The animal production industry keeps searching for strategies to reduce antibiotics while maintaining profitability. Even though the experts already made clear there is not a single solution to the dilemma, the forecast is promising for the industry. An integrated approach seems to be a sound base to face the challenge. And the use of organic acids for health management, a solid partner for it.
“There is not a ‘magic bullet’ to decrease or eliminate the use of antibiotics in animal production. It is necessary to implement a complete multi-disciplinary approach that integrates feed, farm and health management.” That is how the veterinarian Juan Antonio Mesonero Escuredo, from Trouw Nutrition, concluded his presentation at the 31st Congress on Intestinal Health and Immunity in Poultry and Swine, celebrated in Brasil two weeks ago. The presentation started on the role of organic acids in health management, explaining how the use of combined acids is crucial for a consistent anti-bacterial effect.
After the EU banned antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) in 2006, many European animal producers started using organic acids to maintain for microbial management and gut health support. The veterinarian explained that their use could increase body weight, improve feed conversion ratio and reduce colonisation of pathogens in the intestine.
“The buffering process determines in which part of the intestine those acids will work, giving room for combined strategies to preserve gut health,” Mesonero Escuredo said. He showed examples of these strategies, where organic acid-based products can support animal health all the way from the feed and water to the distal intestine: acidifying the water, supporting the natural gut barrier against bacteria and managing the gut microbiota.
An integrated approach for antibiotic reduction
Implementing an integrated approach, Mesonero Escuredo said, has proved to successfully allow a reduction in the sue of antibiotics while maintaining or even improving profitability. How to bring this integrated approach to the market? The Trouw Nutrition expert explained that working in programmes that combine feed, farm and health strategies is key for that. Those programmes combine know-how, services and products to help products achieve their goals.
Improving feed management includes managing raw materials, formulation, and feed safety. Farm management involves not only bio-security but also climate and water quality. Health management concerns having an appropriate vaccination strategy in place, performing intestinal health scorings, and the use of feed and water additives. However, Mesonero Escuredo stressed, every case is different and every situation requires a tailor-made approach.
About Trouw Nutrition
Trouw Nutrition, a Nutreco company, is a global leader in innovative feed specialties, premixes, feed additives and nutritional services for the animal nutrition industry. It provides products, models and services to boost productivity and support animal health through all life stages. With unique, species-specific solutions, Trouw Nutrition has been meeting the needs of farmers and home-mixers, feed producers, integrators and distributors since 1931. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company has locations in 28 countries and employs approximately 8000 people.