High, variable microbial loads increase the risk of pathogen transmission via feed and prevalence within poultry production. Opportunistic feed-source pathogens can quickly multiply when exposed to favorable conditions and increase the risk for disease, potentially impacting profitability through reduced performance.
Decreasing microbial loads may help reduce pathogen prevalence in feed and support the development of a healthy microbiome, generating improvements in bird health and performance. These benefits translate directly into real revenue for producers, making clean feed a cost-effective food safety and poultry performance strategy.
Improving Broiler Performance via Reduced Microbial Loads
Reducing feed microbial loads is crucial in maintaining optimal gut health and broiler performance. Here are some reasons why:
1. Promotes a Balanced Microbiome.The microbiome is the delicate microbial balance that resides within the gut. Maintaining and supporting a balanced microbiome is essential to protect the integrity of intestinal tissues and mitigate disease. Reducing pathogen prevalence in feed means fewer pathogens are delivered to the GIT, leading to less competition for valuable commensal microorganisms.
2. Prevents Dysbiosis.Variable microbial loads within feed challenge the microbiome and, in some cases, lead to a microbial population shift, resulting in dysbiosis. Dysbiosis can cause significant health and performance challenges for broilers.
3. Mitigates Feed-source Pathogens.
Increased pathogen prevalence in feed increases the risk of pathogen colonization and dysbiosis, which has a negative impact on bird health and performance. Salmonella, E. coli, and Clostridia are pathogens repeatedly linked to feed.
For example, Clostridium perfringens is a normal intestinal inhabitant but can proliferate abnormally during a microbiome imbalance and cause Necrotic Enteritis. Decreasing microbial loads in broiler feeds, especially during the first two weeks of life, supports the development of a healthy microflora and reduces the severity of the lesions and mortality derived from challenge.
Anitox has made real strides in understanding the impact of clean feed on poultry health and performance. Trials show that reducing feed microbial loads:
- Positively impacts weight gain and feed conversion during a Necrotic Enteritis challenge in broilers.
- Reduces broiler breeder mortality, eggshell contamination, and chick quality from 25 to 60 weeks of age.
Feed sanitizers are specially designed and applied to feed at low inclusion rates, effectively reducing feed microbial loads and offering long-term protection against recontamination. Anitox’s feed pathogen control portfolio contains two different feed sanitizers, both offering the highest level of pathogen control in feed.
Effective feed hygiene programs are proven to be successful in reducing feed microbial loads, preventing the entry of pathogens into live production, and improving bird health and performance. In addition to controlling feed source pathogens, feed sanitation has shown to have a positive impact on productivity and operational safety, allowing producers to meet their goals.
In conclusion, reducing feed microbial loads positively impacts gut health and poultry performance. By maintaining a balanced microbiome and decreasing pathogen prevalence, broiler breeders and broilers can achieve optimal health and performance, yielding real revenue for producers.
Producers ready to learn more about how feed sanitation supports their poultry performance and productivity goals should contact a clean feed expert today.