Zootechnical parameters like weight gain, feed efficiency and final weight are highly significant for economic success in broiler production. Animal health and welfare play a crucial role in meeting the requirements for optimal performance. One indicator for good management practices that promote the animals’ well-being is healthy feet.
Footpad dermatitis is a multifactorial problem that needs to be addressed with a number of management tools. Measures that aim to reduce wet litter are particularly effective, such as avoiding overcrowding, using clean and dry high-quality bedding, ensuring adequate heating and ventilation, optimising drinking equipment, water management and water quality and, of course, providing an optimal supply of feed and nutrients.
What can Anta®Phyt do?
Poor gut health and bacterial infections both have a significant impact on faeces consistency. Pathogens may cause diarrhoea and wet litter, increasing the risk of footpad dermatitis. Previous studies have shown that adding the powerful plant-based formulation Anta®Phyt to the feed has a beneficial effect on the intestinal flora, for example, by promoting bifidobacteria and consequently improving gut health.
In a feeding trial with broilers, the effect of Anta®Phyt on the caecal microbiota of broiler chicks was evaluated at three points during the production cycle. The result: Anta®Phyt decreased the relative abundance of E. coli in the caecum (figure 1).
Figure 1: Anta®Phyt decreases the relative abundance of E. Coli in the caecum of broilers compared to a negative control (NC) (Koniezcka et al., 2020, personal communication)
In the same trial, Anta®Phyt also positively affected the condition of the footpad, which was assessed using a recognised scoring system (figure 2). The proportion of healthy feet in the Anta®Phyt group was higher than that in the negative control (NC), while the proportion of footpads with mild and severe lesions was reduced. Compared to the NC, Anta®Phyt substantially reduced the occurrence of severe lesions (-25%).
Figure 2: Anta®Phyt improves the scores for footpad dermatitis in broilers
These benefits are largely due to the positive impact of Anta®Phyt on gut health, and the shift from potentially pathogenic bacteria to positive lactoflora.
Consequently, Anta®Phyt gives you the leverage you need to combat footpad dermatitis and positively affect your animals’ welfare and your profit.