Feed Strategy - July 2018 - 13
FeedStrategy ❙ 13
tion is to ensure adapted diets fulfill the [animal's]
metabolic needs and guarantee profitability to the
farmer," says Alain Riggi, global species manager,
poultry, Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care.
For example, new housing systems affect the energy
partitioning of birds due to increased physical activity,
notes Silvateam's technical manager, Nicola Panciroli.
"Although the impact on feed intake and performance may not always be substantial, [new housing
systems] give rise to other concerns that could affect
bird health and productivity - such as ammonia emissions from the manure, risks of bone fractures due to
flying, higher risks for diseases," he says.
While proper diet formulation is a major
concern, disease prevention and immune support in a reduced or antibioticfree production scheme is, arguably, a
more pressing issue.
"Producers are faced with the challenge to exclude antibiotics while maintaining productive parameters to allow for
the farm's profitability," Carlos Domenech,
general manager, BioVet SA.
needs to be implemented," says Tom Marsteller,
Kemin Industries' swine technical service manager.
Though there is no silver bullet to replace antibiotics, nutritionists are focusing on building immunity as
the first line of defense.
Gut health promotion
With 70 percent of an animal's immunity concentrated in the gut, fostering a strong gastrointestinal system will improve its health, performance and welfare.
A healthy monogastric gut maintains homeostasis,
prevents infectious diseases, and provides energy and
immunity. In contrast, poor gut health can lead to subclinical issues - or clinical disease outbreaks - that
cause physiological stress to the animal and result in
reduced performance and welfare, says Aart Mateboer,
business unit director, animal nutrition, DuPont
"Everything in the gastrointestinal tract
(GIT) is connected: the nutrition, the microbiome and the gut and immune
function," says Mateboer,
What can producers do to maintain
animal health and welfare in an everchanging production environment without (or with reduced) antibiotics usage?
The answer lies in the gut.
"The formulation of diets for their specific effect on gut health is becoming a reality
in the monogastric animal industries," Panciroli
says. "The maintenance or enhancement of gut health
is essential for the welfare and productivity of animals
when antibiotics are not allowed in feed."
To ensure animal welfare is not compromised in
an antibiotic-free production environment, gut health
needs to be closely monitored.
"Management practices need to be clearly understood across the entire production team. All individuals know how to properly monitor for gut health issues
and what to do if - and when - antibiotic treatment
July 2018 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com
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