• Posted by Anitox

Feed's Role in Broiler Disease Management

Broiler disease managementUnlocking the full potential of poultry begins with what's in their feed. Imagine boosting the performance of broilers and broiler breeders, not only by meeting their nutritional needs but by supercharging their diet with high microbial quality feed. This isn't just about growth; it's about efficiency, health and tapping into the birds' genetic blueprint for excellence.

With feed accounting for around 70% of poultry meat production costs, the stakes couldn't be higher. A clean, nutrient-rich diet is the key to maximizing genetic potential and ensuring the health and performance of these birds. Pathogens lurking in feed can derail everything, making feed hygiene a necessity for supporting broiler disease management.

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Feed as a Fomite for Pathogens Significant to Broiler Health

Feed ingredients can be contaminated by bacteria and viruses from wild animals and other materials during harvesting and storage. This natural contamination spreads in feed mills through grinding and mixing.

Microbes in the gut assist in digestion and immunity. Disruption can lead to vulnerability, causing inflammation and decreased productivity. Pathogen prevalence in feed leads to an increased likelihood of colonization and disruption of the normal microbial balance within the broiler gastrointestinal tract (GIT), adversely affecting health and performance. Salmonella, E. coli and Clostridia are examples of pathogens frequently associated with feed contamination.

Contaminated feed can increase costs, lower productivity and impact broiler health. Resulting infections and disease can lead to severe consequences across the supply chain.

Managing feed as a potential carrier of pathogens necessitates proactive measures at every stage of production. Implementing rigorous hygiene and biosecurity protocols, both on the farm and within the milling process, is crucial to minimize the risk of additional contamination.

broiler disease managementHow Does Feed Sanitation Aid Broiler Disease Management?

The broiler GIT plays a crucial role in energy extraction, nutrient utilization and growth. It is also a key entry point for pathogens and a primary location for immune responses that safeguard against broiler diseases.

Within the GIT, microbial populations work together to break down challenging dietary components efficiently and release nutrients that would otherwise be wasted. These microbes support broiler immunity by preventing pathogen colonization through competitive exclusion. Any disruption to this delicate balance can pose risks and lead to complications.

Disruptions and imbalances render the gut susceptible to intestinal inhabitants such as Clostridia perfringens. This can result in inflammation, causing damage to the mucosal barrier, introducing Necrotic Enteritis, and, ultimately, affecting productivity and mortality rates. Introducing feed sanitation to reduce microbial levels in feed helps prevent pathogen transmission to the gut, and leads to enhanced enteric health and broiler performance. Feed sanitization is a valuable technique utilized by the poultry industry to decrease microbial levels and pathogen presence. Genuine feed sanitizers are successful in reducing microbial levels and pathogen prevalence in feed while maintaining protection against recontamination.

Decreasing microbial levels in broiler feeds, particularly during the first two weeks of life, promotes the development of a healthy microflora. This helps lessen the severity of lesions and mortality resulting from challenges. Collaborative research by Anitox and Dr. Dan Moore, CQR, has shown that providing sanitized diets to broilers can help alleviate the effects of Necrotic Enteritis during challenging conditions. Broilers given sanitized feed before facing a NE challenge exhibited lower mortality rates and reduced lesion scores, implying that reducing microbial levels in feed during crucial stages of gut development may enhance broilers' ability to combat performance-limiting diseases.

Contact your clean feed expert today to learn more about feed sanitation and effective feed pathogen control programs.