Additives that actually work?

12-10-2010 | | |
Ioannis Mavromichalis

Let’s talk about additives for broilers – additives that bring a substantial return on investment. I was recently part of a discussion group where it was summarily assumed that not many of the commercially available (nutritional) additives actually seem to work (at least under their conditions).

Of course, this was a private group discussing internal operations, but the point is there are at least some nutritionists or producers who desperately need solutions to problems through additives but are at a loss when it comes to which products can actually help them.

So, which additives work in your opinion? I am not asking about brand names, just general categories for which there is a consensus in the poultry industry. For example, I am sure few would argue with me when I say that phytase should be an integral part of any broiler diet that seeks to keep cost low by reducing (expensive) inorganic phosphate additions. But, some would argue with me if I were to claim that phytase also enhances energy and/or amino acid digestibility. It has happened!

Organic acids also come to mind as one more example of a nutritional additive that finds widespread acceptance in antibiotic-free formulations, but again here, not all organic acids are similar. I had very good experiences with a couple of those, but surprisingly not always!

It would be counterproductive to talk about those additives we believe as ineffective, but we all have good experiences with nutritional additives that actually enhance performance, improve health, reduce mortality, and in general make more money for the producer than they cost to be used. I would also hasten to add here that I strongly believe certain additives work under certain conditions, which sometimes remained largely undefined – a prime example here could be (again in my own experience) yeast derivative products.

So, now, you have my own positive experiences with a few nutritional additives.

What’s your story?

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