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Livestock Production

 

Biotronic® - Part of a modern feeding concept in livestock production Christian Luckstadt

 
Christian Luckstadt

 

 

Introduction 

  

Both, the feed industry and the food production sector still suffer from huge losses due to the contamination of feed with pathogenic bacteria and their related impacts in the animal, such as lower weight gains or even increased mortality. The proposed ban on the use of antibiotics in livestock in the EU furthermore puts pressure on both agricultural sectors, but is also a challenge to innovative animal nutrition as we understand it. There is the possibility to gain back and secure the trust of the people in the safety of agricultural products. Nowadays, other alternative feed additives are being adopted in order to fill the gap from the antibiotics. Under this point of view, acidifiers can be part of the feeding concept to replace anti-biotic growth promoters (Luckstadt, 2003 and 2004).

 

The potential of single organic acids in feed preservation, protecting feed from microbial and fungal destruction, but also directly in the animal nutrition due to its effect on stomach pH and gutflora is already known for decades and was proven in uncounted laboratory and field trials (Eidelsburger et al., 1992; Eidelsburger and Kirchgessner, 1994; Freitag et al., 1999). An increase in broiler performance due to the use of single acids were noticed for instance for formic acid (Vogt et al., 1981) and fumaric acid (Kirchgessner et al., 1991). However, the knowledge of effects from synergistically acting organic acid blends of high biological value together with organic or inorganic physiologically active carriers to the animal is relatively new. Therefore, a test trial with this new product Biotronic® under controlled conditions was set up.

 

 

Materials and methods

   

A trial was set up at Trakya University, Turkey. 240 pieces one-day-old (Ross) chicken were used. Each of the two applications has been repeated 12 times and 10 chicken were put in one replicate and the sections were completely randomly selected. The trial was finished after 35 days.

 

Biotronic® SE forte (an acid blend of formic and propionic acid and its salts based on an inorganic phyllo-silicate carrier) was added with a dosage rate of 3 kg per ton feed. The trial feed was formulated accordingly and was prepared in the feed unit of the Department of Animal Science at the university. The feed was applied as starter (0 - 14 days), grower (15 - 28 days) and finisher feed (29 - 35 days).

 

The trial feed were given to the chicks ad libitum and their need for water was supplied through nipel type vessels. The trial hatcheries were illuminated for 23 hours and they were dark for 1 hour a day. The data derived from the trial were subject to variance analysis and the efficacy of the acidifier was defined according to the control group.

 

The minimum and maximum inner temperatures were recorded daily. The heat was normal until the end of the experiment.

 

In this broiler trial, the following parameters were obtained: weekly feed intake, weekly live weight, average weekly weight gains, weekly FCR and weekly mortality ratio as well as the European Broiler Index (Average Daily Weight Gain (g) x Survival (%) / 10 x FCR). Results are given as mean ¡À SD.

 

 

Results

  

The effect of the acidifier on weight performance in broiler chicken is displayed in Table 1. Biotronic® SE forte affected the body weight of the chicken from week 1 until the termination of the experiment.

 

Table 1 : Performance Data for Broiler Live weight in g
 

 

 

n

Control

Biotronic®SEforte (3 kg / t)

p-level

1. week

12

142¡À7.05

147¡À4.22

0.01

2. week

12

368¡À21.77

375¡À11.32

0.01

3. week

12

731¡À46.47

773¡À27.15

0.01

4. week

12

1194¡À82.27

1263¡À62.08

0.05

5. week

12

1662¡À115.24

1759¡À97.67

0.06

 
 

Table 2: Average Daily Weight Gain (ADWG) in broiler ( g )

 

 

 

n

Control

Biotronic® SE forte

p-level

1. week

12

14¡À1.01

15¡À0.60

n.s.+

2. week

12

26¡À2.84

26¡À1.86

n.s.

3. week

12

52¡À4.84

57¡À2.62

0.01

4. week

12

66¡À11.66

70¡À6.78

n.s.

5. week

12

67¡À6.08

71¡À5.79

n.s.

                        + n.s.: not significant

 

The same effect was observed in weight gain (Table 2). However, this time only at week 3 a significantly higher daily growth in the acidifier treated group was observed.

 

Comparing the feed intakes (Table 3), it can be observed that the group taking the acidifier had consumed more feed than the control group throughout the whole experimental duration. However, in week 5 feed intake was already below recommended levels, probably because of increasing temperatures in the farm house.

 

Table 3: Average Daily Feed Intake (g)

 

 

 

n

Control

Acidifier

p-level

1. week

12

12¡À0.52

19¡À0.52

0.01

2. week

12

42¡À1.64

43¡À1.25

0.01

3. week

12

76¡À5.38

81¡À3.63

0.05

4. week

12

107¡À7.15

114¡À6.81

n.s.

5. week

12

121¡À10.69

126¡À12.46

n.s.


 

FCR data show that there was not significant difference between the applications (Table 4). The data had been derived very similar to each other until week 5.

 

Table 4: Weekly Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR)

 

 

 

n

Control

Acidifier

p-level

1. week

12

0.857¡À0.04

0.882¡À0.04

n.s.

2. week

12

1.125¡À0.04

1.148¡À0.03

n.s.

3. week

12

1.298¡À0.08

1.291¡À0.02

n.s.

4. week

12

1.424¡À 0.06

1.426¡À0.05

n.s.

5. week

12

1.531¡À0.05

1.524¡À0.06

n.s.


 

Mortality ratio also shows that there are no significant differences between the applications and was only observed during the first week. The observed mortality during this period; one chick from the control group and two chicken from the acidifier treatment.

 

The European Broiler Index (EBI) was increased in the acidifier treatment (310.5) compared to the negative control (291.7).

 

 

Discussion and conclusion

 

The inclusion of single organic acids in broiler often showed a growth performance increase in the chicken (Vogt et al., 1981; Skinner et al. 1991). For formic acid it was concluded, that only inclusion rates of lower than 0.5% can increases the animal performance (Eidelsburger and Kirchgessner, 1994). Dosage rates of commercially produced acidifier usually recommend rates between 0.2% and 1.0%. However, new research on organic acid blends based on inorganic carriers is still missing. But results from commercially managed poultry farms with this type of acidifier are promising. Therefore, an approach of this study was to test such kind of acidifier under controlled conditions.

 

The mode of action of acidifier in poultry will be mainly due to its anti microbial action and not like in pig farming on the reduction of the stomach-pH. It is therefore of high importance to balance the acidifier according to this approach. The effect on gram-negative bacteria is increased if the organic acid is not dissociated. Because of this mode of action acidifier need to contain organic acids which are undissociated at different pH-values, so that the anti microbial action is prolonged over a wider pH range.

 

In this trial increased animal performance could be monitored after the use of Biotronic® SE forte. Especially the final body weight of the treated broiler chicken was significantly increased. But also the other performance data showed better results. Average daily weight gain was higher in the acidifier group, partly significantly and the FCR was slightly reduced, even if this reduction was not significantly.

 

It can be finally concluded, that the addition of the balanced acidifier product Biotronic® SE forte, containing an organic acid blend of formic acid and propionic acid and its salts based on an inorganic carrier, increases in the absence of anti-biotic growth promoters the performance of broiler chicken, which would lead most likely to a more economic poultry production. However more studies shall be done to verify the achieved results from the university trial.

 

 

Reference

  

Eidelsburger U., Roth F.X. und Kirchgessner M. Zum EinfluB von Ameisensaure, Calciumformiat und Natriumhydrogencarbonat auf tagliche Zunahmen, Futteraufnahme, Futterverwertung und Verdaulichkeit. 7. Mitteilung. Untersuchungen zu nutritiven Wirksamkeit von organischen Sauren in der Ferkelaufzucht. J. Anim. Physiol. Anim. Nutr. 1992. Vol. 67. P. 258-267.

 

Eidelsburger U. und Kirchgessner M. Zum EinfluB organischer Sauren und Salze im Futter auf die Mastleistung von Broilern. Arch. Geflugelk. 1994. Vol. 58. P. 268-277.

 

Freitag M., Hensche H.U., Schulte-Sienbeck H. und Reichelt B. Biologische Effekte konventioneller und alternativer Leistungsförderer. Kraftfutter. 1999. P. 49-57.

 

Kirchgessner M., Roth F.X. und Steinruck U. Nutritive Wirkung von Fumarsaure bei Anderung der Proteinqualitat und des Proteingehaltes im Futter auf die Mastleistung von Broilern. Arch. Geflugelk. 1991. Vol 55. P. 224-232.

 

Luckstadt C. Effects of organic acids in animal nutrition. Feedmagazine. 2003. Vol. 11-12. P. 370-372.

 

Luckstadt C. Organic acid in nutrition. 2004. Far Eastern Agriculture. Vol. March/April. P. 26-27.

 

Skinner J.T., Izat A.L. and Waldroup P.W. Research note: Fumaric acid enhances performance of broiler chickens. Poultry Sci. 1991. Vol. 70. P. 1444-1447.

 

Vogt H., Matthes S. und Harnisch S. Der EinfluB organischer Sauren auf die Leistungen von Broilern und Legehennen. Arch. Geflugelk. 1981. Vol. 45. P. 221-232.

 

Corresponding author: Biomin Deutschland GmbH, Gartenstrasse 17, 73119 Zell u. A., Germany

Tel.: +49 7164 7592, Fax: +49 7164 13217, e-mail: christian.lueckstaedt@biomin.net

 

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