#Internationalpodcastday – Keep agile, keep farming coming soon

Just in time for #Internationalpodcastday 2019 : If you are looking for real stories from farmers across the globe about how they are adapting to the changing face of their industry and embracing new opportunities, then look no further than our brand new podcast Keep Agile, Keep Farming.

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Impact of the mycotoxin DON in laying hens

Studies have shown a negative impact of deoxynivalenol, DON in laying hens, however results vary considerably between studies. Many scientific papers state that chickens are less sensitive to mycotoxins compared to other species.

So, should egg producers worry about DON in feed? The answer is, it depends. Here are some of the factors that need to be considered to assess the risk of DON in feed to the performance of laying hens and egg safety.

Factors determining the impact of DON in laying hens

Effects of DON on performance in laying hens varies considerably between studies. Whereas some studies report very little impact, other studies showed a significant impact of DON on laying rate/egg production, egg shell quality and weight gains in laying hens.

There are some factors that can explain the variance seen in results between studies examining the effect of DON on laying hens. Depending on the level of presence of these factors in the studies, the effect of DON on laying hen performance can be significant.

• Level of DON in feed and co-contamination with other mycotoxins
• Natural versus purified form of DON
• Length of exposure to DON in feed
• Stage of egg production
• Type of breed

Differences in toxic effects may be because some studies used artificially contaminated grain or a single source of contaminated grain. Artificially contaminated diets with purified DON are less toxic than naturally contaminated diets. This is mainly because the use of a blend of naturally contaminated grains increases the potential for other mycotoxins being present. Having multiple mycotoxins present can increase the effect of DON present as a result of toxicological synergies arising from interactions with the other mycotoxins. Egg production was negatively affected in hens fed a diet containing sorghum that was contaminated with zearalenone (ZON) at a level of 1.1 mg/kg and DON at a level of 0.3 mg/kg. The effect in this study was thought to be due to the synergistic effect of DON and ZON.

Longer periods of exposure to DON in the diet generally showed a greater impact on the performance of laying hens compared to studies where the hens were only exposed to DON for a few weeks. Another study comparing the effect of DON on laying hens between stages of production showed that DON had more of an effect in months 7-12, than in the first 6 months of production.

What is also of interest to note is that not all breeds of laying hens respond the same to DON. For example, a study comparing Lohmann Brown laying hens with LSL Lohmann laying hens demonstrated that Lohmann Brown laying hens are more sensitive to DON.

Underlying mechanisms for negative responses

Chickens are less sensitive compared to other species. This can be attributed to differences in DON absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination. Nevertheless, there are still studies that have shown negative effects on laying hen performance. This has been attributed to some extent to a reduction in feed intake in association with DON in diets. Other studies have indicated that DON has an influence on intestinal morphology of chickens and nutrient absorption (glucose and amino acids), which can reduce nutrient efficiency of laying hens. For example, it was shown that DON can alter the structure of the duodenal and jejunal mucosa in the form of shorter and thinner villi.

Disease susceptibility in response to DON in feed

DON has been shown to impair immunological functions in chickens. The impact of DON on the immune system ranges from immunosuppression to immunostimulation, according to its concentration, duration and time of exposure.

An important immunotoxic effect of DON in diets for laying hens is the reduction of white
blood cell and total lymphocyte numbers. On top of that low doses of DON upregulate the expression of inflammation related genes and proinflammatory cytokines.

DON is shown to suppress the antibody response to infectious bronchitis vaccine (IBV) and to Newcastle disease virus (NDV) in laying hens (3.5 to 14 mg of DON/kg feed), respectively.

The dysregulation of the immune system together with the negative impact of DON on gut function can lead to increasing the susceptibility of poultry flocks to infectious diseases.

Does DON in feed pose risks for egg safety and human health?

DON can cause health problems such as nausea, gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea in humans. Therefore, it is important to ensure that it is not transmitted from chicken feed into eggs at a rate that can cause health risks for humans.

A 2018 study from China looking at mycotoxin levels in eggs in three different areas in China (Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai) reported DON, 15-AcDON, and Zearelone as the most frequently observed mycotoxins in eggs. The highest levels of contamination were noted in Shanghai with up to 50% testing positive. Subsequent risk assessment for humans concluded that the risk of causing problems to humans in all three areas was low based on the levels of mycotoxins that were found in eggs and normal egg consumption. The DON intake through eggs was still below the provisional maximum tolerable daily intake. However, the study did highlight the need to monitor DON in feed and to restrict permitted levels of DON in feed.

Scientific studies looking at the carry-over effect of DON from feed to eggs in laying hens concluded that the carry-over effect of DON into eggs is very low. Such that providing that the DON level of chicken feed does not exceed current guidelines (5ppm) there is certainly no health risk to humans.

A very recent study carried out in 2019 demonstrated that DON occurs mainly as its non-toxic metabolite DON-3Ss in eggs from laying hen fed DON contaminated feed.

Video:  How does the mycotoxin DON affect the performance of laying hens?

Please see second half of this video.

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Strategies for greater robustness and laying persistence in layers

How to advance your birds from doing great to agile

Mycotoxin kinetics: Did you know how quickly mycotoxins disappear?

The Toxicological Impacts of the Fusarium Mycotoxin, Deoxynivalenol, in Poultry Flocks with Special Reference to Immunotoxicity

Experience with Anco FIT Poultry is growing globally

Experience with Anco FIT Poultry has been growing considerably in the past year, as the product was introduced into more and more countries.

Here is a short summary of what poultry producers have been reporting after applying Anco FIT Poultry to the feed in their production systems. There is also an increased understanding of the mode of action of this gut agility activator from scientific trials.

Anco FIT Poultry in a nutshell

Anco FIT Poultry is a gut agility activator, a feed solution specifically designed to support the adaptive capacity of the bird for greater resilience to stressors in broilers and egg producing hens by natural means. Producers looking for a more consistent performance in response to their feeding programs, to sustain longer production cycles in the laying hen or reduce the use of antibiotic growth promotors by natural means can benefit economically from this.

Deeper understanding of mode of action

We are gaining a much deeper understanding of the mechanisms of action on the gut and cellular level underlying the benefits to performance seen in the bird from scientific trials carried out in collaboration with the Agricultural University of Athens. In this research tissue samples from different segments of the bird’s gut were analyzed to study the relative expression of genes related to antioxidative enzymes and inflammation.

This study revealed that adding Anco FIT Poultry to the diet upregulates gene expression of antioxidative enzymes and down-regulates NF-kB1 expression, which is involved in inflammatory responses, in the gut. Additional analysis carried out in the same study demonstrated that this coincided with increased levels of total antioxidant capacity in the gut, breast and liver tissue.

Experience with Anco FIT Poultry in broiler production

Field trials with Anco FIT Poultry on commercial broiler farms reported higher weights at slaughter and better feed intakes resulting in a higher ROI, particularly when birds were exposed to stressors such as heat or mycotoxins. This implies that Anco FIT Poultry can be applied to broiler diets for more consistency in the cost-effectiveness of diets, despite the possibility of the bird being exposed to stressors. Large broiler integrators saw improved FCR leading to better gains, when stressors were less prevalent.

Experience with Anco FIT Poultry in egg production

Most of the field trials carried out on laying hen farms so far, evaluated the impact of Anco FIT Poultry on egg production post peak lay. Under those circumstances, data consistently revealed improved laying persistency. This means that the egg production in hens fed Anco FIT Poultry had higher egg production for a longer period post peak lay than control animals. This is of considerable value to egg producers trying to maintain egg production over longer laying cycles in hens to reduce the overall cost of egg production in a sustainable way.

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Argentina – MTS launches Anco FIT at Fericerdos

At the most recent Fericerdos (INTA – Marcos Juarez, Córdoba, Argentina), on August 22 to 23rd 2019, MTS Argentina launched Anco FIT for the pig market in Argentina. MTS Argentina is the exclusive distributor for the Anco FIT product line in Argentina.

Visitors to the tradeshow were able to find out more about the application of Anco FIT in pigs at the MTS Argentina booth. On top of that they had the chance to listen to presentations made by Dr. Ismael Dolso (Veterinarian, Professor of Rio Cuarto, Cordoba University and consultant) and Dr. Marco Aurelio Stefanoviciaus Nunes (Veterinarian, Technical Manager Anco Latin), about the impact of stressors in swine production and how Anco FIT in the feed can help to reduce the impact.

Dr. Marco Aurelio commented: “Pig producers in Argentina are looking for solutions to maintain consistent performance and efficiency in high producing pigs, despite increasing restrictions on the use of antibiotics in feed.” He presented data showing the positive impact of Anco FIT during critical stages of pig production such as gestation, lactation and post-weaning, where pigs are generally more sensitive to stress.

Nicolas Castro Olivera, owner of MTS Argentina highlighted:” The launch of Anco FIT at Fericerdos, is opening the doors to introduce a novel concept with clear benefits for modern competitive pig farming. This comes at a time, when the pig market in Argentina is seeing significant growth due to the increase in local consumption and exports to Europe and Asia.”

The adaption formula in Anco FIT (a complex formula based on phytogenic active compounds) is specifically designed to enhance the animal’s agility (adaptive capacity) for greater resilience to stressors.

Feedback from the audience at this event indicated that the gut agility concept of Anco FIT was very well received.

Fericerdos is the most important event of the Argentine pig production sector. 1200 producers, entrepreneurs and various professionals from all over the country attended this year’s event. Today Argentina stands out as an important pig producer in Latin America, with more than 350,000 sows in production. Growth expectations of the pig sector are high due the current economic climate and opportunities that pig production presents.