Consumers, both in the U.S. and in other developed nations of the world, increasingly demand high animal welfare standards and poultry raised without antibiotics. In response to that demand, a significant percentage of poultry producers are making the shift toward antibiotic free poultry production.
One challenge in managing that shift is maintaining and balancing gut health in the flock. Probiotics are a way to address those challenges and can also help with an optimum microbial balance.
Because there is not just one right way to maintain and balance the gut microbiome, nutritionists, veterinarians and livestock production managers need to develop a gut health program that consists of different tools appropriate to the specific flock and production system. It is necessary to understand the individual problems and challenges the farmer is facing in the barn.
Evonik Animal Nutrition has two probiotics in its portfolio that have undergone intensive testing to ensure effectiveness, stability during the feed manufacturing process, persistence and the ability to germinate in the intestinal environment. At the recent Poultry Science Association annual meeting in Montreal, Feedstuffs talked with Anita Menconi, Ph.D., Evonik's technical services manager for gut health solutions about the importance of probiotics, including the company's newly-launched strain Ecobiol:
Video: Dr. Anita Menconi of Evonik North America talks about challenges in modern poultry production what to look for in a probiotic when addressing those issues.
In addition to its probiotic portfolio, Evonik is working on a major precision livestock farming project – a holistic approach that combines expertise in animal nutrition and gut heath solutions with big data management and environmental screening tools to detect the potential risk for diseases.
The project will take analytical testing from a purely screening function to more of a predictive tool, giving producers an early warning when a flock is likely to develop health challenges due to a variety of environmental or nutritional pressures.
At the PSA meeting, Prof. Dr. Stefan Pelzer, Evonik's director of research and development for animal nutrition, innovation & industrialization, explained how precision livestock farming will work in the poultry production system of the near-future, and what Evonik's program will provide to the customer.
Video: Dr. Stefan Pelzer discusses the future of poultry nutrition and health and how Evonik's holistic approach can help poultry producers meet consumer needs.
For more information on Ecobiol as well as Evonik's ongoing efforts in precision livestock farming, visit the company's website.