www.WATTAgNet.com JULY 2010
Biosecurity and food
safety top issues
Unique sustainable layer house
opens in the Netherlands
Australia’s poultry farmers to re
benefit from net energy system re
12 tips for broiler cold store ag
Digital version at www.poultryinternational-digital.com e
www.WATTAgNet.com JULY 2010 1
Volume 49 Number 7
10 Biosecurity, food safety
top concerns for live production
Exclusive WATT survey reveals an industry
focused on biosecurity and food safety with a
signi cant number of rms ready to grow.
14 Unique sustainable layer
house opens in the Netherlands
Rondeel allows expression of natural
behaviour, uses little energy, and produces
16 Challenges and the global egg
industry — IEC Paris 2010
e latest International Egg Commission
conference looked at how the industry can help
to tackle increasingly pressing issues.
18 Australia’s poultry farmers to beneﬁt
from net energy feed system
Australia’s Poultry CRC is
developing a net energy system
to boost the competitiveness and
reduce the carbon footprint of the
20 A eubiotic approach to
necrotic enteritis in broilers
Creating a healthy intestinal ora may be a
route to controlling one of the most threatening
emerging diseases in the poultry industry.
Cover picture: Agripicture UK
24 Poultry producer survey
Departments reveals positive outlook
Producers feel positively about the next ve
years but issues of concern remain.
2 Website News 30 Products 26 12 tips for broiler
4 Editor’s Comment 35 Marketplace cold store management
e value of cold rooms to today’s industry
6 Around the World 36 Advertisers’ Index
is indisputable but they must be properly
JULY 2010 | www.WATTAgNet.com
Editor’s Comment Mark Clements
EU and Mercosur to
restart free trade talks
A market with a combined this path. The last time, talks failed
population of 700 million, you’d want partly as a result of the EU’s position Formal discussions
to be a part of that wouldn’t you? on agriculture, and agriculture could
Only if you felt that you would be again prove to be a stumbling block. will begin in July.
able to compete within that market. Various EU countries have come
The prospect is now on the out against resuming talks, arguing
horizon, however, as the EU and that an agreement would put banned in the EU. They have poor
Mercosur — the regional bloc producers at risk. Europe’s agricultural antibiotic controls. Their labour
comprising Argentina, Brazil, unions are also worried. conditions are unacceptable by EU
Paraguay and Uruguay — have Cogeca president Paolo Bruni has standards."
announced the resumption of talks said that a bilateral agreement would There are always winners and
to create a free trade area with cause a sharp rise in poultry imports, losers in any agreement but there
the potential for exports in both while Copa president Padraig Walsh are estimates that, should a deal be
directions of the equivalent of Euro has been even more critical. concluded, poultry imports into
5,000 million ($6,174 million). He said: “The move will endanger Europe could jump by as much as 25%.
According to Spanish President Jose the EU’s high quality and safety Zapatero has commented that, in
Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, if a bilateral standards. EU producers have to the current economic crisis the best
Association Agreement is concluded, comply with stringent requirements, answer is to open up.
it would be the most important of its which makes it much more costly to Formal discussions will start in
kind to be signed by the EU. produce, while Mercosur countries July, but conclusion is expected to be
Not everyone is happy. do not have to. a long and drawn out process and as
This is not the first time that the “They use growth promoters in economies improve that end point
two groupings have set out along their meat even though they are may become ever-more distant. ◻
The European Food Safety Authority
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for scientific advice. EFSA also undertakes
is an independent provider of scientific advice scientific work on its own initiative.
and communication on risks associated In addition to its 400 members of staff,
with the food chain. The remit of this EFSA can also call on 1,200 external scientific
European Union body covers food and experts. Its Advisory Forum network comprises
feed safety, nutrition, animal health and the 27 Member States, as well as the European
welfare, plant protection and plant health. Commission and three countries as observers.
Based in Parma, Italy, EFSA was Since its establishment, EFSA has adopted
established in January 2002 following a series of food some 1,000 scientific opinions. It works by consulting
crises in the late 1990s, and acts as a source of independent with its stakeholders and seeking input from interested
scientific advice on existing and emerging risks. parties on its work and activities. It also works closely
Its main role is to assess and communicate on all risks with national food safety authorities across the EU,
associated with the food chain. Since EFSA’s advice supports and cooperates with other EU bodies and international
the policies and decisions of risk managers, a large part organisations active in food and feed safety.
of its work is undertaken in response to specific requests To find out more about EFSA, go to: www.efsa.europa.eu
www.WATTAgNet.com | JULY 2010
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Around the World
SNIPPETS Scientists discover antibiotic-resistant genes
Cargill to build chicken Scientists at the U.S. Agricultural Research an important step for scientists looking for
facility in Russia: Cargill Inc. Service said they have detected over 700 new ways to control the organisms.
plans to build a chicken processing genes that give microbes the ability to Using DNA microarray technology,
facility at its Efremov, Russia location. resist antibiotics and other antimicrobial ARS and collaborators at the Sidney
Construction will start in fall 2010 with the compounds. Kimmel Cancer Center said they have
facility operational by the end of 2011. Concerned some of these organisms found what makes bacteria, including
have acquired genetic resistance to the salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter,
New poultry grandparent antibiotics used to kill them, researchers resistant. Findings were published in the
facilities started in Poland: said finding genes that offer resistance is journal Microbial Drug Resistance.
Work has started on the construction of
state-of-the-art grandparent (GP) facilities,
including rearing and laying farms, International paper box Like most North European countries, Poland
at Poznan, western Poland, following marks anniversary mainly places standard-type breeders, however
the signing of an agreement between International Paper is marking the 10-year some 4-5% of the market uses dwarf-type
BroMargo, a private Polish integrator, and anniversary of its recyclable, wax-free breeders, predominantly for cages but also for
Aviagen EPI. poultry box. floor systems, says Hubbard, which celebrates
The company developed the line in the its 20th anniversary in the country this year.
JBT inks deals with late 1990s to help meet the sustainability
German processors: needs of its poultry customers. Since then, Assurance scheme
Chicago-based JBT Corp. announced the firm has produced more than 1 billion launched for UK duck
that its FoodTech division has secured wax-free poultry boxes. producers
$5.4 million in contracts to supply A new UK Duck Assurance Scheme (DAS)
freezing goods for two German-based Poland witnesses was developed for producers who are keen
food processing plants. strong growth in broiler to demonstrate their high standards of
breeder placements production, and co-developer SAI Global has
Moy Park to acquire Broiler breeder placements in Poland grew from been designated as the inspection body.
O’Kane: Moy Park will buy O’Kane 5 million in 2003 to nearly 7 million last year, an The scheme covers: breeding; hatching;
poultry, a deal expected to take several increase of almost 40%, reports Hubbard. The rearing; catching; transport; slaughter; free
months to complete. The merger country has become one of the most important range and table eggs. Areas that will be
would create one of the largest chicken European markets, and the company notes assessed under the scheme include animal
producers in the UK. that last year its sales volume grew by 33% in welfare and environmental protection, health
comparison with the year before. and safety training and development of farm
Something’s in the air
• A strong program of air inlet valves and chimneys in polyurethane
• All necessary and required accessories
• A professional, technical advice about ventilation
It’s fresh air. It’s TPI.
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Phone: +31 (0)73-656 91 94
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www.WATTAgNet.com | JULY 2010
adv kip 178x60.indd 1 10-03-2006 13:01:00
Keep up to date with industry news at
workers along with the food safety issues for
the consumer. www.WATTAgNet.com. APPOINTMENTS
The scheme is owned and administered Norel Animal Nutrition opened an
by the British Poultry Council and is managed Rearers will need to be compliant by the India liaison office and appointed
by an independently chaired technical second week of August 2012. Sachin M. Ingewar sales and technical
advisory committee. manager for India, Bangladesh, Sri
Netherlands detects Lanka and Nepal. Sachin will manage
UK’s organic poultry avian flu the company’s commercial and
sector needs help with The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture detected technical activities in the region,
2012 rule change avian influenza on a poultry farm in Deurne. handle relations with customers and
Organic certifiers in the UK are being urged to Although the H7 strain is described as mild distributors and manage the new office.
take the lead in preparing the sector for 2012 and not deemed dangerous to humans, the
regulations requiring pullets to be fully organic. infected chickens were expected to be culled Aviagen has appointed Jonny
The call has come from Hi Peak Peak as a safety precaution. Harrison to the new role of global
Organic Feeds, whose feed advisor Mike A three-kilometer zone around the technical transfer manager. The
Burrows says: “Organic poultry producers infected farm is also being watched, where company has also divided its Central
need guidance on the issue of pullet supply there are 20 other poultry farms. These farms Eastern European area appointing
for 2012 as a matter of urgency. Under the will be screened, and other places that may Danny Rotherham area technical
new measures, pullets will have to have have had contact with the infected farm manager for Russia and Neil
access to outdoor ranging, and many recently will also be investigated. Bird and Clark to the same position for the
established organic pullet-rearing units will animal transport to and from the area is also remaining 20-country region.
not have the facility to accommodate this.” restricted.
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JULY 2010 | www.WATTAgNet.com
Around the World
Dioxin contamination hits organic
egg farms in Germany, Netherlands
Nineteen organic egg farms number of companies. Dioxin
in Germany and eight in the contamination of eggs hit
Netherlands have had the sale the German headlines back
of their eggs embargoed due in 2005, with calls for greater
to dioxin contamination. Sales controls on free-range
from the farms have been production, which may result
suspended for at least a week. in eggs with higher dioxin
The contamination is levels than those from caged
thought to be the result of birds. Neither details of the
contaminated corn from level of dioxin contamination
the Ukraine used in feed. on the farms, or how the
The grain is reported to feed may have become
have been processed in contaminated are known.
organic poultry feed by a Investigations are ongoing.
Yuhe International reports mixed results
Yuhe International Inc., a Chinese supplier of day-old chickens raised for
meat production, or broilers, announced that net revenue rose while
gross profit declined during the first quarter this year. Net revenue
increased 7.7% to $11.8 million compared to $10.9 million for the same
period last year. Results were driven mainly by a 10.8% rise in sales of
day-old broilers, offset by a 2.7% decrease in the selling price of this
product. Gross profit, meanwhile, went down 4% to $3.9 million from
$4.1 million due to price increases for corn. Operating income dipped
7.9% to $3 million compared to $3.2 million, and net income increased
0.4% to $2.93 million compared to $2.91 million a year ago.
August August 23:
S M T W T F S European Poultry
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Conference 2010,
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Tours, France, www.
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 epc2010.org
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
September September 6:
S M T W T F S VIV China 2010,
1 2 3 4 Beijing, www.viv.net
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 September 6:
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30
Get more industry events at www.WATTAgNet.com
www.WATTAgNet.com | JULY 2010
Biosecurity, food safety top
issues for live production
This exclusive WATT Live Production Survey reveals a WATT PoultryUSA polled industry
people responsible for live production
focus on biosecurity and food safety with a significant management about their top
challenges, production techniques
number of poultry firms ready to grow production. and business outlook in 2010. Their
responses reveal an industry that is
focused on biosecurity and food safety
with a significant number of firms
Business outlook, 2010 Poor proﬁtability ahead ready to increase production in 2010.
Sales/proﬁt outlook for Following are a few key findings:
the second half of 2010 6% Slowly improving ✷ The business outlook is
sales/proﬁts generally favourable, with 30%
Signiﬁcant 46% of respondents saying sales and
improvement profits are good now and 46%
ahead expecting to see slowly improving
sales and profits in the next 12
30% ✷ Plans for production volume are
mixed, with an equal percentage
Sales/proﬁts (44%) expecting to increase
are good now production volume and keep it the
same in 2010.
Over 90% of the live production managers polled have a favorable business outlook, and ✷ The highest priority for investment
18% expect business conditions to improve significantly in the second half of 2010. in live production facilities in 2010
is in ventilation equipment.
✷ Biosecurity and food safety are the
Production volume plans, 2010 top challenges faced by managers.
Outlook for prodcution ✷ The most commonly used
Stay the same salmonella reduction measure
volume in 2010 12% as in 2009 is rodent control, with 70% of
respondents indicating usage.
Decrease from 2009
44% ✷ Just over 57% of respondents said
their companies are now engaged
in producing antibiotic-free poultry.
44% Survey participants
Survey responses came from
Increase from 2009 a cross-section of live production
managers at broiler and turkey
companies, including live-operations
vice presidents, live production
Mixed picture for production growth: An equal number of respondents (44%) said their managers, broiler and turkey managers,
companies will expand production or keep it the same as in 2009. breeder production managers,
www.WATTAgNet.com | JULY 2010
Go online Live production challenges
Ranked by importance; lower score = higher importae
Complete Food safety 2.796
Nutrition and Flock performance 2.918
Animal welfare 3.449
Feeding Survey Environment/sustainability 3.551
results are Grower relations/recruitment 3.979
available at Discontinuation of antibiotics in feed
Capital for production facilities
www.WATTAgNet. Mycotoxins in feed 4.271
com/14669.html Research to support decision making 4.723
Over 80% of respondents ranked “biosecurity/disease” as among their three top
challenges, with 52% saying it was their single-highest priority.
hatchery managers and corporate
veterinarians. Responses came from 79
managers across the globe, with the Salmonella reduction measures
majority from North America. Percentage of respondents using the measure
Business outlook for 2010 Rodent control 70
The business outlook is generally Litter management 58
optimistic among poultry live Salmonella-free breeders 48
production managers. Forty-six Treatment of drinking water at feed withdrawal 40
percent of respondents believe there Disinfect hatching eggs 35
will be slowly improving sales and Antibiotics in breeders 23
proﬁts in the next months; 30% say Breeder live vaccination 20
that sales and proﬁts are good now; Competitive exclusion in breeders 20
and 18% expect business conditions to Salmonella vaccination of broilers/turkeys 18
improve signiﬁcantly in the second half Competitive exclusion in broilers/turkeys 15
of 2010. Only 6% of respondents said Measures in live haul 13
they expect to see negative or poor Other measures 5
proﬁtability over the next 12 months.
The most commonly used salmonella reduction measure is rodent control, with 70% of
Some production expansion respondents indicating usage.
Survey responses indicate a mixed
picture for changes in production
volume in 2010. An equal number
of respondents (44%) said their Gut microflora technologies
companies will expand production Percentage of respondents using the technology
in 2010 or keep it the same as in
2009. Twelve percent said production Chlorinated drinking water 70
volume will decrease in 2010. Acidified drinking water 58
Enzymes in feed 58
Major challenges Growth-promoting antibiotics 48
“Biosecurity/disease” and “food safety Coccidiosis vaccines 38
of ﬁnished products and regulations” Yeast cell wall products 33
were rated as the two most important Competitive exclusion cultures 30
live production concerns. Direct-fed microbials 28
Over 80% of respondents ranked Salmonella vaccines 25
“biosecurity/disease” as being among Ozonated drinking water 3
their top three concerns, with 52%
saying it was their single-highest priority. Just over 57% indicated their companies are now producing antibiotic-free poultry.
JULY 2010 | www.WATTAgNet.com
“Food safety” was ranked Now being tested 3%
somewhat lower with over 70% of
11% at a low level
respondents ranking it as among their Unlikely to be
top three concerns. produced 31%
Live production managers
are also focused on the basics. Tested, but it’s
“Management of programs to achieve not promising
live performance in flocks” was the 17% Produced
third-highest ranked concern among now at
Might consider levels
“Animal welfare” was ranked fourth it in the future
in overall importance by respondents.
Mycotoxin challenge Thirty-eight percent of respondents said coccidiosis vaccines are administered to their flocks.
With a late harvest of grains in
the US and much wet weather, the
problem of “mycotoxins in feed” for expansion/replacement of importance among the majority of
was highly ranked as a concern by a production facilities.” While the respondents. Responses indicated
significant number of respondents, business outlook is improving this is a significant concern for
but an almost equal number ranked and a significant number of some respondents but not a serious
it as a concern of lesser importance. firms are expanding or replacing concern for others.
Also ranking near the bottom of production facilities, availability The “availability, cost and quality
the list of challenges was “capital of capital seems to be of lesser of research to support decision
making” ranked lowest overall Controlling gut microflora Of the firms already producing
among the 10 challenges on the Live production managers were antibiotic-free poultry, 31% indicated
list. While a significant number asked about technologies used to that it “will remain at low levels for
ranked research among their top control gut microflora in their flocks now” and 26% said it “will likely be
five challenges, this challenge also (see “Gut microflora technologies”). significant in the future.”
received the greatest number of The leading control practice in use Around 23% of respondents said
rankings in the bottom half. is chlorinated water (70%), followed that antibiotic-free production either
by acidified drinking water (58%), had been tested and rejected or
Salmonella reduction enzymes in feed (58%), growth- would not be considered.
With food safety ranked as a major promoting antibiotics (48%) and
challenge, respondents were asked coccidiosis vaccines (38%). Upgrading and expansion
about the salmonella reduction The managers were asked about
measures being used in their Antibiotic-free production their priorities for investment in live
production facilities and flocks (see Live production managers were production facilities. The highest
“Salmonella reduction measures”). asked, “How does your company priority is for investment in ventilation
The most commonly used view antibiotic-free poultry equipment. Other key priorities
salmonella reduction measure production?” The responses show included investment in structural
is rodent control, with 70% of that antibiotic-free production is elements (walls, roofs, insulation,
respondents indicating usage. Litter prevalent and will remain so. etc.), electronic controls and housing
management (58%) and requirements Just over 57% said they produce management systems and heating
for salmonella-free breeders (48%) antibiotic-free poultry. Another 17% and brooding equipment. ◻
are also widely used. Treatment of said they “might consider antibiotic-
drinking water at feed withdrawal is free production in the future, and
the fourth most prevalent practice, 3% said it is “currently under test and ❯ Data compilation and statistical
according to the survey. looks promising.” analysis by Joyce Neth and Julia Caruso.
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of acids on a Sequential Release Medium (SRM),
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Biotronic ® gives a balanced acidification of feed,
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conversion and reduces mortality.
For more information, please visit:
JULY 2010 | www.WATTAgNet.com
opens in the
The outcome of
research started in
2006, Rondeel allows
expression of natural
behaviour, uses little
energy, and produces
An innovative laying house that
meets the needs of layers was
officially opened in the Netherlands
in April. Known as the Rondeel, the The Rondeel house, top, has been designed to cater to the needs of the hen, the producer,
unit incorporates the findings of and the consumer.
research carried out by Wageningen
University into a sustainable future Birds are encouraged to wander away from their perches, above, for example through the
for the layer industry, and was sprinkling of grain on the ground.
officially opened by a representative
of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture
and the president of Albert Heijn, the Among questions asked by the supply, but Rondeel operates as an
biggest supermarket group in the researchers was “What does a hen independent company with its own
Netherlands. want?,” and among the answers was general manager Ruud Zanders.
Wageningen’s research project, that a hen needs an environment In plan, Rondeel resembles
called Houden van Hennen, looked that provides it with the space and a cartwheel, with five modules
at how to ensure a sustainable future facilities to meet its behavioural radiating from a central point and
for the layer industry, and examined needs. covering 270 degrees of the total
areas of conflict between corporate The new development was built area. The remaining 90 degrees
social responsibility, the needs of by its namesake Rondeel, part of allows access to the central core for
laying hens, and an optimum working the Venco group, which includes deliveries and the transfer of farm-
environment for the poultry farmer. Vencomatic, Prinzen and Agro packed eggs.
www.WATTAgNet.com | JULY 2010
For more on
developments in egg
Will conventional cages
be consigned to history?
Eggs can be sorted and packed
on-site, meaning that unnecessary
In the perchery system, the hens can find feed, water, laying nests and perches to pass the transport is eliminated. Sustainable
night. egg packing has been developed in
conjunction with ﬁbre company Enkev.
Egg boxes are made from natural
Measuring 245 feet in diameter, Broader benefits coconut ﬁbre and natural rubber. The
the unit contains both day and Integration into the landscape was boxes are fully biodegradable and
night quarters. The night quarters a key concern for the municipality of contain seven eggs.
have been designed to cater to the Barneveld where the unit is located.
hens’ primary needs, such as eating, The Rondeel is described as rising Added value
sleeping, resting and laying. They from the landscape like a hill and The Wageningen research noted
have been equipped with the latest green embankments are to be built that, when choosing which products
technology, including laying nests, around it with additional planting. to buy, consumers are prompted by
the perchery system, and feeding While the Rondeel may have emotions and values, not simply by
trays. resulted in a favourable environment price. By responding to these values,
The day quarters have been for its hens, the house has also been eggs from systems such as Rondeel
designed to facilitate behaviours designed to bring additional beneﬁts. can command higher prices.
such as scratching and bathing. The Manure at the site is rapidly dried Later this year, eggs from Rondeel
day quarters are equipped with an and subsequently redried, and its will carry the Beter Leven mark,
insulated sidewall that can be fully ammonia content is likely to be some which will be awarded by the
rolled up to create a uniform climate 50% lower than in alternative systems. Dutch animal welfare organisation
in both the day and night quarters, The manure at the Rondeel has a dry Dierenbescherming. Since June,
allowing many more hens to scratch matter percentage of approximately some 500 cases of eggs each week
around and enjoy a dust bath than in 85%, meaning that it can be processed are being supplied to the Dutch
traditional systems. and does not have to be treated as supermarket chain Albert Hein and
The Rondeel currently houses waste. This has a signiﬁcant impact on are being sold under the AH Puur &
some 30,000 hens, and each hen transport costs, as there is less water Eerlijk (Pure and Honest) label at Euro
beneﬁts from a total of 1.6 square to transport. The fact that the manure 1.89 ($2.33) for a box of seven.
feet of space. is redried in air reduces particulate Consumers wanting to see how the
Around the house, hens also have matter by 50%. The Rondeel is naturally Rondeel hens are kept are encouraged
access to what has been described ventilated, there is no forced airﬂow. to visit the complex, where a visitors’
as a “wooded fringe.” This has been However, this is not the only tunnel has been set up.
extensively planted, including with advantage of a system that is The Barneveld municipality
fruit trees, and can be sealed oﬀ if naturally ventilated in its entirety. has already granted permission
necessary, for example should there Rondeel uses less energy than for a second Rondeel house, and
be the threat of a disease outbreak. alternative systems. The possibility further installations are thought to
To encourage hens to venture out of installing solar panels is also under be planned. Initial conversations
from their housing, grain is scattered consideration and the entire complex have taken place with producers in
outdoors. could become energy neutral. Germany and the UK. ◻
JULY 2010 | www.WATTAgNet.com
Egg production systems and carbon footprint HOTRACO HELPS
Imke de Boer, assistant professor, Caged systems, produced the
Animal Systems Group, Wageningen least CO2, followed by organic, barn
University, looked at carbon footprints. and free range. However within
A carbon footprint quantifies each system various production
the emission of greenhouse gases factors made varying contributions,
(GHGs) along the entire life-cycle with feed production, being the
of a product. The main GHGs largest overall contributor.
related to animal production are When looking at relative contribution
carbon dioxide (CO2), methane of GHGs, more CO2 than N2O and CH4
(CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). combined was produced by caged
Looking at egg farms in the systems, while in organic production,
Netherlands last year, the study the combined production of N2O
examined at CO2 equivalent per kg of and CH4 outstripped that of CO2.
egg in various production systems. The Despite the various benefits and
study included the entire life-cycle of drawback of each production method,
production, including the feed process, all have lower carbon footprints than
pullet rearing and transportation. either beef or pork production.
as well as the actual egg farm Health (OIE), told delegates that by
production methods. Egg production 2030, due to the rise in the global
has a lower carbon footprint than population, and the increasing wealth
beef and pork production and, within of those in developing countries,
the egg industry, barn and free-range there will be a 50% increase in the
systems have the highest carbon global demand for animal protein
footprint, and cage production the products, such as eggs.
lowest. The next IEC conference will be
held in September in Prague. ◻
Nutritious and high quality
During the conference, delegates ION
also learned more about the NEW
exceptional health beneﬁts of eggs
from Dr Don McNamara.
He explained that eggs are highly
nutritious, and an excellent source
of high quality protein, containing
the essential vitamins and minerals
required for a healthy diet.
Dr McNamara discussed recent
research studies which show that
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poultry Stationsstraat 142
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JULY 2010 | www.WATTAgNet.com www.hotraco.com
to benefit from
net energy feed
Professor Mingan Choct says that any
increase in feed efficiency means less use
of resources per kilo of poultry product, Australia’s Poultry CRC is developing a net energy
which translates into less water use and
lower output of greenhouse gases. system to boost the competitiveness and reduce
the carbon footprint of the country’s producers.
A net energy system that could lead in many parts of the world, there complex ecosystem of the gut.
to a smaller environmental footprint is no dedicated feed grain sector. The net energy system overcomes
and commercial advantage for Purely from the nutrition point of this problem to a large extent, as
Australia’s chicken meat producers view, within an acceptable range it gives dietary energy values that
is the focus of a nationwide of feed intakes, feed efficiency is ultimately remain available to the
collaboration funded by the maximised when the ratios between animal for maintenance, growth and
Armidale-based Poultry Cooperative energy and nutrients, such as amino reproduction. A net energy system
Research Centre (Poultry CRC). acids, are appropriate. When dietary for pigs has already been used quite
The net energy system essentially energy values are not additive, successfully.”
advocates a new way of approaching i.e. affected by the presence of The net energy system has the
poultry diets and feed formulation, antinutrients, these ratios vary potential to overcome this problem,
allowing nutritionists to account accordingly. The current default but its implementation has been
for losses of chemical energy in the system for determining dietary hampered by the highly tedious
solid, liquid and gaseous excreta, or energy values is the AME bioassay. and very expensive way net energy
as heat. A net energy database will is determined using calorimetry.
help nutritionists formulate diets for Overcoming problems Today, as food security has become
animals, overcoming the inherent “In practical feed formulation for one of the most important issues
reliance on digestible energy, or poultry, AME values obtained for in the world, it is also clear that
apparent metabolisable energy individual ingredients are assumed food must be produced efficiently,
(AME) value. to be additive, but in reality they are with as small an environmental
In Australia, feed conversion ratio not, explained Poultry CRC CEO and footprint as possible, argues Professor
(FCR) is, perhaps, the most important nutritionist Professor Mingan Choct. Choct. Furthermore, ethical issues
driver for the poultry industry. This is “This is because antinutrients surrounding food production are
because the industry there competes from one ingredient will affect the attracting more attention and,
with the food industry for grains as, available energy of another in the consequently, closer attention
www.WATTAgNet.com | JULY 2010
The role of net energy
A review carried out by researchers advantage for an NE system
at the French National Institute for over an ME system in predicting
Agricultural Research (INRA) and broiler performance, and further
presented at the Australian Poultry investigations should be carried out
Science Symposium earlier this year to evaluate the potential interest
indicated that net energy (NE) was of an NE system, the researchers
a better indicator than digestible argued. Probably most attention
energy (DE) or metabolisable should be focused on the impact of
energy (ME) of the “true” energy fat level with possible consequences
value of poultry and pig feed. on the relative energy value of fat-
Information available for pigs rich ingredients and subsequent
indicates an obvious interest in results in least-cost formulations.
formulating on an NE basis and NE Even though NE is the final
systems should be implemented objective of energy evaluation of
for achieving a reliable prediction feeds, most attention should be
of animal performance. paid to the accurate estimation of
In the case of poultry, the DE or ME values, which are the most
conclusions are less clear and important factors of variation of the
convincing with no marked energy value of poultry or pig feeds. The University of New England, NSW,
is among partners looking to increase
the competitive position and reduce
the environmental impact of Australia's
is required for the integrity and poultry industry.
traceability of the product in regards 'No one can predict
to production systems and animal
welfare. how it will go, but if well-controlled, the challenge ahead
Net energy systems for feed is tremendous as it will be nearly
formulation have been talked about we do not try it, we impossible to measure the net
over the last five decades or more, energy value of all feed ingredients
but there is now a tremendous will never know.' in different classes of chickens,” said
momentum to revisit the net Professor Choct.
energy system in order to achieve “However, through the Poultry
commercial advantage for the basic work in order to establish a CRC, an Australia-wide collaborative
poultry industry in feed formulation. meaningful net energy system that effort is underway to set up a state-
A mere 10 grams of feed saved per has sufficient accuracy and takes into of-the-art net energy testing facility.
kilo of live growth in chickens means account all the possible variables in This, together with collaboration
over AUS$4 million to the Australian determining the net energy value of from experts around the world,
chicken meat industry. If similar feed. will see a multipronged approach,
savings were achieved globally, it Values differ widely between feed including modelling and actual net
could be as much as AUS$400 million ingredients for poultry, such as maize energy measurements to establish a
per annum. and barley, even though nutritionists net energy database during the next
The economic, social and are formulating the diet to identical three years.
environmental benefits of a net AME values. More importantly, there “No one can predict how it will go,
energy system are manifold, is a significant difference in the but if we do not try it, we will never
including improved FCR due to a nutritive value between varieties of know,” Professor Choct added.
more predictable ratio between the same ingredient, such as wheat, “Poultry’s contribution to food
dietary energy and key nutrients, the which is difficult to consider when security is indispensable, and any
CRC believes. formulating poultry diets without a increase in feed efficiency means
However, there have been studies rapid feed test system. reduced use of resources per kilo of
questioning whether a net energy poultry product, which translates into
system will yield any positive results Stronger position less use of water and lower output
for the industry as well as numerous “Despite environmental conditions of greenhouse gases,” said Professor
challenges requiring meticulous for chicken meat production being Choct. ◻
JULY 2010 | www.WATTAgNet.com
André Meeusen and Djamila Hagemans
A eubiotic approach to
necrotic enteritis in broilers
Creating a healthy
To nd out more:
intestinal flora may be a
route to controlling one For a more in-depth version of this text,
go to: www.WATTAgNet.com/15614.html
of the most threatening
Necrotic enteritis: Emerging problems
emerging diseases in in broilers www.WATTAgNet.com/15234.html
the poultry industry.
Since January 2006, the use of Necrotic enteritis damage to the intestinal mucosa
antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) Use of AGPs in feed minimised caused by C perfringens leads to
in feed for food producing animals disease outbreaks. Since the ban, decreased digestion and absorption,
has been banned in the EU. This enteric diseases, such as necrotic reduced weight gain and an
has compromised not only animal enteritis due to Clostridium increased feed conversion ratio.
performance, but it has also made perfringens, have increased. Sub clinical necrotic enteritis is also
ensuring food safety more diﬃcult. C perfringens is a normal member reported in countries where AGPs are
Salmonellas have been recognised of the microbial community in the still in use. From our own experience
as important pathogens and Salmonella gastro-intestinal tract of animals and (broiler trial, Australia, 2009), we
enteritidis (primarily in birds) and humans, particularly in the hind-gut. noticed that virginiamycin at 40 ppm
Salmonella typhimurium (primarily in It is suggested that colonisation by in the starter period gave a numerical
pigs) have accounted for the majority of C perfringens is an early event in the advantage. However, there was no
cases of human salmonellosis. life of birds, starting at the hatchery. (further) eﬀect on animal performance
Furthermore, the ban on AGPs has Conditions that promote excessive using virginiamycin at 20 ppm after
also led to various digestive disorders growth of C perfringens in the upper the second week of production when
and the occurrence of intestinal intestine are the typical digestive C perfringens usually starts colonising
bacterial dysbiosis, an unbalanced disorders caused by stress, excessive the small intestines (see Table).
bacterial ﬂora in the intestinal tract. use of antibiotics, and a sub-acute
This may be further exacerbated by status of coccidiosis. Use of organic acids
heavily contaminated feeds, stress, In particular, Eimeria species that The use of organic acids and salts
medicines, poorly digestible feed colonise the small intestine are known is a long standing concept. Their
ingredients and unbalanced diets, and to predispose to necrotic enteritis. The antimicrobial action is mostly due to
may result in functional disturbances, use of high protein diets or diets high the pH changes of the environment
such as constipation or diarrhoea, in non-starch polysaccharides derived in which the micro-organism occurs.
vitamin deﬁciencies (vit.B12, vit.K) or from small grains, also strongly All micro-organisms need
chronic inﬂammatory diseases. inﬂuence incidence in broilers. optimum conditions for their growth,
The concept of a eubiotic approach The disease occurs mostly in including an optimum pH level.
is to overcome these digestive disorders broiler chicks starting at the age Bacteria are known to prefer a pH
by ensuring a healthy gastro-intestinal of two weeks, and the acute form near to neutral values (pH 6.5-7.5),
microﬂora, rather then killing the entire leads to increased mortality in yeast prefer lower pH values and
intestinal microﬂora with antibiotics. broiler ﬂocks. In the sub clinical form, moulds have the widest range of
www.WATTAgNet.com | JULY 2010
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Performances of broiler chicks with and without AGP
acceptable pH. Various experiments (Virginiamycin 40 ppm in starter and 20 ppm in grower/finisher).
have revealed the eﬃcacy of organic
acids, to successfully replace AGPs ADWG (g/d) FCR g/g
without a signiﬁcant performance Starter Grower/finisher Starter Grower/finisher
reduction. Formic-, propionic-, Without AGP 25.10 85.70 1.230 1.866
lactic-, acetic-, fumaric- and citric
With AGP 26.10 84.80 1.187 1.905
acids emerge as prospective growth ADWG: Average Daily Weight Gain (g/d). FCR: Feed Conversion Ratio (g/g).
promoters, but more consistent and
cost-eﬀective performance can be It can be suggested that during the period when C perfringens becomes invasive, low-
obtained through acid combinations. dose virginiamycin is no longer effective.
The use of organic acids to acidify
swine diets is a common practice.
However, the use of organic acids Streptococci, Biﬁdo). The organic acid and citric acids are strong chelators
and their salts in the poultry industry anions, when dissociated, are charged and interfere with these metals from
is still at an early stage. and not lipid permeable. However, the cell membrane and increase the
Organic acids can demonstrate some have a destructive eﬀect permeability of the LPS-layer of these
eubiotic eﬀects in various ways. on the outer membrane of gram- gram-negative bacteria, allowing a
Dissociated organic acids release negative bacteria. This membrane is better diﬀusion of the other organic
protons that result in a lowering of the an eﬀective barrier against various acids or even provoking leakages.
pH. Most pathogenic micro-organism antimicrobials. It is recommended to use those
(salmonella, E coli) stop growing at Molecules that can disrupt the permeabilisers along with organic acids
a pH lower than 4.5, except for lactic integrity of this membrane are termed as this will increase their eﬀectiveness.
acid producing bacteria (Lactobacilli, permeabilisers. Typically, sorbic-, lactic- Typically, this is the combined use
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www.WATTAgNet.com | JULY 2010
of organic acids with lactic acid. In SCFA enriched in lauric acid Another possible mode of action
addition to its antimicrobial property The antibacterial activity of Short may be a physical or functional
due to the lowering of the pH, lactic Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) in an acidic alteration of the gastrointestinal
acid also functions as a permeabiliser environment against gram-negative colonisation site of pathogens in
of the gram-negative bacterial outer pathogens has been long known. The chicks. But MCFAs may also alter
membrane and may potentiate the most prominent natural fats rich in the outer membranes of bacteria.
effects of other organic acids. Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) are They may prevent colonisation, or
Undissociated organic acids coconut oil and palm kernel oil with have a direct inhibitory effect on
have a lipophilic character and less than 10% C8 (caprylic acid) and C10 the expression of virulence factors
have the ability to pass through the (capric acid), but high proportions of needed for colonisation. MCFAs have
cell membrane of gram-negative C12 (lauric acid) and C14 (myristic acid). been shown to reduce salmonella
bacteria and enter the microbial The pKa’s of MCFAs are close to 5 and invasion in intestinal epithelial cells.
cell. There they will dissociate and are therefore more suitable to be active One would expect an added
lower the pH of the plasma. The cell in the intestines than SCFAs. Previous effect on combining SCFAs and
must eliminate the H+ across the studies have shown that lauric acid their salts with MCFAs. This was seen
cell membrane to restore the pH (C12) is the most inhibitory saturated in independent trials, where the
gradient (proton motif force). This MCFA against gram-positive organisms combination resulted in significant
requires large amounts of energy and and has the highest antimicrobial performance improvements. ◻
will lead to the death of the cell. activity against C perfringens, followed
At a low pH, more of the by myristic and capric acid.
organic acid will be undissociated. MCFAs' mode of action is not fully ❯ Andre Meeusen is product
Consequently, antimicrobial activity understood. In undissociated form development and application
of organic acids is indisputable in the they may diffuse into bacteria and manager, and Djamila Hagemans
gastric, but uncertain in the intestinal dissociate within the protoplasm, is technical manager with Kemira
environment. leading to intracellular acidification. ChemSolutions.
The phytogenic feed additive
for profitable poultry production.
Official sponsor of
JULY 2010 | www.WATTAgNet.com
Which one aspect of the How do you think most What do you think the
poultry production would consumers perceive the future holds for the
you like to see improve? poultry industry overall? poultry industry?
15% 24% 47%
8% 8% 32%
52% 53% 32%
Increasing expansion and
Quality of the end product Negatively integration
Production eﬃciency In a positive light Increasingly diﬃcult market
Volume of production conditions
They have no idea or don’t Maintenance of the current
Level of automation care about the industry
Production efficiency is by far and away Most producers felt that consumers The outlook for the sector would seem
the area where producers would like to cared little about, or knew little of, the to be positive with a high percentage of
see improvements. industry. respondents predicting expansion and
Poultry producer survey
reveals positive outlook
Producers feel attendees at this year’s International but keeping prices down, while 3.3%
Poultry Expo, and visitors to the felt that producers were struggling to
positively about the WATT and Pfizer websites. The survey survive because of low prices.
collected responses from a range of “The survey results depict
next five years, but industry players, including hatchery an industry that is maintaining
managers, veterinarians, production high-quality end-products under
environmental and managers and farm owners. considerable — and varied —
The responses came primarily pressure,” says Dr Kirk Adams, group
legislative issues cause from North America (75.9%), followed director of global marketing, new
by South America (8.6) and Asia (8.6), business and strategic planning for
concern. with the remainder from Africa (3.4%) Pfizer Poultry Health.
and Europe (1.7%). When asked which one aspect
71.7% of respondents replied that of poultry production would
An industry confident about the the poultry industry is a sector that producers like to see improve, the
quality of its products, its pricing supplies good quality product at overwhelming responses were
and with a strong belief that it will reasonable prices when asked which production efficiency (51.1%) and
continue to expand over the next of five statements best described quality of end-product (31.7%).
half decade is the picture that the industry at present. This was
emerged from a survey conducted by far and away the most popular Hiding the light?
by Poultry International, WATT response. However, 15% of those Producers’ views on consumer
PoultryUSA, and Industria Avicola questioned felt that the sector was perceptions of the industry were,
in conjunction with Pfizer Poultry struggling to deal with high input perhaps, disappointing, with 15%
Health. costs, 10% felt that producers were of those questioned believing
Respondents were drawn from struggling to meet quality standards, that consumers viewed the sector
www.WATTAgNet.com | JULY 2010