High-quality feed is fundamental to producing safe, healthy and profitable meat and eggs. Pressure to produce more high-quality feed, faster, has resulted in increased use of animal feed additives to support livestock growth and performance. GlobeNewswire estimates the animal feed additive market will hit 18 billion dollars within the next five years. But how exactly do animal feed additives aid producers, and why are they in such demand?Feed Additives in Animal and Feed Production
Feed additives are products used to improve feed quality, aid the production of high-quality animal food products and enhance animal performance and health. Within live production, feed quality can be impacted by microbial and physical quality.
Performance-limiting pathogens lead to impaired gut function due to microflora disruption and energy diversion to the immune system to cope with systemic stress and animal illness. In addition, pathogens such as Salmonella pose a risk to food safety, and many producers take action to reduce the Salmonella prevalence headed to processing.
Physical feed quality impacts both live production and feed mills. Poor pellet quality can result in fines and nutrient segregation which negatively impacts animal performance. Whereas feed millers face challenges such as shrink, reduced throughput, poor pellet quality and high energy costs.
Feed additives vary in use, type and mode of action. Additives can focus on supporting gut health, managing moisture, improving feed form and reducing microbial loads. Still, it is fair to say that they all intend to improve animal performance via feed utilization.
Animal Feed Additive Goals
Feed Pathogen Control
Enhance feed quality and performance by reducing the microbial load in feed. Microbial load reduction mitigates pathogen entry into live production, lowering pathogen prevalence and preventing performance limiting conditions.
Aim to support gut health by enhancing intestinal function, typically through supporting a healthy microflora.
Aids producers' efforts to make more feed from their materials by reducing process loss while helping to meet sustainability and energy goals as well as improve physical feed quality and shelf life.
Selecting an Animal Feed Additive
Deciding to add a feed additive to your formula is a big decision. Not every feed additive is a total system solution. To further confuse matters, it can be challenging to decide how problems should be solved and what resources should be committed to achieving a solution. Before choosing a feed additive producers must examine the problem and determine:
- What is the cost of doing nothing?
- What would be considered a successful outcome of a solution?
- Where can intervention occur?
- What solutions exist?
For example, suppose live production is struggling with a performance-limiting pathogen. Performance-limiting pathogens, such as Clostridia, have been linked to feed. Clostridia perfringens can cause necrotic enteritis in poultry. Necrotic enteritis prevention is centered around preventing intestinal injury and mitigating Clostridia within operations. In this case, it can be hard to decide where to take action, mitigate pathogen entry into the production system or support gut health, hopefully equipping flocks to handle the challenge. Instead of opting for a solution that solely addresses one aspect of the problem, producers could look towards a tool, such as a feed sanitizer, capable of reducing the inbound feed pathogen challenge while supporting gut health through the safe supply of clean feed. Feed sanitizers are applied at low inclusion rates and offer broad-spectrum protection of feed from the point of application until the point of consumption through their ability to prevent recontamination. As an effective feed pathogen control solution, feed sanitizers support gut health by preventing pathogenic disruption.
Producers struggling with pellet quality may debate between using a pellet binder and a milling efficiency aid. While pellet binders support feed form, a milling efficiency aid optimizes moisture levels, improves pellet quality, lowers energy consumption, improves batch yields, and prevents mold growth through the reduction of free water and the inclusion of a mold inhibitor.
Feed additives come in all shapes and sizes, but a select few can solve more than one problem. Anitox is a world-leading authority on feed pathogen control and milling efficiency. With over 40 years of experience, our experts are here to help you select a feed additive that fits your needs.