Since the ban on antimicrobial growth promoters in EU, more than 50% of antibiotics treatments given to broilers are because of gut health related problems, mostly bacterial enteritis (BE).
The signs of BE are loss of performance, higher feed conversion rate (FCR), and macroscopic and histologic alterations of the intestines. There is a growing need to find natural effective and nontoxic alternatives to antibiotics to prevent the disease. Vetworks, a group of poultry veterinarians, giving technical support to the poultry industry and specialised in gut health, has developed a macroscopic scoring system to evaluate intestinal health that was validated histologically, and that can be used to objectively compare different treatments for bacterial enteritis.
Tina Rogge from Proviron, a Belgian chemical company that has recently expanded its portfolio with feed additives and microalgae, presented the results of in vitro and in vivo trials with Provifeed Optigut, a specific blend of esterified short chained and medium to long chain fatty acids.
The objective of the trials was to evaluate the efficacy of mixtures of esters of fatty acids in feed for the control of BE in broilers. To provoke BE in floor pen conditions, feeds rich in non-starch polysaccharides and energy were given during grower and finisher phase. Body weight gain, FCR and histopathological lesions were determined for different products and compared to a non-supplemented control group and to an antibiotic treated (0.04 mg/ml tylvalosin in drinking water) group. Compared to the control group, broilers treated with one specific product, which is now branded as Provifeed Optigut, have shown up to 8.5% higher End Weight (P < 0.1), numerical improvement in FCR of 3.6 % and better histological scores for BE. The End Weight and FCR were also numerically better in comparison with the antibiotic treated group.
Provifeed Optigut confirmed its potential in field trials in industrial broiler farms in Belgium with more than 300.000 birds. The birds, receiving feed supplemented with Provifeed Optigut showed an increase in average end weight (5.7%) and a decrease in feed conversion rate (2.1%), which gave the farmer a return of investment of 4.3.
These trials demonstrated that Provifeed Optigut can be considered as a prime ingredient for BE control in broilers and as potential alternative to antibiotic treatment of BE.
During the VIV Europe in Utrecht (the Netherlands) Proviron and Vetworks organised a breakfast meeting on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 to present Provifeed Optigut.