From the moment eggs hatch, poultry pick up bacteria from their surroundings, their feed and the people handling them. Much of that bacteria ends up in their GI system, multiplying until they’ve colonized every part of it from the esophagus and the crop to the intestines and cloaca. If commercial farmers are lucky, most of these microbes are beneficial. If not, harmful pathogens can spread through poultry like a wildfire, decimating flocks in the blink of an eye.
More farmers are aware of poultry farming disease management, but they’re not always informed about the essential role the gut plays. Here’s how the right amount of seaweed is shaping up to boost the immune response of commercial poultry.
With all of the different strains of harmful bacteria, it’s critical that producers take action early to give their poultry flock a fighting chance. Poultry farming disease management strategies like spraying disinfectant mists or eliminating disease-carrying pests from housing systems are an excellent start to reduce the source of infection. Yet when poultry does get infected, there’s not much these types of preventative measures can do to prevent a viral spread from bird to bird.
Your best line of defense once viruses like Salmonella, E. coli and Clostridium enter the gut tract is the microfauna within a bird’s gut. When there is a diverse population of bacteria and other microbes throughout poultry’s GI tract, any microscopic invaders will have to compete with a more established colony of microorganisms – some of which even produce anti-microbial properties to hinder the success of pathogens in killing their host. Isn’t mutualism great?
In our previous trials, we had seen how seaweed supplements can increase the healthy gut bacteria and immune response of livestock such as cattle, and we wondered: could we see the same result with poultry? As with most questions, we set up a trial to test the hypothesis.
We started by enriching a standard chick starter ration by swapping out 2% with our Tasco® feed supplement. One-day-old chicks were then inoculated with Salmonella and Campylobacter and were sacrificed after ten days to compare the tissues from their organs and feces against a control group of chicks. The results showed a significant reduction in the amount of both strains of bacteria, which is promising especially since the chicks were still forming their gut biomes.
This offers incredible possibilities for commercial and free-range production birds. Using our seaweed feed supplement in flock disease management can help to create another vital barrier, fortifying the health of these birds throughout their entire lives – from hatched egg to entrée.
It’s time to maximize the results of your poultry farming disease management. Reach out to our team and learn the recommendations for our seaweed feed supplement.