Feeding sows and piglets for piglet resilience to weaning stress

How piglets cope with weaning stress has a significant impact on their subsequent performance. A commercial sow trial supervised by the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil evaluated piglet pre-and post-weaning performance in response to a feeding regime involving the gut agility activator Anco FIT.

Stressors at weaning

During the weaning process the pig is subjected to a number of different stressors: Abrupt separation from the sow, transportation and handling stress, change in diet, social hierarchy stress, co-mingling with pigs from other litters, change in environment, increased exposure to pathogens, and dietary or environmental antigens.

What matters is how the piglet adapts to the weaning stress

The piglet must adapt to the above stressors rapidly in order to be productive, healthy and efficient. On the cellular and gut level, the stressors at weaning will cause stress reactions, such as oxidative stress, reduced gut integrity, reduced feed intake and inflammatory responses. The extent of these reactions will determine the impact of weaning stress on subsequent health and performance of the piglet. This means that managing the piglet to reduce the stress reactions, will lead to a more resilient pig, i.e. lower fluctuations in performance and better health.

Nutritional solution for greater resilience

A gut agility activator is a feed solution designed to help the animal to adapt to stressors more efficiently by nutritional means. Part of its formula is a combination of bioactive compounds derived from herbs and spices known to reduce common stress reactions, such as antioxidative stress and reduced gut integrity.

Feeding the gut agility activator to highly prolific sows during lactation is expected to improve energy available for milk production due to reducing the extent of stress reactions in sows. As a result pre-weaning piglet growth is better, which again helps the piglets to be stronger at weaning.

In the post weaning diet for piglets, the gut agility activator is expected to help reduce the stress reactions in response to weaning stressors on the cellular and gut level in piglets. This should then increase the energy available for growth, since the stress reactions would normally increase maintenance energy and make piglets more susceptible to disease.

Evaluation of a gut agility activator on a sow farm in Brazil

The animal science department of the University of Sao Paulo evaluated the gut agility activator Anco FIT in a feeding program designed to improve adaptation to weaning in piglets in a commercial sow farm.

Experimental design

100 sows (PICxCamborough) were split into two groups 14 days pre-farrowing. One group was fed a control corn-soy diet and the other group was fed the control diet including 1kg/t of Anco FIT until the end of lactation. Average litter size per sow after fostering was 14 piglets. Piglets were weighed after fostering at birth and at weaning (26.5 days). Piglets stayed within groups post weaning. Piglets from sows fed Anco FIT received Anco FIT in their diets post weaning. Both groups of piglets were weighed at day 22 and day 33 post-weaning.

Results

Piglets from sows fed Anco FIT in their diets tended to have higher weaning weights despite being on average 1 day younger at weaning than piglets from control sows. In the post-weaning phase Anco FIT piglets grew significantly faster than control pigs and had significantly higher weights at day 22 and day 33 post weaning (+9.2% and +9.3% respectively). This was mainly due to a significantly increased feed conversion ratio in Anco FIT piglets post-weaning.

Conclusion

A feeding strategy comprising the application of the gut agility activator Anco FIT to sows diets in lactation, followed by adding Anco FIT to piglet diets post weaning improved overall piglet performance from birth to day33 post weaning compared to the control feeding regime on a commercial sow farm. The improved FCR seen in Anco FIT piglets in the post weaning period might be explained by Anco FIT helping to reduce stress reactions on the cellular and gut level and thus saving energy for growth.

Related articles

Anco FIT – Managing cost- effectiveness of pig diets
The biological stress of early weaned piglets. Journal of Animal Science, 2013  

Behind every healthy animal is a strong farmer

Every day a farmer works hard to produce the food we eat. Nevertheless, many take healthy food for granted and are completely out of touch with what it takes to produce it, yet alone show appreciation for the work of famers.

Like, Dwight D. Eisenhower, former president of the United States, once said in the 1950s: ”Farming looks easy when your plow is a pencil and you are a thousand miles from a corn field.”

Fast forward to today and the people that are complaining about farming the loudest and demanding the most are often the ones furthest away from the reality of the fields.

Thankfully the cities do not only produce moaners, when it comes to farming. There are also brave “city people” trading in their city lives for farming as first generation farmers, even becoming big advocates for farming. Such as the female farmers known as Red Shepherdess, Yorkshire Shepherdess and Farm Babe to name a few. They have some amazing stories to share about farming and do a great job of letting people in on their stories on social media.

Some even create a whole film on it, such as Molly and John Chester in California with “The biggest little farm”, which was released in cinemas this year. Jeremy Clarkson, townie and famous for his car series, bought a farm with no knowledge in agriculture and is about to launch a series on his experience of running a farm on Amazon Prime Video.

However, there are also many multi generation farmers that have grown up on a farm, who are involved in bridging the gap between towns and countryside on social media. Some also winning awards for their initiatives, such as Simone Kaine and Ben Hood from South Australia. Their educational project “George the Farmer” aims to give both rural and city-based children a better understanding and connection to where their food comes from.

None of them beats around the bush, while they agree that farming can be a very rewarding and meaningful way of life, they also admit it is anything but easy. As Jeremy Clarkson discovers: “Of course to be a farmer you have to be an agronomist, a businessman, a politician, an accountant and a mechanic.”

To be a successful farmer you need to be smart: It is therefore not surprising that according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest Census of Agriculture. Sixty-nine percent of the surveyed young farmers had college degrees — significantly higher than the general population.

Livestock farming today is expected to produce more food than ever before, at high welfare standards, from fewer resources and with the smallest possible impact on our environment. Healthy animals not only produce healthy food, they are also more efficient, reducing both cost of production and environmental impact. So, it is safe to say that behind every healthy animal is a strong farmer dedicated to produce healthy food. They deserve our support and admiration, after all they are the cornerstone to our food security and biggest contributors to our landscape.

And let us not forget, sustainable agriculture not only means the responsible use of the world’s finite resources and social acceptability, it also encompasses economic viability for the continuation of a thriving farming industry.

Today is national farmers day. Thank a farmer today and every day for healthy food on the table.

Related articles

The power of resilience and agility for farmers

Jeremy Clarkson officially launches farming TV series, Farmers weekly

anco - farmer - healthy animals

#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.

Adapting to change, seizing new opportunities, diversifying and building resilience is key for farmers if they want to thrive and grow their business in today’s challenging farming environment. In other words: in order to keep farming it pays to keep agile.

We want farmers to keep their fingers on the pulse so “Keep agile, keep farming” will help support and inspire them with insightful ideas for farming agility on the go.

We’ll also be tapping into the vast, global bank of experts by inviting people from all backgrounds and levels of experience from around the world, to share their knowledge and vision with us and our listeners.

Continuous learning and an openness to new ideas is key to keeping agile. Our aim is to provide a rich vein of knowledge and practical assistance in an engaging and fun way, so you can learn something new episode by episode to keep agile and build resilience for your farm business.

Subscribe to our newsletter to find out the date for the arrival of the first episode of the Keep Agile, Keep Farming podcast.

Link to newsletter subscription.

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.

Related articles

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.

Related articles

Bastos Egg Festival – feeding winning champions
Strategies for greater robustness and laying persistency in layers
How to advance your birds from doing great to agile
Laying persistency – 500 eggs in a single laying cycle in 100 weeks

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.

The power of resilience and agility for farmers

The power of resilience helps us bounce back and move forward from challenging situations. This also depends on the capacity to adapt effectively to change and stressful situations or in other words it also depends on personal agility. With people working in agriculture, particularly farmers, facing a lot of uncertainty, new challenges and changes in consumer preferences and regulations, resilience is a key requirement to thrive and be successful. The good news is that resilience can be learned and developed.

Farmers themselves realise that they cannot sit back and be a passive partner to change. The question is what they can do personally to enhance their own ability to cope with change and adversity, which is covered further down in this article.

Importance of resilience in farming

Agricultural resilience is about equipping farmers to absorb and recover from shocks and stresses to their agricultural production and livelihoods. Several authorities across the world point to the growing importance of building resilience and adaptive capacity in rural communities and farming. There are also charities that are proactively supporting it, including the Prince’s Countryside Fund, who runs a farm resilience programme.

To become truly resilient, farm businesses require adaptability and transformability, is the argument of an EU‐wide group of scientists of 16 universities and research institutes from 11 European countries currently working together in the project SURE‐Farm. Previously policies and market instruments were mainly aimed at maintaining stability of the farm business. This group defines resilience for agriculture as maintaining the essential functions of EU farming systems in the face of increasingly complex and volatile economic, social, environmental and institutional challenges. Consultant firms also looking at other industries are stressing the importance of the ability to be agile and self-disrupt as critical for organizational resilience.

Adaptability in agriculture is the capacity to adjust responses to changing external drivers and internal processes and thereby allow for development along the current trajectory while continuing important functionalities.

Transformability is the capacity to create a fundamentally new system when environmental, economic, or social structures make the existing system untenable in order to provide important functionalities.

Obviously, resilience is becoming an important topic for people researching the sustainability and survival of rural communities and farming systems. Measures are being taken to improve our understanding of what makes a farm resilient, right down to improving the resilience of farm animals.

However, the resilience of people running the farm also has an important role to play. Here we want to discuss some of the factors that matter for the resilience of an individual and the steps farmers or any other individual can take to develop stronger personal resilience.

What defines a resilient person

Most people will define resilience as the ability to recover from setback, adapt well to change and keep going in the face of adversity and change.

However, a more modern take on resilience is: advancing (not just bouncing back) despite adversity.

What matters is how we respond to challenges and our outlook. Resilience requires that we reprogram ourselves so that the automatic stress response does not overwhelm us, and we are able to respond to a situation effectively.

A 2017 study including 800 adults from 42 countries, highlighted by the magazine Psychology Today, reveals the most important character strength for resilience to overcome life stress. They found that hope was a significant moderator of well-being in the face of negative life events. However, hope in this study did not just mean being optimistic about things getting better in the future. Here hope means having goals and pursuing them energetically and flexibly, finding many different pathways to getting positive results.

Doug Avery, a farmer from New Zealand who went through some very tough times because of drought, describes his path to resilience in his book “The resilient farmer”. He is currently touring and encouraging farmers to learn to be resilient and adapt in different parts of the world. Doug Avery also shares what resilient people do not do.

8 things resilient people don’t do (Doug Avery)

• Waste time feeling sorry for themselves. • Shy away from change. • Waste time on things they can’t control. • Dwell on the past. • Make the same mistakes, over and over. • Resent another’s success. • Give up after failure. • Feel the world owes them something.

How can we develop our personal resilience to adapt for the future

Many years of research point to the fact that resilience is built by attitudes, behaviors and social supports that can be adopted and cultivated by anyone. Resilience is learnable, but also involves a sense of safety and strong social support system.

Eventually all of us will face some form of adversity. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Resilience is about how we deal with adversity. So, it makes sense to develop resilience ahead of time, before facing a crisis.

Our innate biological response to change activates a stress reaction. Nevertheless, by building a mindset of resilience and acting with agility in the face of challenging and difficult situations, we can also turn adversities into advantages.

Something you can do straight away and is advocated by Psychology Today is:

1) Pick one or two life goals that are most important to you and describe as many different strategies as you can for achieving them.
2) Think about any obstacles you may face to achieving these goals.
3) Write down what coping strategies you can use to overcome these obstacles.
With this type of goal-oriented resilience, you can stay focused on what is important when facing a difficult situation.

The resilience institute developed a method for measuring resilience in people. One of their findings in a recent report is that the most resilient people reported a strong ability to focus, which was almost not existent in people with low resilience. Another interesting finding was that low resilience people report high amounts of fatigue, while highly resilient people reported very little fatigue. So, one simple step to resilience could also be to make sure to get enough quality sleep. Resilience training was reported to lower levels of depression, reduce sickness-related absence and increase self-esteem.

A very interesting insight was shared at this year’s Resilient Farmer Conference: Being resilient does not mean, that you do not need help. Quite the opposite, it is the resilient people who ask for help when they need it.

Having a strong support network and having people to talk to and ask for help is a key factor in making it through difficult times. Therefore, taking time to socialize and network to build your personal support network and good relationships is vital. Isolation will make you less resilient.

Looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health. A 2019 study from the University of Guelph in Canada involving 1132 farmers illustrates a critical need for research and interventions related to mental health of farmers. The average resilience scores of farmers in this Canadian study were lower than population norms reported for several general populations in the US. Other countries are also reporting concerns about the state of mental health in their farming communities.

Dairy Australia have some good points to build emotional resilience:
• Positive self-talk
• Focus on the things you can control – know what you can control and stop wasting energy on things you can’t
• Connecting with community – whether it is offline or online connect with positive people. The more people you interact with, the greater the likelihood that you will meet people who have experienced, survived and grown through similar experiences.

Find helplines

In the UK there are a number of organizations and charities that can offer support to farmers for mental health, which can be found on Twitter (for example: @FCNcharity, @dpjfoundation, @NFUtweets, @Ag_psych, @yellowwelliesuk). In Canada you can turn to @domoreag and in the US you can call FARM AID (1-800-327-6243, @FarmAid). This is not a complete list, but highlights that help is available to farmers. The important thing is to reach out for help if you need it.

More and more farmers are talking about mental health and support each other on #AgTwitter.

The power of resilience

Resilience provides a framework for personal well-being and success. It defines how you respond to adversity. In an era of rapid technological change, great uncertainty, economic, political and climatic turbulence resilience is increasingly becoming a highly valuable asset. Not acting to proactively develop your personal resilience, almost certainly will set you back in farming and your life in today’s and even more in the future world. Maintaining personal resilience needs to be an ongoing exercise in your life.

Related articles

The One Resilience Skill You Need to Overcome Life Stress

Stress, anxiety, depression, and resilience in Canadian farmers

Animal Resilience – Harnessing the power of plant resilience

Resilience – economic value in animal production

For better FCR invest in anti-oxidative capacity

Reducing antibiotic growth promotors in animal feed calls for the development of new strategies to improve feed conversion (FCR) in poultry production systems. This represents unique opportunities to explore the biochemical and physiological sources of inter-animal variations associated with FCR. Research has demonstrated a genetic link between feed conversion ratio and mitochondrial ROS (reactive oxygen species) production at the cellular level in broilers. More recent studies indicate a positive relationship between increased anti-oxidative capacity in broilers induced by certain plant extracts in feed and improved FCR.

Relationship between FCR and antioxidative capacity

Feed efficiency has been heavily weighted in breeding objectives for meat producing poultry for over 40 years and as a result, major gains have been made. More recent investigations by a poultry science group from the University of Arkansas provide a picture of the basis of feed efficiency (FE) at the cellular level. Oxidative stress turned out to be a cellular activity affecting feed efficiency.

The studies showed that animals with higher feed efficiency had better mitochondrial function that included less mitochondrial ROS production and less oxidation of proteins. Although feed intake was not different between low and high FE broilers, high FE broilers gained more weight and feed conversion ratios were significantly different between high and low FE groups. The level of protein carbonyl, an indicator of protein oxidation, was higher in mitochondria isolated from breast muscle of low FE compared with high FE broilers, which indicated higher oxidative stress in low FE birds.

Building on the knowledge of the link between antioxidative capacity and improved FCR in broilers from genetic research, certain plant components could offer an additional and safe way to improve FCR by nutritional means.

Anti-oxidative power from plants

The exposure of plants to unfavourable environmental conditions increases the production of ROS, which uncontrolled leads to cell damage from oxidative stress. Consequently, it is essential for plants to have sophisticated ROS detoxification processes for protection of plant cells against the negative effects of ROS. Many herbs and spices contain high levels of components with strong antioxidative power, such as alkaloids and polyphenolic compounds including different types of phenolic terpenes, phenolic acids and flavonoids.

Nutritional boost for anti-oxidative capacity in birds

Recent studies carried out by the University in Athens confirmed that feeding a phytogenic formula containing certain phenolic terpenes and flavonoids to broilers significantly increased the antioxidative capacity in breast tissue, thigh, liver tissue and certain parts of the gut. Parameter for ROS scavenging activity, activity of antioxidative enzymes and reduced lipid peroxidation were significantly improved in those tissues. This study showed that there was a positive correlation between antioxidative capacity in the breast tissue of broilers and improvements in FCR (P<0.05). This indicates that feeding strategies for increased antioxidative capacity could support feed efficiency in broilers, which is subject to further research.

Benefits package from antioxidant plant components

Feeding strong antioxidative components from herbs and spices, such as certain phenolic terpenes and flavonoids offer an opportunity to naturally improve antioxidative capacity in broilers and thereby improve FCR for more profitable and sustainable production. The impact can be expected to be greater when birds are exposed to stressors such as heat, toxins and the likelihood for oxidative stress is high. Additional benefits from feeding these components may include better meat quality and stability. Cost-efficacy depends on finding the right composition, dosage and bioavailability.

Relevant scientific abstracts

Phytogenic premix effects on gene expression of intestinal antioxidant enzymes and broiler meat antioxidant capacity

Effects of dietary inclusion level of a phytogenic premix on broiler growth performance, nutrient digestibility, total antioxidant capacity and gene expression of antioxidant enzymes

Bastos Egg Festival – feeding winning champions

60ª Bastos Egg Festival is one of the most important events for egg producers in Brazil and brings together all the major egg producers of Brazil.

Part of this annual event is a championship that rewards the best regional producers for egg quality. The scoring system is based on external and internal qualities of eggs. This year there was a producer who won both in the white egg category and in the brown egg category for the first time.

The winner of the Bastos Egg Festival Championship in the white and brown category was Mr. Higashi’s from Higashi Farm. What makes it even better news is that Anco FIT Poultry was part of the feed in both the brown and white hen winning champions.

Anco is delighted to be part of this success story, after all, what matters is what works!

We would like to congratulate the Higashi Farm and all the other winners at this event.

Benefits of Anco FIT Poultry in laying hens

Anco FIT Poultry is a gut agility activator designed to improve the adaptive capacity in birds to stressors for greater resilience. Feeding Anco FIT Poultry helps to reduce common stress reactions, such as oxidative stress, reduce feed intake and gut integrity in response to stressors in the feed and environment.

Benefits seen under commercial conditions are:

  • Improved laying persistency in the late laying period, which can help to increase the laying cycle
  • Higher laying rates in the early laying phase
  • Improved egg quality

Longer laying cycles can help to cut costs, so they are imperative in a tough economic climate. Plus, they can reduce the environmental impact of egg production.

Related articles

Strategies for greater robustness and laying persistence in layers

How to advance birds from doing great to agile

Anco FIT Poultry maintains laying persistency in the late laying period

More Information 6oth Bastos Egg festival 

Scientific abstract published in ESPN 2019 proceedings

Anco FIT Poultry featured in the ESPN 2019 (European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition) proceedings with a scientific abstract

Inclusion level effects of a phytogenic feed additive on broiler carcass traits, availability of dietary energy and expression of genes relevant for nutrient absorptive and metabolic functions of cell growth protein synthesis

Mountzouris, K.1, Paraskeuas, V. 1, Griela, E. 1, Kern, A. 2, Fegeros, K. 1
1Department of Nutritional Physiology and Feeding, Agricultural University of Athens, 118 55 Athens, Greece
2Anco Animal Nutrition Competence GmbH, Linzer Strasse 55, 3100 Sankt Poelten, Austria

The inclusion level of a phytogenic premix (PP) gut agility activator comprised of functional flavouring substances of ginger, lemon balm, oregano and thyme was investigated for its effects on broiler performance, carcass traits, nutrient digestibility, availability of dietary energy (AMEn) and expression of intestinal nutrient transporter (SGLT1, GLUT2, PEPT1, BOAT and LAT1) genes including genes FABP2 and mTORC1 relevant for cellular fatty acid uptake and protein synthesis, respectively. One-day-old Cobb broiler chickens (n=500) were assigned into four treatments, with five replicates of 25 chickens each.

Depending on PP inclusion level (i.e. 0, 750, 1000 and 2000 mg/kg diet) treatments were: Con, PP750, PP1000 and PP2000. Data were analysed by ANOVA and significant effects (P≤0.05) were compared using Tukey HSD test. Polynomial contrasts tested the linear and quadratic effect of PP inclusion levels.

Growth performance responses were not improved significantly (P>0.05) by PP inclusion. However, carcass (P=0.030) and breast yield (P=0.023) were higher in PP1000 compared to Con. In addition, PP1000 had higher AMEn (P=0.049) compared to PP2000 and Con. Gene expressions from 10 chickens per treatment of SGLT1, GLUT2, PEPT1, BOAT and FABP2 were not affected by PP.

However, PP affected the expression of LAT1 (P<0.001) in jejunum and that of mTORC1 in duodenum (P=0.010) and ceca (P=0.025). In particular, their expression increased with increasing PP inclusion level in a linear and quadratic pattern depending on the intestinal segment.

Overall, carcass and meat yield improvements by PP inclusion at 1000 mg/kg could be explained by the increased dietary energy available to the birds and the preliminary evidence for an improved muscle protein synthesis function.

More Scientific abstracts with Anco FIT Poultry

Phytogenic premix effects on gene expression of intestinal antioxidant enzymes and broiler meat antioxidant capacity

Effects of dietary inclusion level of a phytogenic premix on broiler growth performance, nutrient digestibility, total antioxidant capacity and gene expression of antioxidant enzymes