Feed Strategy - July 2018 - 12
12 ❙ FeedStrategy
How gut health promotes
animal welfare in monogastrics
Despite environmental stressors and new production methods,
intestinal integrity can thrive with proper nutrition and management.
labitase | BigStockPhoto.com
nimal welfare standards aim to ensure the
mental and physical well-being of livestock is
maintained throughout the animal's life cycle,
and span to include the provision of proper nutrition,
health, comfort, safety and the ability to express behaviors innate to the species.
According to the American Veterinary Medical
Association (AVMA), "Good animal welfare requires
disease prevention and veterinary treatment, appropriate shelter, management, nutrition, humane handling
and humane slaughter."
For more than a decade, pressure from the public
and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has driven
new regulations and prompted producers to alter production systems to improve animal welfare, taking measures to reduce restricted movement (sows, crates; hens,
cages) and crowded sheds (free range); and ushering in
an increased interest in slow-growing broiler strains to
counter the ill effects of genetic selection.
In turn, meat and egg marketers have used such labels to differentiate their products at the grocery store.
Beyond the positive aspects of animal welfare ideology, in practice, it can pose feeding challenges for
livestock producers and feed formulators. The following explores the nutrition pitfalls of new production systems and
examines the role
nutritionists play in
to maintain animal
health and performance.
As production modifications are mandated,
new feeding and health challenges become more
prevalent, i.e., difficulties maintaining feed consumption, monitoring supplementary nutrient
intake and formulating a higher-energy diet.
"One of the most important feeding challenges posed by new animal welfare-focused producwww.WATTAgNet.com ❙ July 2018