Early colonization in ovo or via spray: impacts on chick quality21/10/2022
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The Brazilian egg market grows on year-on-year basis: 2021 closed with a volume 9.1% higher compared to the previous year and the forecast is 3% more for this year. This will reach 56.200 billion units by the end of 2022.
Production follows consumption, which is also increasing. According to a survey by the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA), each Brazilian consumes 257 eggs per year, which accounts for more than 55% of what was consumed ten years ago, when there were 163 eggs per capita.
In this market evolution, there are two important issues. The first is a constant concern for the laying segment: how to keep the production of safe eggs? The second, on the other hand, gains increasingly clear contours in the midst of high domestic demand and the search for foreign markets: what to do “different” in the midst of competitiveness?
For both, the answer lies in the early colonization of laying hens. That’s what we are going to talk about in this content, which has the contribution of the Business Manager of Biocamp’s business laying hen, Nelson Haga.
How to keep the production of safe eggs?
Safe eggs are produced by poultry free of pathogens and contaminants. Considering that laying breeders and laying hens are long-lived birds, which can exceed 100 weeks of life, it is possible to imagine the hard work of producers, as the challenges are present from the first day of the chick’s life.
To ensure the quality and safety of eggs, biosecurity procedures are essential. As an example, Nelson mentions the placement of a new flock on the farm, which ends up being a very important moment in the production: it is the beginning of a new cycle, planned in great detail and in advance.
“By the time the truck arrived with the day-old chicks, a lot had already been done. Disposal and change of the previous flock, cleaning, maintenance, disinfection, and heating preparation. It’s hard, heavy, and sometimes exhausting work. It’s a constant race against time,” Nelson says.
When the chicks arrive, part of the project has been accomplished, but there is the challenge of correcting the mistakes and repeating the successes so that the new flock of layers has better uniformity, viability, and more weight.
It turns out that the strict cleaning, hygiene, and disinfection procedures carried out on the breeder farm, in the hatchery and also on the commercial farm end up blocking and making it impossible for the mother’s microbiota to pass intensively and consistently to the chick on the first day of life.
“Thus, the chick does not ingest the beneficial bacteria that have already helped to balance the health of the parents (genitors) and also of the environment where they live,” Nelson explains.
Early colonization: solution to prevent enteritis
The microbiota is formed by microorganisms that inhabit the intestines of birds, especially bacteria. To promote intestinal integrity and favor bird weight gain and uniformity of the flock, it needs to be in balance (the so-called eubiosis). This means that beneficial bacteria have to be competing with pathogens all the time.
If there is an imbalance between beneficial bacteria, prevailing pathogenic ones such as Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium colinum, salmonella and APECs, among others, this can put the intestinal integrity of birds at risk.
Focal necrotic duodenitis, for example, is one of the main challenges in the business laying hen market. Associated with infections by the bacteria Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium colinum, it causes, at this stage of placement a new flock, the lack of uniformity and increased mortality.
“Thus, it becomes harder to achieve the goal of forming a flock of pullets ready for production and that brings positive results in the production phase, such as precocity, persistence of production, feed conversion and eggs of good weight and shell quality,” Nelson reinforces.
The solution lies in providing probiotic products from multiple bacterial strains, still in the hatchery, which help in the early colonization of the microbiota of laying hens.
How to make a difference in the market?
Probiotics contribute to establishing a balanced, healthy, and protective microbiota to the challenges of pathogenic bacteria. This is the starting point to keep the production of safe eggs and also to make a difference in the midst of market competitiveness.
Flocks of chickens raised using probiotics have fewer problems with enteritis and diarrhea, better performance in body weight gain, better uniformity, and greater viability. But it is important to point out that probiotics are NOT all the same, that there is a minimum concentration and amount to be consumed in order to really bring the desired effects.
That is why it is essential to have a customized program for your farm, developed by specialist technicians and using reliable products that are ideal for early colonization, such as Colostrum® Bio 21 Liquid. Talk to Biocamp and see how we can help!