Effect of an intestinal optimizer in laying hens
An intestinal optimizer is a product of natural origin rich in pronutrients that improve the local immune response of the intestine and help to prevent coccidiosis. It is not a pharmacological product, does not create resistances, does not leave residues and, therefore, can be administered during the whole productive cycle without withdrawal period, unlike chemical coccidiostats.
The trial was conducted in Romania between 2017 and 2018 with Isa Brown laying hens, and was aimed at preventing coccidiosis and minimizing economic losses related to the disease through the use of an intestinal optimizer.
The trial was conducted in a farm that suffered outbreaks of coccidiosis by E. tenella for 6 years in 22-28 weeks-old hens.
The birds were separated into two batches:
- Batch A (89,433 birds): intestinal optimizer (preventive). An intestinal optimizer was administered at 0.5 kg/t from week 19 to 40 (22 weeks of treatment). Administration of the product with pronutrients started prior to the outbreak of the disease, which means that the intestinal optimizer was used as preventive.
- Batch B (29,250 birds): control with an intestinal optimizer as treatment. This batch did not receive any natural product as prevention of the disease. When coccidiosis outbreak appeared (week 26) and mortality increased, the intestinal optimizer was applied as following:
- Intestinal optimizer (powder premix) in the feed at 0.5 mg/kg for 15 weeks (from week 26 to 40).
- Intestinal optimizer (oral solution) in drinking water at 1 ml/l for the first 7 days after the onset of symptoms.
The evaluated parameters were: weekly and accumulated egg production (%) (Housed Hen Egg), presence of coccidiosis lesions and weekly and accumulated mortality rate.
Regarding egg production (%), the batch using the intestinal optimizer as preventive showed a normal egg production (not affected by the disease) that even exceeded the breed standard (Chart 1).
In contrast, in the control (treatment) group, which suffered the coccidiosis outbreak, pronutrients can recover the productive performance, although they are not quite as high as in the other group (Chart 2).
The same situation was observed if the number of housed hen eggs (H.H.E.) of both bathes are compared (Chart 3).
Regarding mortality, the peak produced by cecal coccidiosis due to E. tenella in the control group can be seen in chart 4. The outbreak caused fibrino-necrotic or hemorrhagic lesions with a score of 3 to 5.
To conclude, the use of an intestinal optimizer in a batch as a preventive for coccidiosis:
- Avoided a coccidiosis outbreak, while the control group suffered the disease.
- Allowed to gain 4.98% eggs (24.3 eggs) more per housed bird compared to the control group (at week 40).
- Obtained similar production to breed standards.
- Decreased mortality by 1.32 points compared to the control batch.
On the other hand, intestinal optimizers to treat a coccidiosis outbreak could recover the productive parameters, which were similar to those of the standard, although results were not as good as in the preventive group.
In general, this trial shows that intestinal optimizers (pronutrients) are a natural solution for the prevention and treatment of coccidiosis. Results also show that prevention is more efficient that treatment.
This optimizer of the intestinal mucosa is commercially available under the trademark Alquernat Zycox.