In recent years, it has been established that a healthy gut is the single most important precondition for transforming nutrients into performance. Feed additives such as acidifiers, probiotics and phytogenics do influence gut health and performance. Optimising gut health is key to improving animal performance. Animals need support so as to develop and maintain healthy microflora in their intestinal tract. What is gut performance?
The gut is a highly complex system that acts differently across livestock species It is the most extensively exposed surface in the body and therefore the most important barrier between the internal and external environments Thus, it is very vulnerable to bacteria and contaminants ingested along with feed and water The gut and its microbial inhabitants work together to digest (mechanical, enzymatic and microbial fragmentation of complex structures to low molecular substances), to selectively absorb nutrients and bioactive substances, to provide defence mechanisms against enteropathogens, to contribute to the endocrine system, and to provide immunological defence mechanisms A healthy gut is a tool to enhance performance of the animals and as such brings economic benefits. Gut disorders can have huge effects on the health and performance of the animals Therefore, it is important to find ways to mitigate negative impacts and to prevent a decline in performance
Definition of gut performance management
• To improve gut efficiency
• To prevent gastrointestinal disorders and related sideeffects
• To re-establish gut integrity after a dysfunction
Why focus on gut performance?
Gut health is a fundamental precondition for cost-efficient and environmentally sound livestock production Biomin, a leader in animal nutrition and health, develops innovative and sustainable solutions so as to achieve better gut performance across different animal species Feed efficiency Feed conversion ratio (FCR) is a very important parameter in animal production, since it shows the animals’ efficiency in converting feed into food from animal origin It is also an important measure in terms of profitability. A healthy gut plays a key role in feed efficiency, since it uses less energy for immune defence work and renewal of the gut epithelium, so that more energy is available for growth Further, a healthy balance with the symbiotic bacteria in the gut helps to reduce susceptibility to digestive disorders, allowing animals to perform better Increased gut integrity is also associated with a higher surface area of the villi, which improves nutrient absorption so that more nutrients can be utilised from feed. However, feed efficiency is not simply a key parameter for profitability; it also plays an important role in the sustainable use of grains and protein sources. Thus, improved feed efficiency not only means better nutrient digestibility, but also less manure and emissioproduction
Bacteria resistance and the banning of AGPs In the past, antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) have been widely used in animal production to prevent gastrointestinal disorders and to enhance performance However, the constant use of low-dose antibiotics in food-producing animals’ diets was identified as hazardous to human health and has been linked to the emerging global health crisis of antibiotic resistance When AGPs are administered continuously over longer periods, the risk of the development of antimicrobial resistance in bacterial populations is high, which can lead to failures of curing effects in veterinary and human medicine For this reason, the EU banned the use of AGPs in livestock production in January 2006 and linked antibiotics use to veterinary prescription Several other countries also tightened the rules governing antibiotics in food-producing animals Also, consumers’ acceptance of routine AGP usage in animal nutrition is declining worldwide However, as a result of the withdrawal of AGPs, impacts on performance and health status can be expected, which present an economic drawback in today’s competitive environment.
Since antibiotics are no longer accepted as growth-promoting substances, a new generation of growth promoters had to follow. These natural substances are healthy, safe and powerful ways to support gut performance by increasing enzyme and mucus secretion, balancing the microbial flora, and modulating target genes in the gut.Their incorporation into animal diets helps us to prevent gastrointestinal malfunctions, to re-establish eubisosis and to improve gut efficiency, thereby enhancing animal production and performance.
Sustainability and profitability.
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.Sustainability comprises efficiency, environment and economy. Gut performance can positively influence all of these.
Efficiency generally describes the extent of the time, effort or cost used for a certain task or purpose.Regarding animal production, for instance, a higher average daily gain, a better feed conversion rate and higher milk production are important parameters to be efficient and economical. Profitability is the primary target; price and feed costs play primary roles. Yet, the main influencing factor remains animal performance level and feed utilisation.
Thus, better production efficiency often results in a better utilisation of nutrients, which results in less nutrients in excretions. Moreover, this means lower environmental pollution via a better utilisation of protein and lower carbon emission per unit produced.
How will the gut performance strategy be implemented?
Biomin has been developing gut performance products and antibiotic-free feed concepts for more than 20 years.Supporting livestock gut performance has always been the overall objective of Biomin’s probiotics, acidifiers and phytogenics. Today, Biomin has bundled these activities into its gut performance strategy.
Biomin’s gut performance management products
Biomin PEP®: Better digestion for better feed efficiency. The feed converter Biomin PEP® is a specifically formulated phytogenic product designed to support digestion and feed efficiency by combining unique flavouring properties with biologically active properties.Biomin PEP® is suitable for use in poultry, pig, ruminant, fish and shrimp feed as well as companion animal diets.
Biotronic®: The solution for dynamic acidification.
The Biotronic® line combines selected organic acids and their salts, as well as the Biomin innovative permeabilising substance, fully utilising a unique synergism in their mode of action. Biomin’s permeabilising substance boosts the antimicrobial activity of the active ingredients and facilitates their entry by permeating the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. The Biotronic® line is suitable for incorporation into the diets of poultry, swine, calves and fish.
Better gut performance leads to less scours, fewer treatments and fewer fallback pigs, which can mean an increase in full-valued pigs to the market. In addition, fewer treatments and better overall health also improve animal welfare and reduce labour time and the costs of individual treatments.