Orego-Stim for the broiler withdrawal feed period
The withdrawal feed period of broilers is defined as the specific period when in-feed antimicrobials are excluded from broiler feed to allow for complete elimination of drug residues from the tissues of the bird prior to slaughter.
This period leaves the bird open and susceptible to outbreaks of disease such as coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis, which proves to be a constant challenge for broiler producers worldwide.
Since Jan 1, 2006, the EU has banned the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in poultry feed. In most parts of the world, the majority of antibiotic growth promoters are added to feed without a veterinary prescription but at specified levels.
There is genuine concern in the EU that this could potentially lead to overuse and the unnecessary development of antimicrobial resistance.
Orego-Stim is a natural, phytogenic feed additive containing oregano essential oil, extracted from a specific chemotype of Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum. The oil's composition consists predominantly of a unique ratio and concentration of the natural phenolic compounds carvacrol and thymol, which are known to be powerful
The phenolic compounds in Orego-Stim disrupt the life cycle of coccidian parasites by speeding up the rate of shedding of the gut lining. Through this mode of action, intracellular coccidial sporozoites are shed before they have the opportunity to penetrate deeper into the gut wall or form new oocysts. This mode of action is similar to that of ionophores such as salinomycin and monensin, that have been used as AGPs as well as coccidiostats worldwide.
In contrast to AGPs and coccidiostats, there has been no evidence of bacterial resistance developing from using Orego-Stim because its inhibitory effect on bacteria is due to its phenolic mode of action, and not through the transfer of any chromosomes.
Orego-Stim is not absorbed through the intestines into the bloodstream, so there are no residues in livestock products such as meat or eggs. This means that no withdrawal period is necessary and Orego-Stim can be used right up to the slaughter period.
When incorporated into livestock diets, Orego-Stim has been shown to improve palatability, feed intake, FCR and growth rates. Extensive in vitro and in vivo trials have proven that Orego-Stim assists in alleviating problems associated with the presence of gastrointestinal pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella spp., Clostridium perfringens and Eimeria spp.
Using Orego-Stim as part of the anticoccidial shuttle programme and during the withdrawal feed period in broilers helps to keep the anticoccidials working. Traditional anticoccidials such as salinomycin and naracin perform better when used in a rotation scheme with Orego-Stim. This is because when the former is rested and while Orego-Stim is being used as an anticoccidial, the protozoan parasites regain their sensitivity towards the anticoccidials.
Orego-Stim also allows greater marketing flexibility. When birds are protected from coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis by Orego-Stim, the farm manager does not have to worry about withdrawing medication from the feed and leaving birds unprotected. Hence, all the broilers can be put on the same feed and lighter birds can be marketed whenever they are in demand, making the programme much easier to manage.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Meriden Animal Health.