Ten most frequently asked animal nutrition questions - part 2

We’ve talked to our team and gathered 10 of the most frequently asked questions in order to answer them here. This is part 2 of that top 10.

Read part 1 of this article here >>

How can we control Salmonella?

It is often told that in livestock production (whether it’s at farm level or at feed level), if we haven't found salmonella, it's because we haven't looked at the right places. There is never a full guarantee that we are free from Salmonella. Nevertheless, the secret of a successful salmonella control program, is in the management and the handling of critical risk points. Salmonella should never become a clinical situation at first place, because then the only way to control it is through antibiotics. Prevention is our best ally, and our chances will increase greatly if we opt for holistic control plans. Organic acids such as formic, propionic or butyric acids, can help on the nutritional side with feed hygiene, water acidification and gut health. These useful tools coupled with other strategies, such as good management, vector control and biosecurity, we can have it under control, in means of feed safety, animal safety and hence, food safety.

What causes wet litter in poultry houses?

We know that wet litter in poultry houses has been a challenge for poultry producers for decades. As part of our FAQs series, we are addressing the question many of us would like to know the answer to: “what causes wet litter?“ Wet litter is associated with the development of footpad dermatitis, which is known to reduce productivity by reducing weight gain, increasing FCR, and reducing carcass quality and is considered multifactorial, resulting from the interactions between the animal and environmental factors.

But what causes it?  
Collett (2007) stated that wet litter results when the rate of water addition (excreta, spillage) exceeds the rate of removal (evaporation). The problem often has multiple causal factors such as water leakages i.e., from the roof, water lines, drinking nipples, and condensation on cold surfaces, which trickles down along the surface and ends up in the litter.  
Bird excreta is another important factor that adds water to the litter. The excreta water content may increase as a result of nutritional imbalance, disease, or compromised gut integrity. These factors may cause reduced intestinal net water absorption and cause more water than necessary to end up in the litter. 
To help avoid wet litter, eliminate all kinds of leakages and ensure the drinking system is well managed, has correct water pressure, and is placed at the right height. Temperature, humidity, and ventilation need to be controlled and adjusted to prevent condensation of water and to facilitate the evaporation of water from the litter.

Also, work proactively with the birds’ diet and avoid overfeeding nutrients, especially proteins and minerals in order to reduce unnecessary urinary output. Promote the development of a healthy gut in your birds already from the start. A strong and resilient intestine reduces the impact of intestinal stressors and helps maintain a balanced water absorption.


Can I combine ProPhorce™ SR with other products?

Obviously we get a lot of questions about our products, and star product ProPhorce™ SR probably takes the lead there. But we also get a lot of questions about combining products, especially with ProPhorce™ SR. So can you or should you? Can you combine an acidifier with ProPhorce™ SR? or do you need the acidifier at all when you apply it? Can ProPhorce™ SR be combined with probiotics or prebiotics? We discussed it with product expert José Maria Ros Felip.

“You always have to consider first exactly where in the body a product exerts its effect” he starts. “For example acidifiers have an effect on efficiency in the first part of the digestive tract such as the stomach or the gizzard. The effects of butyric acid take place in the intestines. Probiotics and prebiotics are active in the lower part of the gut. With each of these products targeting different areas for effect, it may make sense to combine them. You may see some synergies”.

José Maria continues “obviously there are no guarantees that the synergies you see will be on par with the additional investments required for this menu of additives. A lot of factors weigh in here. We frequently see clearly effective combinations of acidifiers and tributyrins. Talk to your contact about your specific context and we can see if we can offer advice based on our experiences”.


Which product of the ProPhorce™ Water Solutions portfolio should I use?

Another great frequently asked question! Choosing one solution out of our product range will depend on your objectives, desired effect or whether or not your feed already is being treated with a gut health solution such as ProPhorce™ SR.
Our solutions vary from a highly concentrated and buffered acid mix, like ProPhorce™ Classic NC, that aims for optimal water acidification; to an acidifier solution with boosted antimicrobial effect, such as ProPhorce™ Premium NC, and to a wider range solution that also covers a gut health effect by the means of the butyrins, like ProPhorce™ Exclusive NC.
Specific situations may need to consider other factors in order to make a decision. Please get in touch with a Perstorp representative for advice on the most suitable product for your biosecurity program.


Can I replace sodium bicarbonate with sodium formate?

The last of the 10 most frequently asked questions that we discuss is one about sodium bicarbonate. More specifically whether or not it can easily be replaced by our sodium formate based solution ProPhorce™ AC 299. Both are sodium sources often used to optimize the dietary Electrolyte Balance (dEB). The simple answer to that question is ‘yes’ if you’re talking about monogastric animals. You can replace sodium bicarbonate with sodium formate and it is not a bad choice to do so. In piglets it is already common practice to use calcium formate instead of calcium carbonate because formate is preferred over carbonate in the diet, due to the lower buffering effect. So why would you treat sodium sources any different? The formate part of sodium formate IS a desirable ion due to its ability to help reduce bacteria in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract.
There is a narrative circulating with regards to bicarbonate in poultry – especially for layers. Bicarbonate improves egg shell quality. This is true. However that does not automatically mean that feeding sodium bicarbonate enhances egg shell quality. The carbonate used in eggshell formation is endogenously produced from carbon dioxide and can not be supplied via the diet. Dietary carbonate will react with hydrogen ions and form carbonic acid. That carbonic acid then decomposes into carbon dioxide and water in the stomach/proventriculus/rumen, causing an undesirable increase in pH. In ruminants you want the buffering effects of bicarbonate whereas in monogastric animals you’re looking for the opposite.
These short answers can be made far more complex depending on exactly what you wish to know or your specific situation. Want to know more? Contact your sales manager or other counterparts at Perstorp to set up a dialogue.

Read part 1 of this article here >>

Tony Toebak

Marketing Communications Manager Animal Nutrition

+31 416 317 721

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