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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Implications of Litter Management in an Antibiotic Free Program.

Implications of Litter Management in an Antibiotic Free Program. The increasing number of antibiotic free (ABF) broiler facilities, there are a lot of opinions about how to be successful. While there are varying opinions about products that can take the place of antibiotics for improved health and growth promotion, much of the industry is in agreement that without antibiotics the role of house management becomes more crucial for success. While growers have been conventionally taught to manage a house from the ceiling down, the removal of antibiotics demands houses be managed from the floor up. It is largely litter condition during a chick’s first seven days of life that impacts health and performance by dictating the type of bacteria that develop in the gut which can greatly influence intestinal flora and the passage of maternal antibodies. Litter management for antibiotic free program has three basic stages: 1) during clean out.2) before placement. 3) during grow-out. While some say it’s best to entirely clean out litter between flocks, the cost, environmental impact and availability of replacement bedding material make that difficult at times. Not to mention that there are some advantages to growing birds on built up litter, such as the ability to better manage cocci load and introduce beneficial bacteria to the gut. If litter has been completely cleaned out, pad acidification will play a crucial role for antibiotic free operations . Pad Acidification Following Clean Out It’s important to understand, the longer birds have been raised in the house, the more ammonia is absorbed into the pad. As the ammonia content of the dirt pad goes up, so does the pH. As the pH shifts to levels above 7.5-8.0, the type of bacteria and other microbes that make up the typical flora of the dirt pad begins to shift into ones that aren’t good for poultry. Implications of Litter Management in an Antibiotic Free Program,continue