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This ongoing efficacy is also borne out by studies in the USA where Maxiban was given continuously for 10 broiler grow- outs over 16 months without loss of performance. In fact, these long-term, continuous use studies indicated that not rotating Maxiban yielded better performance results for FCR, I2


, lesion scores, oocyst shedding and weight gain


(Figure 2). It is not just microbial infections that are detrimental to the intestinal integrity of broiler flocks. It is also important to evaluate, and manage, the inflammatory effect that typical broiler diets can have on the intestines the broilers during the grow-out period.


The impact of broiler feeds on gut health Typical broiler diets contain antinutritive factors called ß-mannans that are derived from the soya beans processed to make the feed. These β-mannans provoke an innate immune response, that causes intestinal inflammation with a consequent negative impact on both gut health and broiler performance. This Feed Induced Immune Response (FIIR) diverts vital energy away from cell repair and growth which, in turn, reduces animal performance overall. Even in good commercial production conditions, β-mannans have been


observed to have the following costly impacts: ● 1-5 % higher incidence of conditions related to intestinal


health ● Increased susceptibility to infections ● 3.4% higher incidence of pododermatitis ● Higher need for antibiotic treatment ● Up to 3% loss of metabolisable energy (about 90 kcal/kg)


Mitigating the response to β-mannans Preventing β-mannans from causing an unnecessary, innate immune response reduces the impact of infection challenges in broilers.


β-mannanase (Hemicell) is a unique, energy sparing enzyme that breaks down ß-mannans so they no longer trigger the feed-induced immune response. This has a positive impact on the birds’ intestinal Integrity and conserves energy for growth and performance. Across 44 different poultry sites, Elanco’s HTSi intestinal health monitoring programme has tracked and quantified the performance of birds receiving Hemicell- feed in comparison to control birds not receiving it in their feed. The results have established many significant performance variances across a number of key parameters as summarised on Table 1.


Maintaining I2 for better gut health


Two of the main, universal insults to the intestinal integrity of broilers are coccidia infections and feed-related inflammation of the gut lining. Coccidia infections of broiler flocks are a global phenomenon


Figure 2 - Mean E.acervulina lesion scores for flocks on continuous Maxiban vs. flocks on rotation programmes. Mean Cocci lesion scores (E.acervulina)


0.6 Maxiban programme 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 Q4 2014 Q1 2015 Q2 2015 Q3 2015 Q4 2015 Q1 2016 Q2 2016 Q3 2016 Q4 2016 Q1 2017 Q2 2017 Q3 2017 Q4 2017 Maxiban programme introduced Rotation programme


Table 1 – Performance of Hemicell-fed broilers vs. non Hemicell-fed control birds.


Parameter Hemicell impact


Average intestinal integrity score 1.0% improvement of average I2 Incidence of coccidia lesions


Excessive cellular sloughing


Litter eating diagnosis Gizzard erosion


Reduced intestinal tone Incidence footpad lesions Severity of footpad lesions Incidence of airsacculitis


Excessive Intestinal mucus content 2.8 % fewer birds Feed passage


scores 1.0 % fewer birds with E. maxima lesions


Significance P<0.0001 (P<0.05)


3.4 % fewer birds with E. acervulina lesions (P=0.08) 4.6 % fewer birds


2.6 % fewer birds 2.3 % fewer birds 5.0% fewer birds 2.1 % fewer birds


3.4 % fewer birds with lesions


3.4 % fewer birds with severe lesions 2.4 % fewer birds


as is the inclusion of soya meal, containing ß-mannans, in typical poultry diets. These threats to bird health have a significant effect on bird welfare and overall production performance. Fortunately, for poultry producers, there are successful


solutions available to positively management this impact: ● Ionophores, particularly potentiated ionophores such as Maxiban, are highly successful in reducing the damage to gut health posed by coccidial infections without inducing


resistance ● Feed induced inflammatory response can be mitigated against by inclusion of the enzyme β-mannanase (Hemicell) with a resultant improvement across many key performance parameters.


References available on request ▶ GUT HEALTH | DECEMBER 2020 21


(P<0.0001) (P<0.05) (P<0.05) (P<0.05) (P<0.01) (P<0.05) P<0.001 P<0.001 (P<0.01)


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