The importance of health

Good health is a basic requirement for any animal to reach its genetic potential. It is clearly linked to feed conversion, daily gains and uniformity. Health can be influenced by diet, this applies particularly to the prevention of risks and diseases. While health can be influenced by virtually any part of animal husbandry, animal nutrition can contribute to it.

For monogastrics

·        Strategies to avoid antibiotic growth promoters

All species

·        Stress management

·        Vaccinations

·        Managing - mycotoxin risks

 

Strategies to avoid antibiotic growth promoters

Antibiotic growth promoters are either already withdrawn or in the process in many countries. A strategy to replace them must address all functions they previously had, or where perceived to have had.

An AGP alternative program requires a holistic approach which involves both management procedures in addition to using AGP alternative products. The success relies on the implementation of best practice production methods.

Feed ingredients that could be of help in the feed part are:

·        Prebiotics to promote the beneficial microbiome

·        Probiotics or active microbials for direct effects on the microbiome

·        Beta-glucans as immune modulators for optimal immune function

·        Mycotoxin binders to control mycotoxin challenges

·        Butyrates for optimal intestinal integrity

·        Organic acids in combination with functional flavours for enterobacteriaceae control

 

Stress management

There are a lot of stressful and challenging events in an animal’s life. These conditions need to be managed to guarantee health and performance. Critical time points for example can be early live, periods of intense vaccinations or transport stress or even longer term such as poor farm management.

If these are not well managed, it will impact both short term and long-term performances. Milk, meat and egg production will be reduced.

Feed ingredients that could be of help in managing above stressful events are:

·        Probiotics or active microbials for the microbiome

·        Beta-glucans  as immune modulators for optimal immune function

·        Mycotoxin binders to control mycotoxin challenges

·        Butyrates for optimal intestinal integrity

·        Organic acids in combination with functional flavours for enterobacteriaceae control 

 

Vaccinations

Vaccinations against common viral and other diseases have been a historic breakthrough for animal production.

However, there are a lot of factors determining vaccination efficiency. A vaccination failure is defined as: “when the animals do not develop adequate antibody titer levels and/or are susceptible to a field disease outbreak, following vaccine administration”. One of the potential reasons of this is a failure of the animals to respond appropriately to a vaccine.

Research has shown vaccinations can be improved by using immune modulating ingredients via the feed, such as beta-glucans.

 

Health – Managing mycotoxin risks

Mycotoxins give rise to many different pathological effects in animals and humans alike. This leads to lower animal performance and productivity. While poor animal performance is of economic importance, the effect of many mycotoxins on the immune system of the animals is also of increasing concern.

Research shows several mycotoxins could impact vaccinations. Furthermore, studies have also indicated that the presence of low amounts of mycotoxins in feed rations increases the susceptibility of animals to disease.

Mycotoxin programs are most efficient if they follow two strategies prevention and managing risk in the feed.

Mold inhibitors can be used to prevent mould growth during the storage of feed or raw materials and in feed ingredients. Additional broad-spectrum mycotoxin binder in the feed provides a solution in reducing the risk of mycotoxins for the animal.