept as they can offer support in antibiotic free environments. Trouw Nutrition has developed several programmes based on a feed- farm- health approach and keeps researching to prove results towards this aim. As part of this effort, a trial was carried out in China in order to determine whether the use of a feed additive could improve broilers performance when no antibiotics are used.

The study evaluated the performance of 900 broiler chickens. The results on performance in an antibiotic free environment might indeed encourage the poultry industry. 

The animals were fed either a basic commercial diet with no additives at all, with an antibiotic growth promoter (AGP), or with a feed additive.During the 42-day trial period, the animals were monitored for performance. The addition of the feed additive significantly increased the body weight gain and feed intake, while decreasing the feed conversion ratio, compared to both the negative and the positive control (FCR of 1.56 vs.1.60 and 1.58, respectively).

Withdrawing antibiotics does not mean giving up performance

The results show that the group receiving the feed additive (water applied Selko-pH) had a 0.04 improvement in feed conversion ratio compared to the negative control, and a 0.02 improvement compared to the positive control. Also, the addition of the feed additive improved the footpad integrity of the broilers.