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Wednesday, December 30, 2015


 HOW TO FEED CHICKENS WITH WATERMELON.  . Fruits and vegetables have increasingly found usefulness in raising birds ,these has been incorporated as extracts or whole plants to tap into the benefits. The use of natural supplement in animal production is very necessary not only for financial implication but also on health grounds.

More and more people are showing preference for birds raised naturally, without antibiotics and other chemical supplements. This has resulted in a new dimension of the poultry value chain where plant extracts, vegetables are incorporated to poultry feed.

The benefits of water melon as discussed here; can be harnessed as follows; 1) wash and dice watermelon.
 2)remove seeds and cube.

 3) crush/blend the water melon.

 4) mix with water using this ratio; 1 litre of water melon mix into 2 litres of water.

The birds will be refreshed without any adverse reactions to stressful conditions, give your birds a boost # water melon smoothie.


AGRO-VETERINARY : THE BENEFIT OF WATERMELON ON POULTRY HEALTH. AGRO-VETERINARY : THE BENEFIT OF WATERMELON ON POULTRY HEALTH. Watermelon has proven to be a very nutritious fruit both to man and animals and the benefits derived are so valuable to growth and development.The fruit is 92% water making it very useful in cases of dehydration. Water melon can be processed and added to drinking water of birds especially in hot weather conditions,this not only cools the birds down but also gives a boost because of the vitamin C it contains. AGRO-VETERINARY : THE BENEFIT OF WATERMELON ON POULTRY HEALTH. Watermelon contains vitamin C, A and B; the occasional addition of watermelon juice to water of birds makes these vitamins readily available thus preventing deficiencies associated with lack of this nutrients. Chickens undergo severe stress not only when weather is hot, but also during time of vaccination and transportation and at periods like this the inclusion of the juice in the water days before scheduled programme will be of immense benefits. Water melon acts as an antioxidant, a fiber source and also carotenoids ,flavonoids, . Read more about benefits of water melon here


AGRIBUSINESS: STARTING AN EGG POWDER PROCESSING PLANT. Egg powder plant< thinking of investment??? How to set up a mini powdered egg plant. see


AGRIBUSINESS :EGG POWDER. The importance of eggs in the poultry value chain can not be ignored,both the health benefits and financial implication show that eggs are very important in the value chain. Eggs can be sold in crates ,and the distribution can be quite cumbersome at peak of traffic, but the worst aspect in the distribution is the period of egg glut. The period where farmers have more eggs that out ways demand,leading to severe losses to the farmers.This singular reason is why producers are looking for ways to protect their investments and also ensure the health benefits of eggs are not ignored. AGRIBUSINESS :EGG POWDER. EGG POWDER !!!! is the way out. Powdered eggs are replacements for fresh eggs:this could be powdered egg white or powdered whole eggs .The advantages of powdered eggs are 1) easy storage 2) longer shelf-life 3) easy transportation 4) non perishable. Powdered eggs are very useful in the food industry, camping arena,school feeding programmes, and catering institutes.The extension of the poultry value chain to accommodate egg powder production is a viable project that need more players. The attachment of the egg powder production plant to the poultry can be a small scale or large scale production. The small scale will require minimal investment and it can be sited within a local government to cater for the farmers within and also generate revenue from this venture. The large scale will be capital intensive,but will cater for a large number of farmers and the revenue from this venture will be very high and will cater for a wide variety of farmers, local and international.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


1. They keep growing forever Or so research suggests. But scientists won’t be able to tell how long lobsters really live because traps aren’t designed to catch the largest lobsters, reports “When we catch one that is 20-30 pounds, it’s because a claw got caught in the entrance of the trap, not inside,” says Robert C. Bayer, executive director of The Lobster Institute at the University of Maine. 2. They eat each other “They’re looking for fresh food and what’s around, and if that happens to be another lobster, then it’s dinner,” says Bayer. “One of the reasons lobster culture is not profitable is because they are cannibalistic, and there are lot of expenses that go along with that.” - 3. Females are players—and they make the first move Not much courtship precedes lobster love-making. Females that have just shed their shells send out a pheromone to let the males know they’re in the mood. Usually, lobsters that shed their shells are vulnerable and could be eaten by other lobsters, but when a female says she’s ready to get it on, the male lobster will usually opt to have sex with her over killing her. How do they do it? “I would describe it as the missionary position,” Bayer says. Six to nine months later, eggs appear on her tail, and after another six to 9 months, they hatch. A one-pound-and-a-half female lobster can have between 8,000 to 12,000 eggs, each about the size of a raspberry segment. And they could be from multiple fathers. Females are not monogamous. - 4.They taste with their legs Chemosensory leg and feet hairs identify food. Small antennae in front of their eyes are used for tracking down food that’s farther away. “If you watch a lobster in a tank in a market, you’ll see they’re flipping, looking for food, dissolved substances in the water,” says Bayer. - 5. They chew with their stomachs The grinding structure for breaking up food is called the gastric mill, kind of like a set of teeth on their stomachs, which are right behind the eyes and the size of a walnut in a one-pound lobster. - 6.. They can regenerate limbs “It’s going to take probably a good five years for a one-pound lobster to regenerate a claw that’s about the same size of one that was lost,” says Bayer. But they can do it. - 7.Their shells were once used to make golf balls Shells left over after lobster processing are usually tossed into landfills. So in an effort to make them worth something and keep the money in the lobster industry, a University of Maine professor created golf balls with a core made out of lobster shells. They’re also biodegradable, designed for golfing on cruise ships or courses near oceans and lakes. The problem is they only go about 70 percent of the distance of a regular golf ball. Story source


Pigs housed in beautiful and conducive environment,grow faster, better and are less prone to diseases. The role of housing in production can not be over emphasized,look at how pigs are housed for better productivity; look at the Cavite pig city; Read more here;

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Global value of processed poultry tipped to rise

Global value of processed poultry tipped to rise The demand for poultry is on the increase thus more revenue is to be generated from the industry.The areas of processing, packaging,transportation and innovative products all make the industry a viable one.


Benefits of hydroponics. 1) There is no need for soil means more food can be grown on less land,this is ideal for a growing, urbanizing global population. 2) Yields can be up to 10 times more than from open field agriculture. 3) The water used can be recycled. 4) Farms can be anywhere, from skyscrapers to shipping containers. 5)Pollution from pesticides and herbicides can be prevented. 6)Local production reduces food miles and transportation costs. , A tech firm Fujitsu , at its Aizu Wakamatsu factory in central Japan is applying cloud-based data analytic s to the production of low-potassium lettuce and spinach.The operation takes place in a dust-free "clean-room" formerly used for semiconductor production. Fujitsu's cloud platform - Akisai - stores and analyses data from lots of sensors in the greenhouses, and enables heating units, ventilation fans and other equipment to be operated remotely."In terms of quality, we have applied the same industrial perspective from semiconductor manufacturing to vegetable cultivation," a Fujitsu spokesman tells the BBC. "Having a control structure that keeps product specifications - the weight and nutrient constituent-parts of lettuce - within a defined range, makes for effective high added-value vegetable production." The company sells the lettuce it produces to hospitals, supermarkets, and hotels - as well as online - and says its cloud service is collecting valuable data that is leading to improved quality and higher yields. Fujitsu's insights and efficiency improvements could also encourage more producers to enter the market and "lead to an increase in younger generations getting into agriculture", the spokesman adds. Story credit;BBC news.


An effective vaccine to protect against the Mers virus is a step closer,european scientists genetically modified a version of the smallpox vaccine to display Mers virus protein on its surface. The vaccine was able to protect camels - the animal reservoir for the virus - from developing Mers virus symptoms. Experts hope the vaccine might stop the virus spreading in camels and may also protect humans at risk from infection. Infections have been reported in 26 countries around the world with the outbreak epi-centre located in the Arabian Peninsula.There are no treatments for Mers but scientists are trying to develop an effective vaccine. One such scientist is Prof Bart Haagmans, who is based at the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands. He has been busy developing and testing vaccines in camels. A team of scientists drawn from the Netherlands, Spain and Germany, genetically engineered a pox virus called Modified Vaccinia Ankara -MVA - to display Mers virus spike protein on its surface. MVA, related to the virus used to eradicate smallpox, was used to eradicate smallpox and is currently being used to develop vaccines to a variety of viruses like influenza, Ebola and hepatitis C. Importantly it can produce antibodies and killer cells.The Mers spike protein is thought to be a major target for the immune response. The team hoped that by cloaking MVA with this spike they would train the immune system to recognize and kill Mers. The team took the engineered MVA, sprayed it up the noses of camels and injected it into their muscle, and then four weeks later they repeated the vaccination again. When the team exposed the vaccinated animals to the Mers virus the camels developed very mild symptoms. Crucially they didn't develop a runny nose and the amount of virus they produced was very low. Camels that hadn't received the vaccine produced very large amounts of virus and suffered a very runny nose. This indicates that even though the vaccine didn't prevent infection it did reduce the amount of virus that the vaccinated camels produced. story credit BBC news.


Camels, which are bred and raised for their milk and meat and for racing, are thought to be the initial source of human outbreaks. The virus is particularly prevalent in juvenile camels, where infection results in symptoms that are similar to a common cold. The virus is thought to pass to humans when they have contact with an infected camel's body fluids. Circulation of Mers in camels poses a serious risk to human health and many scientists are worried that the virus might mutate to become better adapted to human spread. That's why scientists are trying to develop vaccines - to stop the virus infecting humans and also to reduce the amount of virus circulating in camels. Vaccination is aimed at protection;Vaccines train our immune response to recognize a virus and to wipe it out before it can infect us or before it can do any harm.The vaccine acts in 2 forms;there are two arms to this protection - antibodies and killer cells. Antibodies are proteins found in human blood and in body fluids like mucus and saliva and these attach to the virus and stop it infecting. The Killer cells, , track down virus infected cells and kill the cell before new virus is released. Some vaccines raise antibodies, some produce killer cells and some raise both. The MERS infection of humans was first described in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and Since then there have been more than 1,600 reported cases. One third of reported infections have resulted in death. Individuals with other illnesses - such as diabetes, long term lung disease or kidney failure - are particularly prone to developing life-threatening symptoms. Virus spread is limited to people who have close contact with those who are infected, such as family members and healthcare workers. There are no treatments for Mers but scientists are trying to develop an effective vaccine.


The two calves that grace a muddy pen on the UC Davis campus will never grow horns typical of their breed. Instead, they’ll always sport soft hair on the parts of their heads where hard mounds normally emerge. The calves were designed in a petri dish at a Minnesota-based genetics lab, with the goal of making them easier to pack into pens and trucks without the nuisance of their horns taking up valuable space. Their offspring may also lack horns, and generations of hornless cows could follow, potentially saving the dairy and cattle industry millions of dollars, said Alison Van Eenennaam, a geneticist at UC Davis’ College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences who worked with the Minnesota lab Recombinetics. This first-of-a-kind result of a process called genetic editing is a test run that’s expected to deeply impact the cattle and dairy industry and the entire food supply, Van Eenennaam said. It’s also part of a flurry of research looking at how to make cattle easier to maintain, transport and turned into food. The research has raised concerns among some farmers and animal-rights activists who warn of the health and ethical risks of consuming genetically modified food, but so far, that hasn’t stopped the research drive. At UC Davis, animal geneticist Pablo Juan Ross has been trying to perfect a technique developed a decade ago but now gaining more acceptance to design cattle that produce only male offspring.“Males grow faster than females, and in beef production they are more desirable,” Ross said. Another project uses stem cells to produce a clone animal, Ross said. Genetic editing could also help design cows that are less prone to pneumonia, which would reduce their need for antibiotics.Van Eenennaam is keen on using word processing as an analogy to describe the differences between genetic editing and engineering. She likens genetic editing to changing the spelling of a word within a document and genetic engineering to pasting in a word from a completely different document.“You’re not bringing in something foreign ... like introducing a protein from a tomato into a fish, which is what is associated in genetic engineering,” she said. The two dairy calves had a precise section of DNA responsible for horn growth was knocked out and replaced with a precise section from a cow that does not produce that trait. Many cattle varieties do not grow horns, including Angus cattle. With dairy cattle – both male and female – horns are a given, and the animals are dehorned soon after they’re born.Once the cows are sexually mature, Van Eenennaam will collect semen from the bulls to inseminate horned cows – the route by which most cows are impregnated in the cattle and dairy industry. The plan is to track the calves’ growth and development and see whether the two faithfully transmit the hornless trait to their offspring.“The odds are 100 percent if Mendelian genetics holds true,” she said.She added that it’s not clear whether other, unexpected effects of editing will appear. If successful, it will allow the industry to bypass decades of breeding for polled, or hornless, cows. At the University of Missouri, researchers focus on genetically modifying pigs to remove genetic traits for maladies such as retinitis pigmentosa, hemophilia and cystic fibrosis, said Randall Prather, an animal geneticist at the school. Story credit;

Monday, December 21, 2015


According to ABC eye witness reports; a blind, elderly dog named Christmas has been rescued after months of living alone in a well, -- and his rescue was captured in a touching video, ABC News reports. ( "Surprisingly, the dog is in fairly good, psychical condition," said Laura Simpson, founder of the Harmony Fund in Holden, Massachusetts. "The blindness of course is from a pre-existing condition, but he's now in foster care and we're hoping he can find a home there he's loved and respected in the way he should be." Simpson told ABC News that it was last week when international animal rescuer Fahrudin Caki Bravo and his friend Ratko Koblar received word of a dog trapped in a well in nearby Bosnia."The dog had been there for months and they don't know if he was thrown in, or if he fell in," Simpson said. "We're certainly hoping that he fell, but with the dog being completely blind, he was only kept alive because the local children were kind enough to feed him.""He (Bravo) and his friend thought it was perfectly feasible getting the dog out and they did a great job," she added. "They made it look easy." Following his rescue, , Christmas received veterinary care and was placed in foster care.


Julie Crumpler Peele faces five additional felony charges of obtaining property under false pretenses. These are in addition to the two charges she already faced last month after two different viewers who say Peele sold them sick puppies.When confronted Peele in October, she denied the puppies she sells are sick."It makes me very angry," Paige McKeithan said.McKeithan told me she met Peele in July, 2014 and bought a dog named Gunner from her."My mom was holding him and we felt that the stomach was really tight, and so my mom asked if the dog was sick, and she said no he just didn't like car rides. So I thought he was just sick from that," McKeithan added.But she said within 24 hours of buying him from Peele, Gunner had to be rushed to the vet. McKeithan said the vet suspected the parvo virus and also that Gunner had parasites and bacteria in his bloodstream. She spent over $2,000 in vet care for Gunner, and said the vet did everything she could to get Gunner healthy, but nothing was working. According to ( had to put Gunner down, and now she has a message for Peele: "Just for her to stop doing this and for something to be done."


Dog breeders and pet lovers and owners have been warned continuously of dangers associated with dog importation.The breeders are supposed to ensure the dogs get the necessary vaccinations before they are sold and shipped off, but some mischievous breeders/puppy mill merchants dont vaccinate these pets thus exposing the pet lovers to a risk.The pets that are shipped branding certificates are often times discovered to be fake, thus strict documentation laws must be ensured and vaccination records verified to ensure safety. There has been cases of shipping off animals to other countries which were incubating various pathogens, a recent case is the rabid dog shipped to the US from Egypt (as reported by STAT The rabid dog was transported into the country in May by an animal rescue organization. It was later discovered the dog’s rabies vaccination certificate was a fake, CDC officials said .It’s the fourth time — that officials know of — in the last 11 years that a rabid dog has been imported to the United States. Ten people who had substantial contact with the animal were advised to get post-exposure rabies treatment and eight more involved in its importation opted to get vaccinated as a precaution, CDC and state health department officials wrote in a report on the incident published in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a journal operated by the CDC.‘There’s no shortage of adoptable dogs in the US’ Dr. Nicky Cohen said the CDC issued guidelines last year to spell out what is needed, from a rabies control standpoint, to import companion animals to the United States. Chief among them: an authentic rabies vaccination certificate. It also pointed out some red flags to look for on rabies vaccination certificates to spot fakes — things like multiple dogs in a shipment having identical certificates or evidence that a dog’s name has been whited out. “It’s pretty basic,” Cohen admitted. “There have been four incidences where rabid dogs have been imported. But we do know that more dogs than just these four have been imported with falsified records. This was issued in response to the recognition of imported dogs with falsified vaccination records.”The dog from Egypt was part of a shipment of eight dogs and 27 cats. It was the only animal in the shipment that was infected.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Poultry production has always been a source of income and the recent ban on importation of frozen poultry products,has opened up more avenues to make more money as demand for home grown birds have increased. The poultry value chain is a lucrative venture with specific points for investments such as ; producers, transporters,processors, retailers, and innovative products.There is a gap to be filled and numerous products can be introduced to the market;


REARING COST FOR 5OO BROILERS; EXPENDITURE AMOUNT. 1) Land...............................................1,500,000 2)Housing...........................................900,000. 3) D.O.C @ 200#.....................................100,000. 4) Brooding cost @ 25#/chick........................12,500. 5)vaccination/medication @ 40#....................20,000. 6)Farm supplies,tools,wheel barrow................15,000. 7)Drinker/feeder.....................................25,000. 8) Feed @ 100g/chick/day @ 0-3 weeks cost of feed(2800).....11,760. 9)Feed @ 180g/chick/day for 4-7 weeks and cost of feed..3000....226,800. 10) Labor...................................20,000. TOTAL.............................2,831,060. Analysis. sale of birds @ 2000/bird. 2000x 490(2% mortality}......980,000. Profit=sale proceeds-recurrent expenditure = 980,000- 391,060 588,940 Naira. An investor will have a profit of 588,940; and subsequent production cost will reduce because the capital expenditure is paid for at onset of production An investor can have this turn over every 42 days,thats a good turn-over.


Broiler production in India is projected to increase by approximately 8% to 4.2 million tonnes in 2016 on rising demand from the growing middle class.Local estimates believe that demand for processed chicken meat is growing between 15-20% per year, according to a recent USDA GAINS report.The organised sector produces an estimated 80% of total chicken meat production, and is mainly concentrated in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and West Bengal. The live poultry market constitutes 90 to 95% of total sales since most consumers prefer freshly culled chicken meat. Within the last ten years, many broiler enterprises have vertically integrated their operations, especially in southern and western India. Approximately 60-70% of all operations use the integrator model, while the remaining are smaller backyard operations. Integrator' s own all the hatcheries, feed mills, and slaughter facilities, and contract with multiple smaller farmers who raise the chicks to slaughter weight primarily in open air sheds. One integrator may have as many as 20,000 contracted farms, however, in a few cases integrator's may sell chicks or feed without requiring a contract. Some integrator's also provide credit, extension services, and veterinary medicine. At the end of the production cycle, the live birds either are purchased by the integrator's for slaughter and further processing, or by a middle man/wholesaler, eventually arriving at a live bird wet market for local sale. For 2016, egg production is forecast at 80 billion eggs, up 5% from last year. In order to mitigate rising transportation costs and better maintain quality control, poultry companies are reportedly establishing more layer farms near highly urbanised areas. The processed chicken meat sector is growing at a rate between 15-20% per year due to the growing middle class, which reportedly has positively affected sales not only in retail, but quick service restaurants and the hotel, restaurant, and institutional sector. A few major poultry companies have started expanding their slaughtering and processing facilities, and are beginning to offer a wider range of processed chicken meat products for the retail sector like frozen chicken burgers, salamis, nuggets, sausages, and tikkas. India's per capital consumption of poultry meat is estimated at around 3.1 kg per year, which is low compared to the world average of around 17 kg per year. India's per capital consumption of eggs is estimated at about 62 eggs per year. More and more people are shifting to poultry and poultry by-products,as a means of livelihood, employment opportunities and providing more protein for the nation.The sector provide various points of investment opportunities,which are very profitable. portions of story from world poultry.

Friday, December 18, 2015


The EC-funded PROteINSECT project has today released an up-to-date review and analysis of the current status of insects as a viable, sustainable, additional source of protein for use in animal feed in Europe. In 2015, fish, poultry, and pig feeding trials are being conducted in 2015 in Europe (Belgium and UK) based on PROteINSECT UK derived insect protein whereas, fish and chicken feeding trials will be conducted in China, Mali and Ghana with insect protein being sourced from PROteINSECT partners within each country. According to PROteINSECT, consumers are willing to consume food from animals that received insects in the feed, as long it is mentioned on the food label, according to the majority. The contribution that insects can make to addressing the protein deficit and to help address the global challenge of future food security. Insects are rich in protein and are a natural component of the diets of carnivorous fish and freerange poultry. Fly larvae can be reared on a wide range of wastes and by-products and offer a potential way of recovering value from materials that may be disposed of by agriculture and food industries. House fly and black soldier fly production systems have showed favourable results in terms of their space requirements but considerable improvement within the systems that PROteINSECT has evaluated is required to improve the heating related energy usage and water consumption.The supply of organic waste is increasing along with demand for animal products; production of insect protein presents an opportunity to produce low value waste and produce high value products for inclusion in animal feed. read more ; world poultry.

Insects as protein source for animal feed.

Insect Farming Is taking Shape as demand for animal feed rises;As the world grows hungrier for animal protein, insects could be the new way to feed livestock. However, food producers are likely to feel the pinch as the world’s population climbs to nine billion by 2050, while rising incomes in large countries like China and India lead to greater demand for meat-rich diets. So entrepreneurs, researchers, and even the United Nations are looking for an animal feed less expensive than the soybeans and fish meal typically used today. Insects like mealworms and fly larvae, a natural food for wild birds and fish, could be a near-perfect replacement. With several startups planning industrial-scale operations, it may not be long before some poultry or fish entrĂ©es are raised on a regular diet of bugs. 15 % of all wild-caught fish goes to feeding farmed fish, pigs, or poultry. Soybean production, about 95 percent of which goes into animal feed, has seen a significant spike since the 1990s and will reach record highs this year. But unless yields can be significantly increased, continuing this surge would mean gobbling up additional land and water. Not only do insects use far less of these resources than soy, but they also feed on food waste. Furthermore, they’re comparable to soy in protein content. Breeding trials conducted by the E.U. initiative PROteINSECT have found that one hectare of land could produce at least 150 tons of insect protein per year. By comparison, soy planted over the same area yields just under a ton of protein per year. Feeding trials also suggest that a bug-based diet will produce bigger, stronger livestock. In its 2013 report on edible insects, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. pointed to several studies on fish and Japanese quail in which ground crickets replaced up to 50 percent of the fish meal in their feed. The fish outperformed counterparts fed traditional diets on every growth parameter, and the cricket-fed quail laid more eggs than the control group. story credit;


PED is to become a notifiable disease in England from Friday December 18,2015 and pig-keepers and vets will be legally required to inform the Animal and Plant Health Agency of any suspicion of the disease. PED remains a significant threat to British pig-keepers. Outbreaks of high-impact strains caused up to 100% mortality in young pigs in the United States, knocking out around 10% of pig production in 2013-2014. The disease has since spread to Ukraine. Even with milder European Union strains, piglet mortality as high as 70% has been reported.The aim will be to prevent spread of PED and to eliminate the disease from the pig unit. There will be no requirement to slaughter affected animals. story credit; pig process.


The critical control points for coccidiosis vaccination; effective way of preventing coccidiosis is vaccination at the hatchery. This only works out well if critical points are taken into account, both at the hatchery as well as in a later stage at the farm. Vaccination against coccidiosis in poultry is used mainly in broiler, turkey and layer breeder flocks; commercial layer flocks reared on the floor; antibiotic free broiler operations and some commercial turkey grower operations. Vaccinating with a coccidiosis vaccine in conventional broiler operations is increasing rapidly, mainly in a rotational programme with anticoccidials, aiming at restoring the sensitivity of the anticoccidials. Whatever the reason for vaccinating with a coccidiosis vaccine, attention to some critical factors will determine the level of success of establishing immunity against coccidiosis. The Eimeria parasites given during the vaccination, infects the intestinal cells and continues its life cycle inside the gut. Un sporulated oocysts are excreted after 5-7 days, time depending on the species; the oocysts then sporulate outside the bird, given suitable environmental conditions exists, and after re-ingestion of these sporulated oocysts, infection and another cycle starts. Immunity development is dependent on successful excretion of oocysts and then re-ingestion of these sporulated, shed oocysts. Depending on the species, 2-3 infection – excretion – re-ingestion – re-infection – excretion cycles are needed to acquire a protective immunity. The vaccination process and the subsequent development of immunity, irrespective of the application method, can thus be divided in two distinct areas:Vaccine application – ensuring uptake of the vaccine . Post vaccination management include ; ensuring suitable environmental conditions for sporulation exists and recycling of the sporulated oocysts takes place. The necessary procedures to actually check the vaccine uptake by the birds must be implemented. Adding a suitable dye to the vaccine makes this possible by randomly checking boxes/crates of chicks/poults and see if they actually did ingest the vaccine by counting the number of chicks/poults in the box/crate with a dye colored tongue . . Recycling of oocysts and monitoring Oocyst shedding can be measured by sending faecal samples to a lab that is capable of doing an Oocyst Per Gram (OPG) count. Faecal material (NOT bedding) is collected at specific intervals post vaccination: Chickens at days 7/14/21/28 post vaccination Turkeys at days 6/13/20/27 post vaccination. The first count should be positive. This is a very good indicator of the effectiveness of the vaccine application done in the hatchery as well as an indicator that the vaccine that was used was still infective. The second count should show a significant increase. This is used as an indicator that the shed oocysts sporulated and re-ingestion of these shed oocysts have taken place. Read more ;world poultry.


Elanco Animal Health recently released findings from its fourth Bacterial Enteritis Global Impact Assessment (BEGIA), providing interesting insights into ongoing trends of a disease that continues to have important impact on our industry. Diarrhoea and wet litter continue to be the signs most often associated with emerging cases of Bacterial enteritis. The 15 years of survey data shows that prevalence and economic loss continue, while early intervention becomes a more favored strategy as the years progress.This year's results confirm those from past surveys: BE continues to be very prevalent and affect productivity and profitability. However, the 2015 survey also found some interesting new trends in treatment initiation, perhaps as a way to mitigate these effects. Diarrhea and wet litter continue to be the signs most often associated with emerging cases of BE (as found in 2005 and 2010), and necropsy and clinical observation are still the preferred methods for diagnosing BE. High percentages of respondents associate coccidiosis with increased prevalence and severity of BE . Most respondents agree that preventing coccidiosis reduces issues at processing .The vast majority of respondents agree that BE prevalence and severity increase when coccidiosis is present. The respondents were asked to look at photos of intestinal lesions and assess at what stage of illness they believe economic damage was likely to occur. About half of respondents said they believe economic losses begin at the earliest stage, an increase of nearly 5% compared to 2010 .Survey participants also seem to be trending toward earlier flock treatment, with most indicating they would initiate treatment when 5-20% of the flock is infected (Figure 8). In 2010, respondents favoured treatment when 20-30% of the flock was infected. Treatment options remain the same;More than 75% of the survey participants indicated that their end-customers (retailers, slaughterhouses, exporters, etc.) preferred a preventive approach to managing disease. When it comes to preventing BE, respondents find water treatment and growth-promoting feed additives the most effective options, this trend that hasn't changed since 2010 . story credit; World poultry.


Distillers Dried Grain with Solubles (DDGS) is the result of extracting ethanol from grains through dry milling.The corn kernel, which is a source of food for humans and animals, its also a source of ethanol, a fuel source. Dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) offer nutrients and energy, DDGS can be sourced from corn, rice, wheat, sorghum and are highly useful for livestock and poultry. Ethanol producers only use the carbohydrate fraction of the corn kernel. The protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins are returned to the animal food system in the form of distillers’ grains which are fed to beef cows and swine.This results in millions of tons of high protein animal feed and although 40% of the crop is often cited as the amount of corn used for making ethanol . DDGS derived from corn is an excellent feed ingredient for use in layer, broiler, duck and turkey diets and contains approximately 85% of the energy value in corn, has moderate levels of protein and essential amino acids, and is high in available phosphorus. DDGS from corn in the ethanol industry are considered to be waste,(distillers) but can still have a use as a feed ingredient. It is a very cheap source of crude protein, crude fibre, available phosphorous, unsaturated fatty acids and essential amino acids. This is an effective alternative to soya and corn in the poultry diet with the added benefit that it reduces feed costs by replacing soya in the diet as the price of soya is very high . The inclusion of DDGS in poultry diet has many advantages; birds fed with DDGS have a better feed intake, feed conversion ratio, body weight gain. The DDGS inclusion improves meat and egg quality by enriching it with omega-3 fatty acids (Linoleic acid) which is good for heart patients. There is improved phosphorous availability and therefore there is less phosphorous excretion.This prevents environmental pollution due to high phosphorous bio availability and less exogenous phosphorous is supplemented and this reduces the feed cost.

DDGS and enzymes make a good mix in broiler diets.

Distillers Dried Grain with Solubles (DDGS) is the result of extracting ethanol from grains through dry milling. The average level of protein contained in the DDGS is 26% (as fed). The level of total Lysine is higher than in corns with low digestibility (60-70%). In the case of sulphur amino acids, the digestibility is a little bit higher (70-75%). If we take a finisher standard diet for broilers (28-42 days for birds) based on corn and soy with a 15% inclusion of DDGS as an example, the level of protein in the diet is nearly 20%, with digestible lysine that represents 5% of the total and moderated levels of sulphur amino acids and threonine digestible (12% and 13% respectively). The content of unsaturated fat is high (5-10%). The hydrolysis process and the drying to which the product is submitted increases the concentration of free fatty acids. Between different authors, the ME can vary between 2,600 and 2,950 Kcal, depending fundamentally on the composition, processes and digestibility coefficients from different fractions. The content of total phosphorus is high, with high availability, resulting in 0.45-0.55% of avail-able phosphorus. They can also contain high levels of xanthophyll, which can improve pigmentation; up to 35 mg/kg were found in DDGS. The levels of crude fibre obtained analytically are in excess of 10%. Almost all the starch has been converted to ethanol, so that a big concentration of non-starch polysaccharides and especially cell-wall components exists. This is why the use of exogenous enzymes is presented as an alternative; to increase the efficient use of nutrients in diets formulated with DDGS. DDGS can be a good alternative ingredient in diets for broilers. Its use in combination with a multi-enzymatic complex, combined with an extra dose of phytase, can help to achieve optimal performance. A few trials, conducted in Argentina, are described here; In the first assay, 640 male broilers were distributed between 32 floor pens according to a randomised, complete block design. With 20 birds per pen, it consisted of four treatments with diets containing 15% of DDGS: A-diet with a normal energy level; B-diet with a low level of energy (-150Kcal) and a 50g dose of multi-enzymatic complex (xylanase, amylase and protease); C-diet with a low level of energy (-150Kcal) and a 100g dose of multi-enzymatic complex (xylanase, amylase and protease); D-diet with a normal energy level and 100g dose of a bacterial phytase (dose equal to 1,000 FTU). The feeding plan consisted of a pre-starter for up to 10 days, a starter from 11 to 21 days, and a finisher up to 42 days. Although statistical differences were not found with the statistical methods used, numerically speaking, the diets formulated with DDGS with a low level of energy and the addition of multi-enzymatic complex resulted in higher body weight (Table 1) and less feed conversion than DDGS diets with normal levels of energy without the addition of enzymes. The DDGS used contained 10% crude fibre. The addition of multi-enzymatic complex increased the digestibility of diets with a greater fibre content. The addition of 1,000 FTU of phytase (750 FTU formulated and 250 FT on top) to DDGS diets with normal levels of energy resulted in better weight and less feed conversion than the rest of the treatments. The addition of an extra dose of phytase would allow benefits to be gained from other nutrients, not only phosphorus. read more about research ;


Wet weather can lead to low quality silage, in turn a potential cause of Sub Acute Ruminal Acidosis in dairy cows. Managing silage quality therefore is paramount. Good quality forage should always be the basis of any ration, and when quality and/or quantity of forage dry matter intake is reduced, then cows can struggle to perform.

Cows can also have a higher risk of Sub Acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA), especially if the shortfall in forage energy intake is being met with higher levels of starchy cereals .

Studies have shown that SARA can be responsible for a loss in milk yield of up to 3 litres/cow/day. Paul Sloan, a nutritionist said "A ration done on a computer is no substitute for getting in among the cows."“It’s even more important to get the best out of the total ration and in particular producers need to make the best use of their silage.”

It is important to walk through the cows regularly and observe their behaviour at both feeding and resting times, as this can tell you a lot about how the ration is performing.

 Blends need to be correctly balanced with good levels of cereals to drive performance, and they should contain only quality raw materials with no filler type feeds.

Getting the right level of energy and starch is important, and maize meal is a key ingredient as it has lower starch degradability to help reduce acid loading in the rumen.

Good fiber sources such as soya hulls and sugar beet pulp should also be included to help balance the ration and maintain rumen health.

Sloan says, “Maintaining rumen health is the key and we have added live yeast to most of our rations this winter to help promote rumen function.

Live yeast improves fiber digestion and with the higher levels of fiber in this year’s silage the yeast is an important addition. The live yeast also helps reduce levels of lactic acid in the rumen, therefore helping to reduce the acid loading and maintain a healthier rumen environment.

 By taking this approach we have also seen significant reductions in laminitis-related feet problems.” Researchers Krause and Oetzel (2006) have shown that when frequent bouts of SARA occur, it can increase the risk of damage to the lining of the rumen wall.

 As pH drops, the normal balance of the rumen flora is disrupted and gram negative bacteria lyse, releasing endotoxins.

 As a result of the damaged rumen lining, bacteria and toxins from the rumen can then easily enter the blood stream which can lead to liver damage and an inflammatory response within the animal.

These toxins in the blood stream can also increase the risk of laminitis .Live yeast can help to reduce the risk of SARA occurring by helping to maintain the rumen pH at a higher level

.In addition to helping stabilize and raise rumen pH, live yeast will scavenge oxygen in the rumen, making the conditions more anaerobic, and certain nutrients are also produced by the yeast which helps to stimulate fiber digestion. story credit; all about feed.


. Yeasts vary greatly, not only in their unique genetic strains, but also in the way they are produced, cultured, used and the extent to which they can be beneficial.

Live yeast is increasingly used in animal nutrition. It is critical that newborn animals rapidly get colostrum after birth, to provide immunity as well as much-needed nutrients and to ensure a good start in life.

In addition to good farm practices and feed formulation, the addition of live yeast to the feed of the mother has positive short as well as long-term effects on suckling animals.

The feeding of young animals is fundamental to ensuring their growth and the development of their immune system and also has a significant impact on their future production. Attention must be given to nutrition of gestating and ­lactating females to ensure that the nutrition of the suckling animal is ­optimized.

 In fact, if immunoglobulin transfer from mother animals to their progeny is not sufficient during lactation, growing animals will become very sensitive to pathological issues such as intestinal bacteria inducing diarrhoea.

Colostrum (and milk) quality in terms of immune protection and nutritional value will also impact the growth rate of the young animals and then its future growth capacity.

 To ensure a good transfer of immunity, attention must paid to the immune system of the mother and the immune quality of the colostrum (immunoglobulin content) and on achieving a good intake of colostrum by the newborn (quantity ingested and early ingestion post-partum).

 A few weeks before ­giving birth, the immune system of gestating and lactating females has to be well stimulated to have a good synthesis of immunoglobulins, which will then be transferred to the mammary gland.

This immunoglobulin content in the colostrum can be very variable depending on different parameters including live yeast ­supplementation. One way to improve the immunoglobulin content in the colostrum and in the milk is the addition of the live yeast Actisaf (Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sc47) in the feed during gestation and lactation.

It has been proven that, following this approach, the immunoglobulin G (IgG) content is increased in the blood of the gestating female and is then transferred via the colostrum and milk to its progeny. In this way, the immunoglobulin content in the blood of suckling animals is significantly increased with a dose-depending effect.

Live yeast is a natural way to fight against these diarrhoea in newborn. animals.Achieving an optimal growth rate in newborn animals during the suckling period will increase weight at weaning, positively impacting the future growth of the animals.

Read more at; ALL about feed.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Int'l groups launch new global framework to eliminate human rabies;The framework was a joint effort of the WHO, World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Global Alliance for the Control of Rabies (GARC).The effort is to adopt a plan of action that is expected to deliver prompt post-exposure prevention (PEP) for people in rabies endemic areas, as well as a framework for scaling up sustained, large-scale dog vaccination. Rabies occurs in more than 150 countries and territories “Rabies is 100% preventable through vaccination and timely immunization after exposure, but access to post-bite treatment is expensive and is not affordable in many Asian and African countries,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. “Vaccinating 70% of dogs regularly in zones where rabies is present can reduce human cases to zero,” said OIE Director-General Dr. Bernard Vallat. Rabies is a human infection that is transmitted usually through the saliva of an infected animal (most of the time dogs), either through its bite, scratch, or licking of a human's open wounds.It is estimated that worldwide, one person dies from rabies every 10 minutes, based on data from the World Health Organization (WHO). Four out of 10 people bitten by suspected rabid dogs are children below 15. To stop deaths caused by the vaccine-preventable viral disease, the new framework calls for three key actions:Making human vaccines and antibodies affordable Ensuring people who get bitten receive prompt treatment and Mass dog vaccinations to tackle the disease at its source. Philippines among 10 worst rabies-affected countries In the Philippines, 200 to 300 Filipinos die of rabies infection every year, making it among the top 10 countries with the worst rabies problem.For its part, the Philippine government has a National Rabies Prevention and Control Program under the DOH, which aims to eliminate rabies by 2020. Story credit; CNN Philippines.


According to a Mayo Clinic study surveying 150 people, "more respondents perceived their pets to not affect or even benefit rather than hinder their sleep," while "some respondents described feeling secure, content and relaxed when their pet slept nearby." In their research, Krahn's team used interviews and questionnaires to discover how pets in the bedroom affect sleep. Seventy-four of the 150 adults interviewed had at least one pet, and 31 had multiple pets. More than half (56 percent) of pet owners allowed their animal (or animals) to sleep with them in the bedroom or on the bed.Only 15 pet owners (20 percent) considered the pet's presence "disruptive" to their sleep. Some said their pets wandered, snored, whimpered or needed bathroom breaks, for example. One single 51-year-old woman complained that her pet parrot "consistently squawked at 6 a.m.," according to the researchers."A single 64-year-old woman commented that she felt more content when her small dog slept under the covers near her feet," Krahn's group wrote. In addition, they reported that a 50-year-old woman said she did "'not mind when my lovely cat' slept on her chest and another described her cat as 'soothing.'" Some people even said that part of the reason they acquired a dog or cat in the first place was to help them relax at night, and this was especially true for single people or people whose partners often traveled or worked at night.The researchers stressed that having a pet in the bedroom is not always a calming experience, and people should prioritize their need for restful sleep over the need of a pet to be close by. story credit; Health day.


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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Early life factors important for broilers .

Early life conditions such as feed and water availability immediately post hatch and housing conditions may influence immune development and therefore immune reactivity later in life.The current study, done by researchers from the Adaptation Physiology Group at Wageningen University, addressed the consequences of a combination of these 2 early life conditions for immune reactivity, i.e., the specific antibody response towards a non-infectious lung challenge.The researchers conclude that the results from the present study show that early life feeding strategy and housing conditions influence a chick's response to an immune challenge later in life. These 2 early life factors should therefore be taken into account when striving for a balance between disease resistance and performance in poultry. Broilers are better protected against a non-infectious lung challenge when the feed, water and housing was optimum during the early life of the animals. read more about research in journal of poultry science.


Chicks grow and develop at an incredible rate during the first week of hatching. With just 34-42 days from the beginning to end of the broiler production cycle, that makes the right choice of starter feed particularly critical.The importance of a feed that is specially tailored to the needs of chicks up to the age of ten days cannot be understated. The key consideration for the producer is the digestibility of the feed. Both the digestive tract and immune system are highly immature at hatching. So, unless the feed is easy to digest, most of the nutrients will pass through the digestive tract un absorbed and be excreted in the droppings. The chick will then draw energy from the immunoglobulins and unsaturated fatty acids in its yolk sac, leaving little for development and immunity.This is a serious problem for a chick that needs to develop vital organs and quadruple in weight by the time it is seven days old. The fact that chicks can go up to 48 hours from hatching to their first intake of feed is an added pressure.For all these reasons, a sub-optimal feed will only add to the challenges a chick has to overcome. Apart from impairing growth due to poor nutrient absorption, it will increase vulnerability to pathogenic bacteria and viruses, such as Salmonella and Campylobacter. A lot of nutrients are necessary to ensure proper growth. One of the most important of them is protein. Due to its high quality and lower cost than proteins from some animal sources, soy protein is a popular choice. Here, again, digestibility is the key to success. The issue with soy protein in its untreated form is its content of anti-nutritional factors (ANF). Though not a problem for older broilers, in the immature digestive system of a newly hatched chick ANF have a direct negative impact on protein absorption – and the chick's potential for healthy growth,the answer is reduction of the anti-nutritional factors to a very low level, while maintaining the nutritious protein components intact. An optimized starter feed that takes the immature digestive systems of hatchlings into account is another step in the ongoing optimization process, and also the reduction in rearing time. story credit; world poultry.


A large number of swine-producing 
countries have eradicated the presence of pseudorabies, also known as Aujeszky’s Disease. Aujeszky’s Disease can be found throughout the world, especially in regions with dense swine populations including South America, Asia and Europe. Countries such as Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and the United States have eradicated the disease from their domestic swine populations in the late nineties. China on the other hand has experienced an unprecedented outbreak since 2011. Vaccination proves to be an important tool to control PRV. Pseudo rabies virus (PRV), the causing agent of Aujeszky’s Disease, is an extremely contagious herpes virus that causes respiratory disease and reproductive problems, including abortions and stillbirths in breeding swine. In piglets, PRV can cause coughing, sneezing, fever, constipation, depression, seizures, ataxia, circling and excess salivation, with mortality in piglets less than one month of age being close to 100%. Occasional death losses in breeding and finishing pigs can also occur. The virus is transmitted through nasal and oral secretions, food, water, and the environment. It can also be carried on vehicle wheels, including tyres or buggy wheels, boots and clothing. The incubation period is commonly two to five days, with nasal and oral excretion and, in adult swine, vaginal, preputial, and/or milk secretion coincident or just preceding any primary symptoms. Additionally, adult Aujeszky positive swine may harbour the virus without showing clear signs. The virus can live in humid air and non-chlorinated water for up to seven hours; and in the soil, on clothing, and faeces for up to two days. Dogs, cats, and racoons can physically transmit the virus between farms, but usually the virus causes death in these animals. PR viruses comprise a single serogroup. However, both vaccine and wild-type viruses can be differentiated into groups by using combinations of physical and biological markers. Vaccination with modified live marker vaccines is a useful tool in controlling the disease and PRV has been eradicated in many countries by the use of modified live vaccines.


Production methods have led to an impressive increase in 
productivity but have also increased iron needs in piglets. A potential iron gap can inhibit growth rates and 
profits significantly thus imposing threat can be eliminated simply by providing iron supplements/injections at early stages of development and over course of the piglet's life. Rapid development in modern swine production is a success , with piglets displaying incredible growth rates in their first weeks of life. However, the increased productivity has increased iron needs in piglets and, thereby, increased the risk of iron deficiency anaemia. Anaemia in piglets is a condition characterized by lack of haemoglobin in the body's red blood cells. Haemoglobin plays an important part in transporting oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body, and when the hemoglobin level is reduced, the body's access to the vital oxygen is reduced. The most common cause of anaemia in piglets is iron deficiency. Iron deficiency occurs when the piglet's own iron stores are depleted or when the exposure to stress conditions either inhibits the build-up of haemoglobin or increases the degradation of haemoglobin in the piglet. A critical time for iron deficiency is at weaning, when iron stores following the initial iron dextran injection in the first days of life may be depleted. The causes of low levels of iron in piglet;Increased litter sizes, result in lower iron stores at birth for the individual piglet and with the increased litter sizes, the already low levels of iron in the sow's milk are diminished to even lower levels. The fast growers are increasingly at risk of developing iron deficiency, as they face an increased risk of depletion of available iron stores due to their accelerated growth rates.The fast growers are often on an all-milk diet which offers a good source of all nutrients required by the piglet, except for iron. Weight gain on an all-milk diet is, therefore, associated with an increased risk of developing iron deficiency, which could eventually lead to iron deficiency anaemia. story credit; pig progress.

How to boost piglet immune response with vitamin D.

The benefits of vitamin D in pig feed go beyond the well-known function of calcium regulation and phosphorus homeostasis and its effect on bone development. Studies are showing that optimizing feed intake of vitamin D can boost piglet immunity in a number of different ways. The post-weaning phase is a critical period in a piglet's life. The development of a strong immune system at this early stage is key to securing its health and future optimum performance. However, a piglet has limited ability to mount and regulate an immune response when it is weaned from the sow at between three and five weeks old in commercial practice. Its immunity needs to develop as the passive protection from the sow's antibodies fade away and viral, bacterial and parasitic infections are at their highest risk. Any compromise to a piglet at this period has repeatedly been shown to impact negatively on its later performance. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient which is routinely added to animal feed, primarily because animals' blood levels of vitamin D vary considerably. It has become the focus of renewed attention by nutritionists and swine producers worldwide in recent years, because of findings that indicate that the benefits of vitamin D go beyond the function of the regulation of calcium and phosphorus homeostasis and its effect on bone development. Vitamin D metabolites control the expression of more than 200 genes through activation of the vitamin D receptor, which regulates or modulates gene expression within the target cell. This gives the vitamin a role in many functions in swine, including immunity, muscle function and reproduction. The vitamin D receptor is not only found in the intestinal enterocyte, the osteoblast, and the renal cells, but it is also found in a wide range of cell types whose function does not relate to calcium metabolism, such as the intestine, pancreas, heart, eye, brain, thyroid, parathyroid, muscle, or immune cells. The newborn piglet is exposed to a vast array of antigens from the moment it is born. It relies on maternally-derived immunity for protection, until it develops its own active immunity. Prior to weaning, sow's milk provides most of the nutrients that the piglet will receive for maximal growth and health. However, sow's milk provides little vitamin D. Supplementing sows with vitamin D before birth could provide a nutritional strategy to increase vitamin D status of the piglet, through placental transport or via sow's milk. story credit; pig progress.

"African Swine Fever is a man-made disease"

Dr Klaus Depner and Dr Sandra Blome, of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut in Germany have new insights about the virus , they have studied cases and are of the opinion that “Most problems are a matter of human misbehavior.”

 African Swine Fever, it should be that the major threat with regard to the virus is not the virus itself, but how humans deal with it.Trials at the FLI showed that there is no difference in the way the ASF virus affects wild boars or domestic pigs.

Logically, one of the major questions that the researchers had when ASF was introduced in 2007 in the Caucasus was: how would the virus spread and behave in wild boars? Depner: “Essentially, we had two hypotheses.

The first one was that the disease in wild boars would die out due to the high virulence of the virus.”Blome: “Roughly, the animals get sick four days after infection.”Depner: “Usually death will follow within three to six days, .

This means that almost all infected hosts will die very quickly, which means that the virus will cease to exist very soon because it kills its host.

In that case, we would not have to worry, ASF would do its job extinguishing itself.”Blome, however, points to the fact that ASF virus is not that contagious. High viral loads are found in blood, but saliva or faeces contain less virus:

“We overestimated the contagiousness of African Swine Fever. The disease moves very slowly. When looking at affected wild boar populations, most of them have not been significantly reduced. The virus doesn’t spread that quickly at all.” Blome adds, “Wild boars shed the virus mainly when they are very sick and in the final stage of the disease.

When the animals have high fever it’s in their character to stay where they are, and they are certainly not going to walk very far when they feel bad.”Depner: “So what we have here is a virus that is very stable in its environment without fast movement. It neither dies out, nor moves.

 Undisposed carcasses of infected wild boars remain infectious for a long time in the environment and become a source of infection for healthy animals.” The human factor; its usually a case of human misbehavior. What happened is that infected meat made it to the market.

When many pigs started to die, they were sent to slaughter. Pig prices dropped, cheap meat entered the market and the meat made its way into homes – and into suitcases. This is how the virus dispersed.

 The virus spread along the main roads, the transport routes. This spread bears a 100% human mark.” Humans can be identified as having aggravated the situation ever since as well.

 Since wild boars have often been thought to be spreading the virus, in several countries attempts were launched to eradicate them – Poor bio security protocols have also been identified as cause of spread of the virus.

Bio security measures include the following; Changing clothes, working hygienically and making sure nothing from the outside reaches the inside.

 Story credit; world poultry.


A team of researchers from US University of Delaware traveled to Africa in 2012 to search for exemplary chickens that could survive a hotter planet. The purpose was to develop new breeds of farm animals that can stand up to the hazards of global warming. Heat-resistant breeds of farm animals will be essential to feeding the world as climate change takes hold. This means that efforts such as trying to map the genetic code of African naked-neck chickens to find out if their ability to withstand heat can be bred into broiler flocks.Warmer temperatures can cause a lot of problems for animals like turkeys as these are vulnerable to a condition that makes their breast meat mushy and unappetizing. Turkeys are not heat tolerant at all, and when heat waves strike their breast muscles problems. According to Gale Strasburg, a professor of food science and human nutrition at Michigan State University Within a day or two after the heat wave hits, you will go from there being no problem at all on a farm to 40% of turkey breasts having a problem. Heat waves and temperature changes linked to breed susceptibility are points of focus for research on producing more heat resistant breeds to ensure food security.Work is ongoing on breeding techniques to incorporate the heat tolerant strains into lines of production.


The demand for healthier safety-proven production methods and the trend to reduce antibiotic uses is undeniable, and is steadily expanding. Simultaneously, the increasing ineffectiveness of antibiotics due to resistance 
development is another concern. The concern about antibiotic residues in meat products is solved in many countries, but the bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a much more complex problem, involving the entire medical profession. In animal production—poultry production in particular :ceasing the use of antibiotics as growth promoters has changed the technical approaches used to counter the removal or reduction of these products. Without antibiotics, the microbiota in the birds’ gastrointestinal tract must be viewed as an entity to implant, develop and control to ensure that the animals are healthy and can grow according to their genetic potential. The removal of antibiotic growth promoters has revealed that it is crucial to manage the makeup of the birds' intestinal microbiota to avoid or at least limit the risks of health problems inherent to intensive production, hence alternatives are necessary to ensure health of birds and food safety. The main strategies can be outlined as follows: Selectively introduce favourable bacterial populations from a very young age; Provide a regular supply of nutrients specific to the beneficial bacteria; Act directly on pathogenic bacteria. Different methods are available, such as the dietary supplementation with probiotics, prebiotics, organic acids and essential oils. These products act either avoiding bacterial adhesion to the intestinal cells or through bactericidal or bacteriostatic effects. The goal is to achieve the most stable balance on the microbiota in order to avoid the trouble caused by bacteria like E. coli, Clostridium and Salmonella. The gastrointestinal microbiota profile depends on numerous factors such as the health of the breeding stock, production system, stressors (vaccination, viral episodes, etc.), nutrition and stocking densities. The first bacteria to colonise the animals’ digestive tract will shape the intestinal ecosystem for the introduction of global intestinal microbiota. Selectively colonising the gastointestinal tract with beneficial bacteria can modulate the expression of certain genes in the tract’s epithelium, creating conditions for establishing beneficial microbiota. Since the first micro-organisms that come into contact with a newly hatched chick’s gastrointestinal tract are from the breeding stock, controlling the microbiota in the parents would be ideal. Studies have demonstrated that the use of beneficial bacteria in low doses in the hatchery improves chicks’ resistance to pathogens. Other studies have validated that an in-ovo injection of FOS (fructooligosaccharide) helps maintaining higher levels of bifidobacters, with positive effects on zootechnical performance and mortality rate. Most of the microbial strains in probiotics are of the genus Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus. In certain conditions, lactobacilli can produce metabolites that limit the growth of Salmonella by modulating immunity and avoiding bacterial binding to the epithelial cells of the intestine. However, according to some publications, this type of effect is limited. In poultry production, interactions between the birds’ feed and their intestinal health have been amply demonstrated. In the past, the use of antibiotic growth enhancers had the potential to mask a number of problems. In the field, functional diet-based strategies need to be adapted to the different sanitary and production contexts for each production system. Selectively introducing favourable bacterial populations for young chicks, providing a regular supply of nutritious substrates specific to the beneficial bacteria and effectively controlling pathogenic bacteria are important courses of action to ensure the intestinal health of the birds via their feed. Prebiotics, enzymes, and combinations of organic acids and essential oils can be viable alternatives to antimicrobials. story credit; world poultry.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Strategies for improving broiler feed conversion.

Studies carried out on broilers and finishing pigs have allowed the identification of feeding strategies that improve Feed Conversion Efficiency (FCE) in monogastrics. That was reported in a recent press release by the Catalan research institute dedicated to agri-food research & development (IRTA), headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. Efficient use of nutrients;regarding nutritional conditioning, tests in broiler chickens revealed that the use of diets that are limiting in specific nutrients during the first days of life improves the efficiency of use of such nutrients later in life. In the case of phosphorus, it has been observed that conditioning for this nutrient has a positive effect on bone mineralisation, while conditioning for methionine improves feed efficiency in subsequent stages. Preliminary tests were also out with a wide range of combinations of exogenous enzymes with the purpose of identifying those with a higher potential of improving FCE to be studied in the future. This work will further contribute to improved knowledge on how to optimise feeding strategies for pigs and broiler chickens such that feed efficiency is maximised and ecological footprint minimised. FCE is one of the key factors in cost-efficiency of production. For this reason European scientists are working on the ECO-FCE project, aimed at proposing strategies to optimise feed efficiency in monogastrics, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen and phosphorus excretion story credit; world poultry.

Link between eggshell colour and disease resistance.

Selection for a recently discovered immune characteristic is a potential strategy to improve general disease resistance in laying hens and thus to breed for a more robust chicken, conclude researchers of Wageningen University in PLOS ONE and Poultry Science. In addition, selection for this immune characteristic has minimal negative consequences on production, but surprisingly might have an effect on eggshell colour. The current housings systems in the poultry industry increase the spread of diseases by housing large flocks of chickens on sand. These circumstances require a robust laying hen. In 2012, housing of chicken in individual cages was banned in the EU, because of welfare issues. Nowadays, chickens are group housed on sand with space to move around freely. New challenges to keeping poultry;However, this new system also brings new challenges to keeping poultry: in this new system chickens get more easily infected through sick flock mates, or through the dirtier environment. Preventing or treating these infections is becoming more difficult, due to stringent legislations and limitations set on the use of antibiotics.There is an increased need for a robust laying hen: a chicken that maintains egg production and health, under varying and challenging environments. Breeding for improved general disease resistance could be that strategy to get this robust chicken. Breeding for disease resistance;To investigate the potential of selection for increased general disease resistance, the researchers measured NAb levels of almost 3,700 purebred ISA laying chickens. They measured total NAb levels, and NAb levels for different forms of antibodies. Heritabilities were estimated to be 0.12 for total NAb levels, and between 0.07 and 0.14 for the different NAb forms.In addition, relations between the different forms of antibodies were very high. Tom Berghof, involved in the studies, explains: "This show that there is genetic potential for selection on NAb levels. Also, it is possible to select for different forms of NAb simultaneously, because they seem to be mainly regulated by the same genes." Effect on production;Relations between immune characteristics and production characteristics have been described before in several species, and are often negative. This is in line with the resource allocation theory, which states that energy spend on immunity cannot be spend on, for example, growth. Relations between NAb and production characteristics of almost 2,400 hens were studied.Most production characteristics were found not to be regulated by the same genes as NAb. However, a small negative relation was found between egg production efficiency and one NAb form. Berghof and colleagues conclude that selection for NAb might have some negative effects on production, but these negative effects seem to be small. Eggshell colour;Remarkably, one form of NAb was found to be associated to the mother's eggshell colour and egg breaking strength. Additional analyses were done in order to get more insight in the origin of these maternal effects. Berghof states: "If eggs had a whiter eggshell, than NAb levels in the offspring were higher. If eggs had a stronger eggshell, than NAb levels in the offspring were lower. So it seems that there is some kind of relation between the eggshell and the immune system, especially for the eggshell colour." At this moment the researchers are investigating this relation, since this was never described in chickens before. Read more ; World poultry.

Melon based antioxidant for poultry drinking water.

Antioxidant supplementation is highly recommended during growth and key stages of production involving increased stress (weaning, vaccination, transport, heat stress and reproduction among others). Lallemand Animal Nutrition has developed a product based on melon extract and It is now also available for drinking water. We already know Mother Nature knows best and the best solutions often come from nature. Think of the powerful plant extracts and essential oils that are often used as feed additives. But also the juice extract from some specific kinds of melons (with an extremely long shelf-life) posses great characteristics and thus potential for animal diets. It was found that some types of melons have extremely high level of antioxidant enzymes, known as superoxyde dismutase (SOD). This acts as an antioxidant; an ingredient that has great demand in modern livestock breeding conditions. Improved zootechnical performance;Lallemand Animal Nutrition has used this knowledge to develop a novel feed additive Melofeed and together with Bionov released it to the animal feed market. Trials (at INRA among others) have showed great results in different animal species. For example, it can reduce the level of somatic cells count in the milk of dairy cows. In combination with organic selenium and Vitamin E, the melon additive decreased the number of downgraded eggs at farm level, improving the number of hatching eggs and raising the number of pullet sold, as shown in a hatchery trial in France. Also in combination with organic selenium the melon additive reduced piglet mortality. Drinking water;Initially only available as solid feed additive, Lallemand Animal Nutrition has now added a water-dispersible form of the antioxidant solution for use in the drinking water of all animal species (Melofeed Drink). According to Lallemand, this product is tested in farm trials with poultry, piglets and rabbits. Because this liquid version is stable in water for 24 hours, it ensures homogenous concentration of SOD. "This new solution facilitates a flexible application of the antioxidant source, allowing rapid intervention at times of high oxidative challenges such as heat stress, vaccination, pathogen challenges and more", explains Lallemand. Story credit;World poultry.

Improving genetic resources through gene bank management.

The European Commission has selected the IMAGE project (Innovative Management of Animal Genetic Resources) for grant preparation and funding by the Horizon-2020 programme. The aim of IMAGE is to upgrade animal gene bank management and to enhance the use of genetic collections. IMAGE will enhance the accessibility of collection information and will improve the quality of gene bank collections. Genetic diversity in gene bank collections and live populations will be analysed using dense SNP marker and sequence information. Cryoconservation and reproduction technologies; Methods and software for better conservation and use of genetic diversity will be further improved making use of dense marker information. Besides genetic aspects, IMAGE will also further improve cryoconservation and reproduction technologies for different farm animal species. Strengthening of gene bank infrastructure; A variety of stakeholders (gene banks, breeding organisations, science, NGOs) participate in IMAGE. The IMAGE project is very important for strengthening of the gene bank infrastructure in Europe and for the conservation and sustainable use of animal genetic resources at European level. The importance of gene banks and gene pools cannot be overemphasized; it plays a key role in food security as very proven strains and traits are passed down to subsequent generations.Genetic engineering, gene typing, artificial insemination and synchronization of estrus all are vital to the food security drive. Read more here;


The year has been filled with spectacular breakthroughs in science especially in animal health and production,also strange discoveries were uncovered.One of the strange occurrence is the calf born with heart in the neck. This rare case was reported by the Observer-reporter Washington Co.;Tom Leech had never seen anything like it in his 15 years living at Longview Farms in Amwell Township. There was something unusual about the newborn Shorthorn bull he brought in from the frigid air one Saturday in March.He warmed up the calf with a blow dryer and electric blanket, which warded off hypothermia. But when he touched his neck, he felt a pulsation. Ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom.It was his heart.!!!.“No one has ever seen it, never heard of it,” said Leech, who owns the family farm with his wife, Debbie. The calf’s mother, G.I. Jane, has birthed healthy calves in the past, and so has the father. None of the calves born at Longview, a cattle-breeding farm, has had any genetic disorders or abnormalities.But the 6-week-old youngster, dubbed Cardio Brisket, is a “unique calf,” Debbie said. Dr. Todd Moores of Wheeling Veterinary Associates has seen two-headed calves before, but never one with a heart in its neck.“I could tell by looking at it. You can see the heart beating right there,” Moores said. “It even makes a noise because there’s fluid around it, so it makes a sloshing noise.”He said Brisket appears to have a defect in his thoracic inlet, and he suspects that his sternum never developed properly. Several ribs may be missing, as well. The opening allowed the heart to prolapse into the neck region, and while it can be pushed down, it just “flops out” again, Tom said. Researchers at the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine offered to take Brisket for testing, but they couldn’t guarantee his survival, so the Leeches declined. Besides, they were starting to consider Brisket a valuable member of their farm family. Brisket stays in the barn, apart from the other 20-some cattle. He is taken out separately during the day to get exercise.“They’re like kids,” Tom said. “They start playing, they start butting, and I’m afraid they’ll butt his chest and could possibly injure his heart.”Moores said it’s hard to tell how long Brisket could live. He has a heart murmur, which could lead to complications when he grows bigger. The Leeches said they will keep him as long as they can, though. They don’t want to take him to the fair and display him like a “circus attraction,” Debbie said, but they wanted to document the case for future reference. Despite the complications, Brisket appears to be getting by. He just started eating grain and has no problem swallowing the food.“He’s healthy, but all the people I’ve talked to said, ‘You’ve got to put him down,’” Tom said. “If he was suffering, we would probably do something with him, but he’s not.” There has been 2 other documented cases of such abnormality ;one in Kentucky in 1903, and another in Turkey, but the date was unknown.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Preventing infection, dehydration helps ensure good chick quality.

It’s well established that good chick quality is a prerequisite for broilers to perform well throughout grow-out. Too often, however, poor chick quality goes unnoticed until excessive first-week mortality is reported. Fortunately, this is a scenario that can be avoided with careful attention to key factors that can impair chick health. We all know that healthy breeder flocks are more likely to produce healthy chicks. So, if the breeder flock is healthy but chick quality is poor or chick mortality is elevated, what’s the reason? In my experience, one common but often-overlooked cause is the way eggs are handled at the hen farm and hatchery. A bacterial infection is usually at the root of poor chick quality and elevated chick mortality, but chicks rarely get infected at the farm — at least during the first week. The infection almost always starts at the hatchery. As long as eggs are not delivered by Cesarean section, they will harbor bacteria, at least on the shell surface. Eggs that are allowed to sweat before hatch, that have a lot of feathers or are left in litter too long or on dirty floor mats can become contaminated with bacteria. Problems at transfer Another source of bacterial contamination — and a common one — occurs during transfer. This is usually due to improper sanitation of either transfer machines or hatcher trays. Transfer from setters to hatchers is more problematic nowadays because it often involves punching a hole in the shell for in ovo vaccine injection. Transfer machines touch every egg hatched in the hatchery and have been associated with poor chick quality if improperly maintained. Antibiotics administered at transfer have been shown to improve flock livability because no hatchery-sanitation program is perfect. However, with mounting pressure to reduce or eliminate the use of antibiotics that are also needed in human medicine, many broiler operations have elected to discontinue using an antibiotic in the hatchery. Poor sanitation and other mis-management practices become more evident as untreated bacteria compromise egg quality and chick health. Regardless of whether an antibiotic is used, there should be procedures in place to ensure that routine maintenance and sanitation of trays are up to par. When bacterial contamination is identified, transfer-equipment suppliers should also be intimately involved in resolving the problem. Animal-health companies provide support services that include evaluation of sanitation practices and preventive parts replacement. Excessive time between transfer from setters to hatchers needs to be avoided. This delay may, in turn, delay embryonic development, leading to “green chicks” being placed before they are physically able to endure environmental stresses. Clean hatcher trays are critical to good chick quality because they are the first surface touched by newly hatched, wet chicks. Most hatcheries realize there is benefit to using a disinfectant in the hatcher during the hatching process. Airflow, humidity control and temperature can either help or hurt chicks. A lot of organic matter is released when chicks hatch. In a warm, moist environment, it becomes an ideal incubator for all types of bacteria and fungi. If the water used to increase humidity is contaminated, chicks can become infected. story credit; poultry health today.

German study links red meat to strokes.

German study links red meat to strokes



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