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Improving poultry health and production efficiency with probiotics


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To avoid diseases resulting from high pathogenic pressure in intensive broiler and turkey housing systems, antibiotic growth promoters have been used in many cases in the past. Since the EU-prohibition of these products, an increasing interest exists for alternatives to support the microbiota in the intestine and for the maintenance of animal health.

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Improving poultry health and production efficiency with probiotics

  1. 1. Digital Re-print - July | August 2013 Improving poultry health and production efficiency with probiotics Grain & Feed MillingTechnology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2013 Perendale Publishers Ltd.All rights reserved.No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872
  2. 2. T o avoid diseases resulting from high pathogenic pressure in intensive broiler and turkey housing systems, antibiotic growth promoters have been used in many cases in the past. Since the EU-prohibition of these products, an increasing interest exists for alternatives to support the microbiota in the intestine and for the maintenance of animal health. Therefore, the use of probiotics has been established. Probiotics are living cultures of non-pathogenic strains of bacteria and yeasts which are able to influence the microbiota in the intestine of the host animal in a positive way (Fuller 1989). Many of the known probiotics are unable to survive the techniques used in modern feed production, for example heat exposure during the pelleting proc- ess of temperatures up to 90°C. One possibility to mitigate these problems is the use of spore forming probiotics, especially probiotics of the genus Bacillus subtilis. Also, the compatibility with other feed additives, such as organic acids, coc- cidiostats and antibiotics for therapeutic purposes, has to be considered in a practical situation. Mode of action Potential probiotics are charac- terized by the forming of natural colonies with a complex aerobic structure, which has to be seen in connection with higher bacte- rial possibilities (Image 1). If bacteria are kept in an artificial environment ('domesticated'), they lose many of their natural capabilities. Therefore probiotics can be evaluated in a simple plate test concerning to their efficacy due to their aerobic form (Aguilar et al. 2007). Different modes of action form the basis of the use of Bacillus subtilis in poultry feed, so the influence of improved production parameters can be explained. Bacillus subtilis consumes oxygen in the digestive tract and produces different enzymes like, for exam- ple, subtilisin and catalase. As a result, the environmental conditions for beneficial bac- teria, such as Lactobacilli, will improve. These bacteria colonize the gut wall and block the binding sites of pathogenic bacteria, a mechanism called competitive inhibition. Additionally, Lactobacilli produce lactic acid, which can affect pathogenic bacteria, such as, Salmonella, E. Coli, Campylobacter and Clostridiae (Hosoi et al. 2000). Many trial results, concerning the reduc- tion of these pathogens have already been published (Marutra et al. 1996, Fritts et al. 2000, La Ragione and Woodward 2003). For example, Maruta et al. (1996) described not only fewer infected animals in a trial with in total 18,000 broilers, but also a reduced concentration of pathogenic bacteria in the faeces of infected animals was observed (Table 1). In another research trial in broilers, a reduction of campylobacter infection from Improving poultry health and production efficiency with probiotics by Dr Detlef Kampf Orffa Additives, the Netherlands Table 1: Influence of Bacillus subtilis C-3102 (Calsporin® ) on the concentration of Clostridium perfringens and Salmonella (Maruta et al. 1996) control (9,000 broiler) Calsporin® Bacillus subtilis C-3102 (3x108 CFU/kg feed) Clostridium perfringens, log10/g faeces 3.39±0.79 2.62±0.47* Cl. perfringens, % positive animals 93% 47%* Salmonella spp., log10/g faeces 2.97±0.36 3.06±0.62 Salmonella spp., % positive animals 57% 17%* * P<0.01 Image 1: Bacillus subtilis C-3102 (compact and singular colony form) Bacillus subtilis (incoherent colony form) Grain&feed millinG technoloGy20 | July - august 2013 FEATURE
  3. 3. 100 percent in the control group to 40 percent in the trial group was found when Bacillus subtilis was fed from day 34 to 56, and to 16 percent when Bacillus subtilis was fed from day 17 - 56 (Maruta et al. 1996). Also in this investigation not only was the number of infected birds reduced, but also a significantly lower concentration of campylo- bacter in the faeces of the infected animals was measured (Maruta et al. 1996). Further studies describe a lower pathogenic contamination of broiler carcasses with salmo- nella and clostridia (La Ragione and Woodward 2003) or with salmonella and campylobacter (Fritts et al. 2000) by the use of Bacillus subtilis. As mentioned before not only the compatibility with other feed components like organic acids, coccidiostats and therapeutic antibiotics but also the stability against heat treatments during feed production is crucially impor- tant. Spore forming probiot- ics like Bacillus subtilis exist in an inactive stable form and germinate only under ideal conditions (Hongh et al. 2005). This advantage, com- pared to non spore forming probiotics is reflected in the results of several investiga- tions on the influence of heat exposure and pelleting proc- esses of temperatures up to 90°C and also under expan- sion conditions up to 105°C (Nollet 2005, Kampf and van der Aa 2010). The compatibility of Bacillus subtilis C-3102 with coccidistatics, therapeutical antibiotics and organic acids has also been proven in scientific investigations (Enthoven and van der Lee 2004). Table 2: Zootechnical results of the use of Bacillus subtilis C-3102 in broilers and turkeys (Gracia and Medel 2004, Gracia et al. 2007, EFSA 2010, Blair et al. 2004) Trial no. Number of animals (replications per trial group x animals/pen) Calsporin® Bacillus subtilis C-3102 (CFU/kg feed) Body weight at trial end (kg) Average daily weight gain (g/day) Feed conversion (kg feed/ kg gain) Broiler 1 (4 trials) 5524 (63 x 22-100) 0 5x108 2.599 2.640* 61.2 62.2* 1.90 1.85** Broiler 2 (4 trials) 8208 (139 x 26-50) 0 10x108 2.372 2.436*** 55.5 57.0*** 1.82 1.77*** Turkeys 1# 600 (12 x 25) 0 3x108 6.498 6.732** 77.7 80.5** 2.06 2.05 Turkeys 2# 960 (32 x 15) 0 3x108 9.522 9.854** 112.6 116.6** 2.05 2.02** Turkeys 3# 400 (8 x 25) 0 3x108 13.41 14.32** 105.9 113.2** 2.42 2.42 Significant differences between trial and control group *P<0.10; **P<0.05; ***P<0.001 # Trial 1 only female animals, trial 2 and 3 only male animals Grain&feed millinG technoloGy July - august 2013 | 21 CALSPORIN® … The global probiotic Healthy animals > improved performance > more profitable production Your key to a world of ingredients... Orffa UK Ltd c/o The Potter Group Green Lane, Melmerby, Ripon HG4 5HP T +44 7595 894 761 F +44 1765 640 544 E I • Very efficient probiotic for stabilising an optimal intestinal microflora • Highly concentrated spore-forming bacteria (Bacillus subtilis C-3102 with minimum 1.0 x 1010 cfu/g) • Heat-stable even at high temperatures • Very stable when used in combination with coccidiostats, therapeutic antibiotics and organic acids • Highly efficient in terms of growth, feed conversion and feed costs Looking for companies that supply probiotics? Whatever you are looking for in the milling industry - find it with IMD in print, on the web, on your mobile NOW available o nyoutmo bile FEATURE
  4. 4. Trial results for broiler and turkey Of course the effectiveness of viable spores in broilers and turkeys in feeding practice has to be proven in scientific inves- tigations. Furthermore, all probiotics need be to registered according to the current EU legislation, without use in general is not possible. In order to obtain such a registration for Bacillus subtilis C-3102, a total of eight studies were carried out at several research institutes involving tests on 13,732 broilers. The results of these studies have been evaluated in two meta-analyses (Gracia and Medel 2004, Gracia et al. 2007). Furthermore three studies with 1960 turkeys have been performed for the registration in turkeys (EFSA 2010, Blair et al. 2004). The zootechnical results of all studies are presented in Table 2. The supplementation of 10x108 CFU Bacillus subtilis C-3102/kg feed improved growth (+ 2.7 %) and feed conversion (- 2.7 %) significantly. By applying 5x108 CFU/kg feed a better daily weight gain (+ 1.6 %) and improved feed conver- sion (- 2.6 %) was obtained in broilers. In both meta-analyses an increased EPEF-Value (European Production Efficiency Factor) was calculated (Gracia and Medel 2004, Gracia et al. 2007). The supplementation of 3x108 CFU/kg feed caused a significantly higher daily weight gain (in average + 4.6 %) in turkeys in com- parison to the control group. Concerning the feed conversion only one trial showed a significant influence (- 1.5 %, table 3, EFSA 2010; Blair et al. 2004). Beside that in the third trial a reduced ammonia concentration in the faeces of only 7.8 ppm versus 25.2 ppm in the control group could be seen due to the supplementation with Bacillus subtilis C-3102 (- 69.0 %, Blair et al. 2004). Practical experience Probiotics also need to be tested con- tinuously under practical conditions. Table 3 shows an overview of results obtained from practical broiler trials with the product Calsporin® (Bacillus subtilis C-3102) col- lected from 2008 to 2012. These results are in good accordance with the results from scientific studies. Very interesting to highlight is trial 10 where Calsporin® was resulting in a significant reduced occur- rence of necrotic enteritis (approximately - 40%) corresponding with a significantly lower amount of treatments (0.5 vs. 3.0 in control) in this group. This can be seen as evidence of a markedly improved intestinal health through the use of Calsporin® but the fewer treatments can also be viewed as the reason for not improved production parameters in this experiment. Concerning the economic consideration, it should be mentioned that the costs for a probiotic like Calsporin® according to the required dosage (3x108 CFU/kg feed for turkeys, and 5x108 CFU/kg feed for broilers) will be between €0.15-0.25 /100 kg feed. When contrasting the extra costs with the improvements in feed conversion (Table 2 and 3), the supplementation of Bacillus subti- lis C-3102 results in an economic benefit in feed costs of €0.75-0.90 /100 kg produced meat. Conclusions The use of probiotics to support the gut microflora and to maintain the health of the animals has been established in feeding practice in recent years. Especially spore forming probiot- ics of the genus Bacillus subtilis have been referred to because they can be used without issue in combination with organic acids, coccidiostats and therapeutic antibi- otics, beside that these products can easily survive heat treatments during feed production e.g. while pelleting. Concerning the use of spore forming probiotics, and in particular the strain Bacillus subtilis C-3102 (Calsporin® ), numerous studies exist describing the positive effects to achieve an optimized gut flora with regard to a reduction of pathogens in the gut and also in the carcass. In numerous efficacy studies with in total nearly 14,000 broil- ers and 2,000 turkeys it has also been proven, those viable spores of Bacillus sub- tilis C-3102 in turkey as well as in broiler feed have a positive effect on production parameters especially daily weight gain and feed conversion. The results of these studies, together with widespread practical trials, show the contribution of a stable in feed probiotic for efficient turkey and broiler production. In conclusion, Bacillus subtilis C-3102 (Calsporin® ) can be used successfully in broiler and turkey production. Its use can help to maintain good gut health and pathogenic bacteria can be reduced, thereby reducing the incidence of disease in the poultry themselves and potential food poisoning episodes in humans after the consumption of poultry meat. Literature is available upon request from the author. More InforMatIon: Dr Detlef Kampf Orffa Additives B.V. Vierlinghstraat 51 4251 LC Werkendam The Netherlands Tel: +31 183 447771 Email: Website: Table 3: Efficacy of Bacillus subtilis C-3102 (Calsporin® ) on feed conversion (corrected to 1,500 g live weight) and daily gain (g/day) in broiler chicken under EU practical conditions (2008-2012) Trial Run No. birds Country FCRc1500 Difference ADG Difference Control Calsporin® Control Control Calsporin® 1 90,200 NL 1.461 1.439 -1.5% 54.3 1.461 1.439 2 102,000 NL 1.410 1.368 -3.0% 56.8 1.410 1.368 3 50,000 NL 1.561 1.478 -5.3% 50.0 1.561 1.478 4 1 66,000 NL 1.413 1.379 -2.4% 56.0 1.413 1.379 4 2 66,000 NL 1.413 1.426 0.9% 56.0 1.413 1.426 5* 1,500,000 FR 1.660 1.641 -1.1% 49.2 1.660 1.641 6* 39,270 FR 1.666 1.634 -1.9% 51.0 1.666 1.634 7 33,000 UK 1.295 1.233 -4.8% 66.1 1.295 1.233 8 128 PO 1.238 1.222 -1.3% 60.2 1.238 1.222 9 1 175 GE 1.235 1.149 -7.0% 66.1 1.235 1.149 9 2 150 GE 1.193 1.180 -1.1% 64.0 1.193 1.180 10# 480,000 GE 1.263 1.289 2.1% 56.9 1.263 1.289 Average 2,426,923 1,401 1.401 1.370 -2.2% 57.2 1.401 * = in these trials Calsporin® was tested in comparison to a positive control with essential oils # = in this trial Calsporin® was showing a significant reduction of necrotic enteritis corresponding with a significantly lower amount of treatments in the Calsporin® group Grain&feed millinG technoloGy22 | July - august 2013 FEATURE
  5. 5. LINKS • See the full issue • Visit the GFMT website • Contact the GFMT Team • Subscribe to GFMT A subscription magazine for the global flour & feed milling industries - first published in 1891 INCORPORATING PORTS, DISTRIBUTION AND FORMULATION In this issue: • Pig feed pelletizing technology • Feed focus Cattle • Exploring the challenge of single versus multi- enzyme dosing comparisons July-August2013 • Improving poultry health and production efficiency with probiotics • Aflatoxins in Europe: a new risk in maize production? • Sweeping changes to OSHA’s sweep auger enforcement first published in 1891 This digital Re-print is part of the July | August 2013 edition of Grain & Feed Milling Technology magazine. Content from the magazine is available to view free-of-charge, both as a full online magazine on our website, and as an archive of individual features on the docstoc website. Please click here to view our other publications on To purchase a paper copy of the magazine, or to subscribe to the paper edi- tion please contact our Circulation and Subscriptions Manager on the link adove. INFORMATION FOR ADVERTISERS - CLICK HERE Article reprints All Grain & Feed Milling Tecchnology feature articles can be re-printed as a 4 or 8 page booklets (these have been used as point of sale materials, promotional materials for shows and exhibitions etc). If you are interested in getting this article re-printed please contact the GFMT team for more informa- tion on - Tel: +44 1242 267707 - Email: or visit