April 22, 2018

23/04/2018: Impact of dietary sodium diformate on performance and litter quality in broiler

by Christian Lückstädt and Stevan Petrovic, ADDCON GmbH, Bitterfeld, Germany

Animal husbandry suffers from losses due to contamination with pathogenic bacteria. Their resultant impacts in animals include lower weight gains and increased mortality. 

Image credit: Christopher Paquette on Flickr
(CC BY 2.0)
On the other hand, evidence of the development of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria that are pathogenic to humans has mounted over recent decades; and the practice of using sub-therapeutic levels of antibiotics as growth promoters in livestock production has been heavily implicated in this resistance.

Worldwide, this connection has led to the erosion of consumer trust in agricultural practices that rely on this valuable medical resource. Increasingly, legislation is limiting their use.

Banning the use of in-feed antibiotics in livestock, as has happened in the EU – and currently in a number of Asian countries, placed more pressure on animal producers and feed millers. In this context, organic acids have long been used to counteract Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria in animal feed; and the beneficial effects of feeding organic acids to monogastric animals on animal performance and health are well accepted.

One of the first reports of improved broiler performance when diets were supplemented with single acids was for formic acid (Vogt et al., 1981). Later, Izat et al. (1990) found significantly reduced levels of Salmonella spp. in carcass and caecal samples, after including calcium formate in broiler diets.

The use of pure formic acid in breeder diets reduced the contamination of tray liners and hatchery waste with S. enteritidis drastically (Humphrey and Lanning, 1988). Hinton and Linton (1988) examined how salmonella infections could be controlled in broiler chickens, using a mixture of formic and propionic acids. They demonstrated that under experimental conditions, 0.6 percent of this organic acid blend was effective in preventing intestinal colonisation with Salmonella spp. from naturally or artificially contaminated feed.

Improving broiler performance or hygienic conditions with the aid of organic acids has been reported by many sources (Desai et al., 2007), as mentioned above. An important limitation, however, is that organic acids are rapidly metabolised in the fore-gut (crop to gizzard) of birds, which will reduce their impact on growth performance. A more complex molecule (sodium diformate - a double salt of formic acid, traded as Formi NDF, ADDCON) has been proven to be effective against pathogenic bacteria, including salmonella, along the whole gastro-intestinal tract (Lückstädt and Theobald, 2009).

Read the full article, HERE.

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