Traceability: understand the importance in the production of probiotics26/09/2022
Early colonization: starting point for a production of safe eggs28/10/2022
Chick quality is a very important parameter for the broiler segment. It is directly linked to the success of the poultry’s zootechnical performance and, consequently, to the profitability of the business: low quality chicks, when they do not die, do not develop properly and generate losses.
There are several factors that impact the quality of broiler chicks — which we have already covered in depth on the Biocamp blog. From issues that come before its hatch (genetic characteristics of the line, age of the breeder, handling of the eggs and conditions in which they were incubated) until the post-hatch period.
Therefore, adopting preventive measures against physical, biological and environmental risks is essential to have quality chicks. Among these measures is the formation of the microbiota while still in the hatchery, through probiotics that can be applied in two ways: in ovo or spray.
This is called early colonization. In this content, we will talk about the importance of early colonization of the intestine and, mainly, present the differences between these two types of applications. For this purpose, we invited two specialists in the subject: the Business Manager of Biocamp, Bauer Alvarenga, and the consultant in poultry hatchery, Adriano Bailos.
Why modulate the microbiota while still in the hatchery?
The microbiota connects various organs and systems (digestive, immune and nervous) and, therefore, brings nutritional, physiological, immunological, health and welfare benefits to birds. It is formed by microorganisms that inhabit the intestine of birds, especially bacteria, and that are of great importance for the maintenance of intestinal integrity. They help:
- improve the absorption of nutrients;
- reduce intestinal inflammation;
- modulate the expression of inflammatory cytokines;
- stimulate mucosal immunity.
But, the microbiota is not static. Before the hatch of the chick, it is even rudimentary; throughout the poulty’s life cycle, there are several environmental factors that interfere with its composition and balance. Beneficial bacteria constantly compete with unwanted bacteria that jeopardize intestinal integrity. The keyword is balance (eubiosis).
Bacteria with pathogenic potential may be associated with breeders, the egg incubation process and the litter present in broiler farms. These factors, plus a rudimentary gut microbiota, make chicks vulnerable throughout the first week of life. Therefore, early intestinal colonization is of great importance for them, contributing to the initial development of poultries.
Apply probiotics from multiple lactic or competitive exclusion strains during the first 3 days of the poultry’s life favors the formation of a beneficial microbiota and increases protection against pathogenic bacteria.
“You can say that early colonization is the starting point for high-performance flocks, as it directly impacts the quality and development of the chicks,” says Bauer.
But, for the product to have its proven effectiveness, it needs to be applied correctly.
How to make a good application of the probiotic in the hatchery
There are currently two ways to carry out early colonization of poultries: with application of the probiotic in ovo between 18 and 19 days of incubation or via spray, shortly after hatch. Adriano Bailos, specialist in poultry hatchery, lists the advantages of each of the processes and possible critical points.
In general, an in ovo vaccination process takes place when the eggs are transferred from the setter to the hatcher. The main vaccines used are intended to protect poultries against Marek, Gumboro, Newcastle and/or Fowl Pox diseases.
There are some types of in ovo vaccinators on the market, but, in a simplified way, they all perforate the egg shell and inoculate the vaccine solution inside. In conjunction with vaccines, it is possible to inoculate some nutrients and even probiotics.
The point of attention is in the time of application. As colonization by the probiotic is enterotropic, the chick needs to ingest the product through the amniotic fluid and/or albumen — and in sufficient quantity. This only happens when the application is made between 18 days/12 hours to 18 days/22 hours. Considering that the chronological time is not always the same as the biological and physiological time of the poultries (and that each of them has its own time), the optimal time of application is very short and demands attention and monitoring.
“One of the great advantages of in ovo application is the guarantee that the product applied will be 100% used by the poultry, without waste. There is a reliability of dosage and understanding that all poultries will ingest the same amount of product”, explains Adriano.
“As with the in ovo vaccination process, vaccines and probiotics can be applied at once by means of a spray vaccinator. This process is very simple and easy to operate, but it requires some care that can compromise early colonization”, says Bailos.
For each box of 100 chicks, the ideal is that the volume applied is between 15 and 21 ml of the vaccine/probiotic solution, which may contain a coloring agent.
The use of colorings arouses the curiosity of the chicks, favoring the consumption of the probiotic and the visualization of the quality of the application. About 95% of the chicks need to have their tongue properly stained, proving the ingestion of the applied solution.
Another point of great attention is the size of the drop. The ideal is to work with uniform drops, with a size of approximately 200 microns, which facilitates the consumption of the probiotic.
The most appropriate application is the one that balances the following points:
- ideal volume of product;
- ideal volume of vehicle (water, distilled water, etc.);
- spray nozzle with a drop of the correct size;
- fan with the exact opening of the box size;
- exact time in which the sprinkler releases the product only while the box is passing under the fan.
In addition, the poultries need to be spread out in the box. Having said all that, here’s the question:
In ovo or spray colonization: is there a better one?
No, because both applications have advantages and points of attention. The important thing is to understand that early colonization is fundamental. Part of its effectiveness is in a correct application, another part is in the characteristics of the probiotic used.
For a correct application, it is crucial to have professionals constantly trained in the incubation process, who pay attention to all these critical points and also to the management, sanitation, ambience and other particular issues of a hatchery that are essential to “prepare the ground” for the colonization.
The most suitable product is the one developed by a company that for over 20 years has presented solutions to improve the productivity of poultries, providing intestinal health in a natural way. We are talking about Biocamp and Colostrum® Bio 21 Líquido, a probiotic that, by performing early colonization, helps to improve zootechnical indexes and control diseases. Contact Biocamp!
Early colonization in the hatchery
Routes of application of the probiotic
Via spray shortly after hatch
– application before hatch: poultry more prepared for the risks of the hatcher;
– practicality in the process;
|Point of attention
Short optimal time for application – between 18 days/12 hours to 18 days/22 hours
|Point of attention
Droplet size of approximately 200 microns (neither thick enough to be aspirated, nor thin enough to dissipate into air)