Broiler breeder producers in Egypt confirm betaine's role in improving performance
The addition of a pure form of betaine, a naturally occurring plant extract, to broiler breeder diets was allowing producers in Egypt to reduce the adverse effects of heat stress and improve the economic performance of their breeder flocks.
One such example was El-Shrouk Mansoura, a producer with approximately 200,000 broiler breeders producing about 31 million eggs a year and located in the El-Mansoura area 120 kilometres north-east of Cairo. Data from the company showed that including 500 grams of BetafinÂ® (Danisco Animal Nutrition) a tonne of feed to cost effectively replace choline chloride, has also helped to counteract the negative effects of heat stress. The product's osmolytic properties meant that El-Shrouk Mansoura has benefited from more consistent levels of egg production under conditions of heat stress, improved egg mass at the start of the production stage and more evenly sized eggs, resulting in increased hatchability.
The experiences of El-Shrouk Mansoura were confirmed by another producer, the El-Amal Company situated in the Domietta area approximately 170 kilometres north-east of Cairo. El-Amal Company had about 100,000 broiler breeders producing about 15 million eggs a year and included Betafin at 750 grams a tonne of feed to replace choline chloride. The company had also noticed increased egg weight in the run-up to peak production and more uniform egg weight, again resulting in increased hatchability. The company believed that the product had also helped to combat heat stress and benefited flock health.
As an osmolyte, which accumulated in the bird's cells where it attracted water, Betafin reduced the negative effects of dehydration on bird performance, allowing the bird to maintain its water balance in a more energy-efficient way and achieve greater production using less feed.
Betafin also acted as a methyl donor, which allowed all added choline chloride and some methionine to be replaced in the feed formulation, providing feed manufacturers and producers with an opportunity to reduce feed costs while maintaining bird performance.
Studies conducted by Danisco Animal Nutrition in Egypt, Israel, Malaysia, Thailand and the US clearly demonstrated that in conditions where heat stress was likely to adversely impact bird performance, supplementing diets with Betafin produced more consistent bird performance and improved feed conversion by up to 7 percent. Data from these trials also showed that Betafin reduced performance losses associated with coccidiosis, which caused diarrhoea and dehydration. It also helped to alleviate osmotic stress and improved gut integrity, which improved bird performance and resulted in cleaner eggs due to improved litter quality.
Birds became heat-stressed when they had difficulty in achieving the correct balance between body heat production and loss. When the environmental temperature exceeded 35ÂºC, 6ÂºC above normal body temperature, the bird was likely to experience heat stress that could ultimately result in death. Between 20 and 30ÂºC, feed intake was reduced by 1 to 1.5 percent for every 1ÂºC rise in temperature and by 5 percent above 32ÂºC. The bird's own mechanisms to combat heat stress consumed large amounts of energy, reducing the energy available for production. While the level of response would depend on the extent of the environmental challenge, Danisco Animal Nutrition said that where heat stress was likely to be a problem, the use of Betafin should be considered an integral part of an overall preventative strategy alongside proven housing and management practices.
Danisco Animal Nutrition, a division of leading global food ingredient specialist Danisco A/S (Denmark), pioneered the development and use of enzymes and betaine in animal nutrition. Its products are now widely used by poultry and pig producers throughout the world. The company's mission is to deliver innovative, sustainable solutions that increase the efficiency and safety of the food production chain in an environmentally responsible way. Further details are available at www.danisco.com/animalnutrition
For further information, please contact:
Andrea Barletta, Julian Cooksley,
Global Marketing Director, Account Manager,
Danisco Animal Nutrition. Kendalls Communications.
Tel: +44 (0) 1672 517777 Tel: +44 (0) 1394 610022