Necrotic Enteritis Increasing In Broiler Production; The Need for Gut Integrity
Necrotic Enteritis increasing in broiler production, hence the need for gut integrity. Reduced use of antibiotics and changing poultry diets are contributing to a rise in cases of the disease that can cause heightened mortality and lower feed conversion.
As more broiler flocks become antibiotic free (ABF), necrotic enteritis is making a comeback. A leading poultry scientist says controlling the potentially fatal disease requires closer attention to gut health. The nutritional and health status of poultry are interlinked with gut health which includes immune system, gut microbial balance, macro and micro-structural integrity of the gut.
The health of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) affects digestion, absorption and metabolism of nutrients, disease resistance and immune response (Kelly and Conway, 2001 and Yegani and Korver, 2008). The disturbances of these processes can result in enteric diseases (Dekich, 1998). This makes it important to pay attention to gastrointestinal health; usually any slight change is mostly accompanied by disruption of gut health and thus overall performance.
Austin Alonzo on February 3, 2017 reported that during the Poultry Science Association’s annual meeting in New Orleans in July 2016, Dr. Charles Hofacre, a professor and director of clinical services at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine Poultry Diagnostic & Research Center, spoke on the resurgence of the disease caused by the bacteria Clostridium perfringens and what steps should be taken to limit the disease’s spread.
Hofacre said when he was in school, the disease was only seen in textbooks and rarely in the field. Now, with the use of antibiotics limited by voluntary and regulatory decisions and poultry diets and feeding schedules changing, the disease is making a major comeback.
The disease can affect all commercial avian species, Hofacre said, and the bacteria naturally exists in soil and likely in every poultry house. Along with removal of growth-promoting antibiotics that historically kept the disease in check, the welfare-driven shift toward feeding birds less often or consumer-driven shift toward feeding birds vegetarian or other specialty diets may be making their intestines more susceptible to necrotic enteritis.
On a clinical level, the disease can cause 50 percent mortality or more in broilers. The most costly infection is sub-clinical, he said, when the birds don’t die but instead don’t fully utilize the nutrients of their diet and pass partially digested feed. Feed is the most expensive part of poultry farming so, essentially, Hofacre said, those birds are passing money.
Hofacre said the disease could be severe in the U.S. and research suggests as many as 50 percent of poultry houses are going have clinical and sub-clinical necrotic enteritis. Farmers with worse hygiene are going to be more likely to see the disease.
To prevent the disease in broiler flocks, the focus must be on developing a healthy gut. – Focus on the gut flora! With the steady removal of antibiotics in global poultry production, greater attention is being given to how the gut flora can influence the health of birds.
Historically, antibiotics and ionophores have helped maintain animal health, but now farmers must turn to probiotics, plant-based compounds and other additives to stimulate a healthy gut.
Probiotics like Mia-DiaSan, Lacto-Acidophilus, and Monesin have been proven to have a positive effect on the gut. Farmers cannot eliminate Clostridium, so they need to look into how a healthy gut flora can limit the negative impact of necrotic enteritis. This can be achieved through the use of Mia-DiaSan.
Mia-DiaSan is a combination of plant extracts, clay minerals, and hydrolysable tannins from Castanea Sativa. Tannins are double edged sword; they are polyphenolic compounds, which mean they have different chemical structure and reactivity.
We have the hydrosable tannins and the condensed tannins. Its mode of action includes;
- Precipitation of a tannin/protein complex.
- Formation of a thin layer of insoluble proteins at the intestinal surface
- Protects the mucosa membrane leading to less peristalsis and less liquid release in the intestine.
- Reduces the absorption from contaminants.
- Better protein absorption (slower passage rate).
- Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, astringent.
Absorptive constituents which are present in Mia-DiaSan bind water and support the intestinal water regulation. The synergistic combination of components regulates release of fluid into the intestine as well as the intestinal passage rate (reduced peristalsis) through astringent effects (precipitation of a tannin/protein complex) the absorption of contaminants is reduced.
Furthermore selected tannins support maintenance of the protective intestinal walls. As a firefighter, Mia-DiaSan is rapidly effective in cases of wet litter and unspecific diarrhea. Its herbal contents and clay minerals which have water retention ability, and astringent effect, improves the feacal texture.
Mia-DiaSan has direct action against common pathogens like E. coli, Salmonella and Clostridium pefringes. Its active ingredients precipitate protein complex which support maintenance of the protective intestinal walls.
The activity of the composite component in Mia-DiaSan helps to reduce disease pressure on the flock, thereby, increasing the opportunity for the flock to achieve target weight gain, better FCR (Feed Conversion Ratio).
Its effect on yield enhancement is key. Carcass downgrading resulting from effects of wet litter is eliminated. Total yield and processing quality is enhanced.