Performance enhancement through the use of diformates in broiler
Gastrointestinal diseases pose a serious threat to industrial poultry breeding. Infections are caused by proliferation of naturally occurring intestinal microorganisms and their subsequent translocation to other organs and tissues of the birds. The consequences are a deterioration of feed conversion ratio, an increase in mortality and fnally a reduc- tion in productivity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) this leads to a markedly increased risk of alimentary toxic infections by consumption of eggs and meat. In the past this hazard was controlled by the preventive use of antibiotics. Since the EU ban on antibiotics in 2006, which at frst led to higher infection rates and lower productivity, new strategies against gastrointestinal diseases in livestock have been developed. One of the new groups of compounds are acidifer. These supplements include organic acids and their salts, including diformates. Recently, a number of stud- ies has proven to enhance nutritional and growth parameters of poultry and thereby economic proftability.
In a new study recently conducted at the All-Russian Scientifc Research and Techno- logical Institute of Poultry Breeding (VNITIP) in Moscow the effects of diformate on per- formance parameters of poultry (livestock viability, live weight, feed consumption, feed conversion ratio and digestibility of nutrients) were examined. In order to fnd out the optimal dosage concerning the mentioned parameters, diformate was tested in three concentrations (0.1, 0.3 and 0.5%). For comparison an acid blend, consisting of mainly formic acid and lactic acid, was employed at the dosage of 0.3%. A negative control group received the basic diet without supplement. Each of the fve treatment groups, 0.1% diformate, 0.3% diformate, 0.5% diformate, 0.3% acid-blend and negative con- trol, consisted of 35 1- to 38-day-old birds. On day 26 and 38 after hatching livestock viability, live weight, feed consumption and feed conversion ratio were determined. In an additional digestibility trial use of proteins and nitrogen was examined.
Addition of diformate was found to enhance individual live weight with increasing dos- age. By the end of the experiment (day 38) male broiler reached a weight gain of 4.69 to 8.86%, whereas female birds had augmented by 3.89 to 6.99% compared to the control group. Treatment with 0.3% acid-blend resulted only in an increment by 4.39% (both sexes, Fig.1). Regarding feed consumption, diformate induced a reduction by 1.5% (dosage: 0.1%), 3.7% (0.3%) and 2.1% (0.5%). Consequently, feed conversion ratio was clearly improved by the use of diformate (5.4 to 11.0%). In comparison, the acid-blend (0.3%) led only to a reduction in feed consumption and feed conversion ratio by 1.2 and 5.2%, respectively. Altogether diformate turned out to be most effective at a dosage of 0.3%. A dosage of 0.1% diformate still proved to be more effective than the competitive acidifer used at a dosage of 0.3%. The digestibility trial has shown that diformate considerably improves nitrogen use.
Table 1: Mean live weight and feed conversion ratio of broiler on day 38 (and % deviation from control group).
Fig. 1: Live weight of broiler cockerels and chicks in fve different treatment groups on day 38 post-hatch (mean±SD).
The present fndings lead to the conclusion that addition of diformate considerably improves performance parameters of poultry by increasing live weight and improving feed convertion ratio, compared against a negative and a positive control. The best results in respect of these parameters were obtained for a dosage of 0.3% diformate.
PUBLICATION DATE: 01/02/2010
AUTHOR: Helen Behn & Christian Lückstädt