Antibiotic resistance is getting more and more publicity and governments are starting to take notice. Dr. Marcel Boereboom, of the Royal Dutch Society for Veterinary Medicine, discussed the impact this is having on the Dutch industry, following a study by the Dutch Health Council. He described how the government of the Netherlands have, to date, banned certain antibiotics and implemented a targeted reduction of 50 percent (of 2009 levels) of the total amount of antibiotics used in food producing animals by 2013. This has had a huge impact on how poultry is produced.
Focussing on how to deal with this issue was Professor Stephen
Collett from the University of Georgia. He recommended a shift in
emphasis in gut health management, from working against pathogens, to
working with the intestinal microbial community. This involves improving
performance by accelerating the evolution and maintaining the stability
of favourable intestinal microbiota. The three most important areas of
an effective intestinal health management programme include: “seeding”
the gut with favourable organisms, “feeding” the favourable organisms
and “weeding” out the unfavourable organisms.
Professor Roselina Angel, of the University of Maryland,
described to attendees at the Poultry Solutions Seminar research on how
neonatal conditioning, resulting in epigenetic changes shows great
promise in terms of improving phosphorus (P) utilisation. “By applying a
moderate P deficiency in young chicks, the bird is conditioned to
utilise P more efficiently throughout its life. The timing of the
conditioning is critical and requires a clear understanding of skeletal
growth, the main driver of calcium (Ca) and P requirements,” she
Controlling campylobacter, a bacteria that poses no danger to
poultry, but is the leading cause of human bacterial gastroenteritis,
was the topic of Professor Frank Pasmans’ presentation, researched at Ghent University.
When a single bird is infected, the infection spreads quickly through
the flock, resulting in the majority of birds being colonised within
only a few days after Campylobacter entry.
He explained how, overall,
the outlook is bleak if the flock has been infected but results of
recent studies, using oral administration of bovine or chicken
immunoglobulins of hyper-immunised animals and the use of bacteriocins
to limit caecal colonisation, look promising. “We are still quite a way
from commercialised products but the future does seem to be positive,”
To deal with unpredictable feed costs and an inconsistent supply, Professor David Roland of Auburn University,
recommends his “econometric approach to the feeding of layers. “Feeding
correctly is challenging because nutrient requirements and dietary
levels needed for optimal returns are continually changing” said Prof.
Roland as he opened his talk.
He presented his calculation tool called Econometrics to attendees,
demonstrating how optimal econometric feeding can improve performance,
returns and help regulate feed and egg prices at the same time.
Visit the Alltech blog for a more detailed account of Solutions Seminars