China to adopt UK wel­fare stan­dards Fer­mented ker­nel maize im­proves bird health AI causes par­ent flock short­age

The Poultry Bulletin - - CONTENTS - Au­thor: Dr Daniel Petri BIOMIN An­i­mal Nutri­tion (Pty) Ltd 2571 Klerks­dorp, South Africa Tel.: +27 18 468 1455

China to adopt UK wel­fare stan­dards

The UK’S Royal So­ci­ety for the Pro­tec­tion of An­i­mals (RSPCA) is set to ad­vance the cause of farm an­i­mal wel­fare in China with the sup­port of a US$450,000 grant from the US foun­da­tion the Open Phi­lan­thropy Project.

The UK’S an­i­mal wel­fare stan­dards and wel­fare la­belling, RSCPA As­sured, will be used as a model for sim­i­lar food as­sur­ances in China. These im­prove­ments to the care of poul­try, among other live­stock, will have a sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect on the large num­ber of an­i­mals in the coun­try.

“There is a real and grow­ing ap­petite for eth­i­cally pro­duced food and re­li­able la­belling,” said Paul Lit­tle­fair of the RSPCA. “The scale of farm­ing in China means there is an op­por­tu­nity to make an ex­tremely broad and last­ing im­pact on an­i­mal wel­fare.”¡

Fer­mented ker­nel maize im­proves bird health

The in­clu­sion of fer­mented (en­siled) ker­nel maize in broiler feed can de­crease bird mor­tal­ity, im­prove lit­ter con­di­tion and im­prove foot pad health.

A PHD study from Samir Ran­jitkar at the Depart­ment of An­i­mal Science, Aarhus Univer­sity, Den­mark, looked at en­siled maize ker­nels and the ef­fect on poul­try health. The study’s re­searchers sug­gest fer­mented feed is a po­ten­tial al­ter­na­tive to AGPS, con­sid­er­ing its pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on broiler per­for­mance and main­tain­ing healthy gut.

Two feed­ing ex­per­i­ments were car­ried out with Ross 308 male broil­ers. Re­sults showed the growth per­for­mance of broil­ers fed 15% crimped ker­nel maize silage (ckms) was sim­i­lar to broil­ers in con­trol maize­based treat­ment. Both tri­als showed im­proved foot pad health and de­creased mor­tal­ity fol­low­ing the ad­di­tion of ckms com­pared to con­trol di­ets. This was at­trib­uted to the lower mois­ture con­tent in the lit­ter. Fur­ther, meat qual­ity pa­ram­e­ters - mainly colour, ten­der­ness and juici­ness - in­creased with the in­clu­sion of ckms in the maize based di­ets.¡

AI causes par­ent flock short­age

As a re­sult of re­stric­tions placed on im­ports of poul­try and eggs from Ro­ma­nia, Croa­tia and Swe­den due the out­breaks of highly path­o­genic avian in­fluenza, Rus­sia’s poul­try in­dus­try and in par­tic­u­lar poul­try farm­ers are likely to be ad­versely af­fected as they still rely on im­ports of hatch­ing eggs and breed­ing stock.

Vadim Va­neev, gen­eral di­rec­tor of Rus­sia’s largest turkey pro­ducer Eurodon, said while his com­pany has se­cured poul­try par­ent flock for at least 3 years, many farm­ers in the coun­try will cer­tainly face dif­fi­cul­ties. De­pend­ing on the length of time that re­stric­tions are in place, if these last for sev­eral years, many poul­try pro­duc­ers will not be able to sur­vive.¡

Es­sen­tial mi­crobes in poul­try feed Live or in­ac­ti­vated, what is the dif­fer­ence?

In hu­mans as in chick­ens, cer­tain bac­te­ria such as Lac­to­bacilli and Bi­fi­dobac­te­ria are ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial for in­testi­nal de­vel­op­ment. These mi­crobes are nor­mally taken up from the en­vi­ron­ment. The most im­por­tant fac­tors for mi­crobe up­take by chick­ens are the hatch­eries, the hen­houses, and the feed and wa­ter taken up

The in­creas­ing ef­forts in the field of pro­duc­tion hy­giene are re­strict­ing the path­ways to up­take of im­por­tant bac­te­ria ever fur­ther. Hatch­eries are al­most ster­ile, houses are dis­in­fected be­fore the chicks are placed, and the feed is be­ing treated ever more in or­der to avoid path­o­genic germs as far as pos­si­ble. How­ever, par­al­lel with this the mi­crobes nec­es­sary for de­vel­op­ment of the birds are be­ing in­creas­ingly killed off. This now leads to a sit­u­a­tion in which poul­try is re­stricted in its growth po­ten­tial as cer­tain stim­uli nec­es­sary for de­vel­op­ment can no longer be pro­vided. This can be ob­served in par­tic­u­lar among par­ents for broil­ers, as con­trary to their ge­net­ics these an­i­mals are fed re­stric­tively in or­der to in­crease their fer­til­ity. All this is done with very high hy­giene mea­sures, which leads to a par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion re­gard­ing the de­vel­op­ment sta­tus of the fowl. Non-spe­cific clin­i­cal pic­tures among the par­ents are fre­quent, and in many cases then also lead to losses in the rear­ing of the par­ents.

It has been proved that es­sen­tial mi­crobes can be added to the feed in or­der to al­low nor­mal growth of the poul­try. Re­cently, how­ever, there has been in­creas­ing dis­cus­sion on whether the bac­te­ria nec­es­sary for the de­vel­op­ment of the poul­try have to be fed live, or whether it is pos­si­ble to ad­min­is­ter them in killed form in or­der to achieve the same or even bet­ter ef­fect. In this con­nec­tion the fol­low­ing fac­tors should be con­sid­ered: many stim­uli in the de­vel­op­ment of the chicken are struc­tural, in other words the sur­face of the pro­bi­otic bac­te­ria leads to an in­flu­ence on the im­mune sys­tem. The bac­terium need not nec­es­sar­ily be alive for this. On the other hand the coloni­sa­tion re­sis­tance is of­ten cited – this con­cerns which bac­terium first colonises a cer­tain niche in the di­ges­tive tract and thus fore­stalls coloni­sa­tion by other bac­te­ria, even if the mi­crobes es­sen­tial for de­vel­op­ment pos­si­bly do not di­rectly pre­vent path­o­genic bac­te­ria. De­spite this coloni­sa­tion by path­o­genic germs is thus pre­vented, pro­vided that the es­sen­tial mi­crobes can colonise the in­testi­nal wall first. If the pro­bi­otic added in the feed is in­ac­ti­vated, this ef­fect is lim­ited. Re­cep­tors in the in­testi­nal wall can ad­mit­tedly be oc­cu­pied, but per­ma­nent coloni­sa­tion by live path­o­genic germs can­not be pre­vented to the same ex­tent, as these can move around. Only live Lac­to­bacilli pro­duce lac­tic acid, which in turn is avail­able as nutri­tion to other es­sen­tial mi­crobes, such as Bi­fi­dobac­te­ria, and at the same time leads to acid­i­fi­ca­tion. Coun­ter­part op­po­nents such as Escherichia coli, which can oc­cupy the same re­cep­tors as the colonis­ing Lac­to­bacilli, pre­fer to grow in neu­tral or al­ka­line sur­round­ings. On the other hand, liv­ing or­gan­isms have main­te­nance needs. Con­se­quently if we pro­vide pro­bi­otic bac­te­ria nec­es­sary for de­vel­op­ment specif­i­cally via the feed, they will also use a part of the feed en­ergy for their own growth. Nat­u­rally there are also quite prac­ti­cal ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages in the use of bac­te­ria in feeds. Es­sen­tial micro­organ­isms that have al­ready been killed are more durable as a prod­uct and in feed­stuffs and can be pel­letized with­out prob­lems. This is nat­u­rally a ben­e­fit for the pro­duc­ers of ad­di­tives as well, as no live de­tec­tion is pos­si­ble.

Pro­bi­otic Lac­to­bacilli and Bi­fi­dobac­te­ria are spe­cial­ists in the di­ges­tive tract, but gen­er­ally not very sta­ble in stor­age and can­not be pel­letized with­out suf­fi­cient en­cap­su­la­tion.

The right strat­egy in poul­try pro­duc­tion

What ben­e­fits me most as a poul­try pro­ducer? In two sci­en­tific ex­per­i­ments with broil­ers con­ducted over 40 and 42 days, ei­ther 500 g/kg or 1000 g/kg Poul­trys­tar was tested in the feed, with the pro­bi­otic bac­te­ria be­ing ad­min­is­tered once live and once in­ac­ti­vated. In the case of 500 g/kg ad­min­is­tra­tion of the live prod­uct, in­creased early growth was ob­served in the first week of life, which was not the case with the in­ac­ti­vated prod­uct. In con­trast, feed con­ver­sion was im­proved by com­par­i­son with the con­trol an­i­mals in both treat­ments with live and killed prod­uct. In the trial with a dose of 1000 g/kg feed Poul­trys­tar, the ef­fect of the killed prod­uct was more uni­form through­out the en­tire du­ra­tion of the study. On the other hand, the ef­fects of the live and killed prod­uct were im­proved over a con­trol with­out sup­ple­ments. In­ter­est­ingly enough, in the case of ad­min­is­tra­tion of the in­ac­ti­vated prod­uct, how­ever, im­proved di­gestibil­ity of the dry mat­ter and the crude pro­tein fed to the birds was ob­served by com­par­i­son with the trial groups with the live pro­bi­otic and the con­trol group. Here it can be sus­pected that a part of the dry mat­ter and the pro­tein in the live pro­bi­otic group was trans­formed into bac­te­rial biomass, which was not the case with the in­ac­ti­vated bac­te­ria ad­min­is­tered or the con­trol group. As there was no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in growth per­for­mance be­tween the birds with live bac­te­ria in the feed by com­par­i­son with those with killed bac­te­ria in the feed, it can be shown that the live bac­te­ria sup­ple­mented do not com­pete with the broil­ers for nu­tri­ents in the in­tes­tine, as oth­er­wise there would have been dif­fer­ences in growth. In the ce­cal ton­sils, the largest ac­cu­mu­la­tion of lymph cells in the hen gut, the ex­pres­sion of the in­ducible ni­tric ox­ide syn­thase (INOS) gene was low­ered in both cases, which con­firms the im­munomod­u­lat­ing ef­fect of the bac­te­ria, both live and in­ac­ti­vated. Macrophages pro­duce ni­tric ox­ides with INOS to kill off bac­te­rial cells. Lower se­cre­tion could in­di­cate im­proved se­lec­tiv­ity of these im­mune cells in both cases.

Based on these stud­ies, it was pos­si­ble to show an ef­fect of in­ac­ti­vated bac­te­ria es­sen­tial for poul­try de­vel­op­ment which leads to the same pro­duc­tion re­sults in a con­trolled feed­ing ex­per­i­ment. This also rep­re­sents ad­van­tages for prac­ti­cal use, as it doc­u­ments that in­ac­ti­vated bac­te­rial strains too have pos­i­tive ef­fects that may be com­pa­ra­ble with those of live strains. How­ever, it should be con­sid­ered that both ex­per­i­ments were tested un­der op­ti­mal trial con­di­tions – un­der field con­di­tions the path­o­genic germ pres­sure is much higher in the course of pro­duc­tion than in the trial.

Here it is ques­tion­able whether the in­ac­ti­vated form of the bac­te­rial strains can have the same ef­fect at the same con­cen­tra­tion.¡

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