Bio-regulation: A natural approach to optimise ruminants' performance and health
Based on its expertise in olfaction, animal health and animal nutrition, French olfaction and nutrition specialist Phode has developed a new generation of natural feed additives, or 'bio-regulation complexes' to target every step of the nutritional experience, from sensorial stimulation and appetence to digestion efficacy and digestive health.
Trials performed in research stations as well as in commercial farms show that one of these bio-regulation complexes, specially designed for ruminants, is able to improve feed efficacy, performances and health status in beef cattle and dairy ruminants, proving itself a good natural alternative to bring extra revenue and peace of mind to the farmer. These benefits are backed by in vitro and in vivo scientific research, demonstrating the modes of action of this technology along the ruminant digestive tract.
Based on the idea that farm animals' health, nutrition, and behaviour should be considered as a whole, Phode's R & D department has developed a very specific combination of natural plant extracts (essential oils, spices and natural flavourings) designed to act on the whole feeding process and enhance it at various levels.
The aim of this bio-regulation complex (Oleobiotec) is to optimise feed value and zootechnical performance, while improving animal well-being and health. This natural solution's efficacy has been well demonstrated in the field.
To study the benefits of Oleobiotec for beef cattle production, a first trial was performed in a French research Station (2004), involving 60 Charolais (average weight at start of trial: 334 kilograms), for 120 days. The animals were divided into two groups, Control and Oleobiotec-treated, with average consumption and daily weight gain (ADWG) measured for each group.
ADWG showed a significant increase with Oleobiotec (+7 percent), while the average feed conversion rate was significantly lower (-5 percent), demonstrating a positive effect of the supplement on feed efficacy and animal growth.
A second research trial, performed in Belgium (Belgian breed Blanc Bleu Belge) and involving two groups of 35 animals (average weight at start: 465 kilograms) fed on grower feed and corn silage, showed the same trend. Oleobiotec significantly improved average daily weight gain by 4.8 percent.
Most importantly, these trials were validated in farm conditions.
In dairy cows, several production trials show that Oleobiotec raises milk production by up to 1.5 kg/day/cow. The trials also showed that the complex improved milk quality.
The numerous trials illustrate well the bio-regulation effects in ruminants, in particular improved feed conversation rate, translated into better milk and meat yields, and improved health conditions (reduced somatic cells count in milk).
These effects are due to the combined actions of Oleobiotec elements, first on the animal's sensorial organs (increased appetence), in the mouth (increased saliva secretion), then in the rumen and the gut.
In conclusion, bio-regulation optimises every level of the animal feeding experience, from feeding pleasure and behaviour to gut nutriment absorption. This represents a profitable, natural, and scientifically validated solution for the farmer.
Moreover, the release of polluting agents into the environment, such as ammoniac, or greenhouse gases (methane and carbon dioxide), is decreased due to better nutriments utilisation and reduced microbial degradation in the rumen.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Phode SA.