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Rapidly Adsorb Aflatoxins and Improve Poultry Performance with Calibrin-A

Calibrin-A White Broilers

Mitigating the effects of mycotoxin-contaminated feed is a goal of every poultry producer in order to keep birds healthy and reduce the negative effects of mycotoxicosis on performance. Aflatoxin is a common threat to poultry productivity, targeting and damaging the liver and causing mortality in severe cases. Subclinical cases can reduce feed intake, weight gain and efficiency, which negatively impact the cost of production and, ultimately, profits.

Aflatoxin is a polar or hydrophilic (water-loving) mycotoxin, which means it and other polar mycotoxins, like ergotamine, ergovaline and cyclopiazonic acid (CPA), are attracted to hydrophilic surfaces. Calibrin®-A (available in select international markets) is a mineral-based feed additive that rapidly adsorbs these polar mycotoxins due to its hydrophilic binding sites. If mycotoxin diagnostic tests (e.g., BioInsights) detect feed is contaminated with polar mycotoxins, Calibrin-A is an effective solution for reducing performance loss.

The Calibrin-A Difference

Calibrin-A contains one ingredient — our single-source calcium montmorillonite with opal CT lepispheres. We select our calcium montmorillonite from a specific location within our mine to ensure product consistency, quality and reliability for customers. We’re very specific about where we source our mineral, because of its natural physical and chemical properties. We also use proprietary mineral processing methods that are tailored for each product. These unique properties are what create the difference between Calibrin-A and other clay binders in the market. Calibrin-A naturally adsorbs polar mycotoxins and is designed to have a high particle count and increased access to hydrophilic binding sites. The combination of natural mineral characteristics and processing techniques creates a highly effective, fast-acting feed additive for binding polar mycotoxins.

Rapid Polar Mycotoxin Adsorption Is Key

Eliminating the fast uptake of mycotoxins into the digestive system is key to preventing the negative health and performance effects of mycotoxicosis. Mycotoxins quickly metabolize in the intestines and liver and can circulate in the blood for days or weeks. While certain toxins enter the body more quickly than others, the negative effects consistently result in decreased performance and unrealized economic potential. Calibrin-A rapidly adsorbs polar mycotoxins, reducing their bioavailability in the body and mitigating performance loss (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Calibrin-A rapidly adsorbs aflatoxin. Source: Trilogy Analytical Laboratory, USA.

Calibrin-A Improves Performance of Aflatoxin-Fed Broilers

The impact rapid aflatoxin adsorption by Calibrin-A has on bird productivity was shown in two broiler studies. In research conducted at the University of Missouri (Columbia, MO), Calibrin-A abated the detrimental effects of aflatoxin-contaminated feed on broiler health and performance. The study compared a control diet to diets containing 2 ppm of aflatoxin, with or without 0.5% Calibrin-A, fed to day-old Ross 308 chicks for 21 days.

As expected, aflatoxin in the feed caused decreased (P < 0.05) feed intake, weight gain and feed efficiency, and increased (P > 0.05) relative liver weight compared to control birds. The liver is the main target of aflatoxin if it enters the body from the intestine. Aflatoxin will cause the liver to swell and it can become “fatty” with a yellow appearance. The swollen liver and decreased weight gain causes increased relative liver weight.

Adding Calibrin‑A to the diet of birds fed aflatoxin improved weight gain and feed efficiency (Figure 2), and reduced the mycotoxin-induced increase in relative liver weight (Figure 3). Mortality rate of the control and Calibrin-A-fed birds (2.5%) was lower than the aflatoxin-fed birds (10%).

Figure 2: Calibrin-A improved weight gain and feed efficiency in broilers fed aflatoxin-contaminated feed (P < 0.05).

Figure 3: Calibrin-A reduced the mycotoxin-induced increase in relative liver weight (P > 0.05).

In a study conducted at SAMITEC (Santa Maria, Brazil), four groups of male broiler chicks (6 reps x 10 chicks each) received a diet with or without aflatoxin (2.8 ppm) and with or without 0.5% Calibrin-A (CON, AFL, CON + Calibrin-A, AFL + Calibrin-A). Calibrin-A improved (P < 0.05) the feed intake and body weight of birds fed aflatoxin (Figures 4 and 5) and reduced (P < 0.05) the average liver weight of birds fed aflatoxin (Figure 6). Additionally, adding Calibrin-A to the control diet (no aflatoxin) at 10 times the recommended dose had no negative effects on growth performance (Figures 4 and 5), indicating that Calibrin-A does not significantly interfere with nutrient use.

In order to achieve statistical significance between the challenged and non-challenged birds, a much higher concentration of aflatoxin was used in both studies than would typically be seen in poultry diets. Because birds were challenged with a high amount of aflatoxin, Calibrin-A was also included at a higher dose than typically recommended. The ratio of Calibrin-A to aflatoxin in the feed was 2500:1 (5000 ppm Calibrin-A and 2 ppm aflatoxin) for the University of Missouri study, for example, which is equivalent to the recommended inclusion rate of Calibrin-A (500 ppm) and 0.2 ppm of aflatoxin in the feed. This amount of aflatoxin is still higher than the concentration typically found in poultry feed.

Figure 4: Calibrin-A increased feed intake in birds fed aflatoxin (P < 0.05).

Figure 5: Calibrin-A increased the average weight of birds fed aflatoxin to a weight similar to control birds (P < 0.05).

Figure 6: Calibrin-A decreased the average liver weight of birds fed aflatoxin (P < 0.05).

These studies demonstrate the performance and health benefits of feeding Calibrin-A to rapidly adsorb polar mycotoxins like aflatoxin. Single-ingredient, mineral-based Calibrin-A is an effective solution to mitigating the risk of mycotoxicosis from aflatoxin-contaminated feed. To learn more about Calibrin-A or to try Calibrin-A for yourself, contact your local sales representative.

 

 

Varium® Improves Performance in Commercial Broilers Compared to an Antibiotic Growth Promoter

Varium Product Blog

Varium was developed to provide poultry producers with a product to improve production by optimizing gut health. One of the ways this can be shown is by improvements in feed conversion. Because feed costs are such a large part of the cost of poultry production, any improvement in feed conversion can have a big impact on the bottom line. Additionally, decreasing the amount of feed used to produce a kilogram of meat increases the sustainability of the operation, which is very important in today’s world.

Varium, available in select international markets, has multiple modes of action to increase its ability to improve performance. It was designed to protect against biotoxins ​in the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract and keep them from entering the body, to energize the epithelial cells that line the intestine, and help the immune system prepare to respond to antigens. ​Over the years numerous controlled experiments have shown that Varium improves feed conversion under a variety of conditions. A meta-analysis of this research was presented at the Poultry Science Association’s 2nd Latin American Scientific Conference in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. This summary of multiple experiments showed that feeding Varium resulted in broiler performance that was equal to that obtained when an antibiotic growth promoter was fed, this was seen both in birds that were challenged with the bacterium Clostridium perfringens to induce necrotic enteritis and in unchallenged birds. When both the antibiotic and Varium were fed together it improved the feed conversion ratio even more (Figure 1).

Graph of relative FCR to control

Figure 1. Varium improved Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) compared to unchallenged or challenged control, equal to the antibiotic growth promoter (AGP).

Since that time, information from the field has shown that feeding Varium resulted in less damage to the intestine of commercial broilers and improved villi height/crypt depth, which correlated to improved overall feed conversion (Lima, Peru).

In 2022, a large commercial study was run in southern Brazil. The study used approximately 180,000 broilers from three farms with each farm feeding one house a control diet with their standard feed containing a mycotoxin binder and enramycin, an antibiotic used as a feed additive to prevent necrotic enteritis. A second house had those ingredients removed and 0.1% Varium was added. The chicks that were supplied to the farms for evaluation were from breeders of the same age. Every week a sample weight was measured in each barn and mortalities were tabulated. Birds were harvested at 47.29 days for the Control birds and 47.17 days for the Varium fed birds (Figure 2). With a daily weight gain of 69.60 g for the Control birds and 70.62 g for the Varium fed birds.

Graph of body weight in kilograms

Figure 2. Body weight (kg) for broilers fed 0.1% Varium compared to broilers fed feed containing a mycotoxin binder and the antibiotic enramycin.

Weekly mortality, cumulative mortality, and transport mortality were all lower when birds were fed Varium compared to those fed the antibiotic (Figure 3). Overall feed conversion was 1.717 for the Control birds and 1.671 for the birds fed Varium; an advantage for birds fed Varium of 4.6 points.

Graph of cumulative mortality percentage by week

Figure 3. Mortality was lower for birds fed Varium each week and cumulatively by week. Final mortality included birds that died during transportation to harvest.

Feed conversion was 1.717 for the Control birds and 1.671 for the Varium fed birds, an advantage of 4.6 points (Figure 4). When the feed conversion was adjusted to a common ending weight of 3.25 kg adjusted feed conversion was 1.706 for the Control birds and 1.643 for the Varium fed birds, an advantage of 6.3 points for the Varium fed birds.

Graph of feed conversion

Figure 4. Feed conversion improved when broilers were fed Varium versus an antibiotic, both for overall or when adjusted to a final weight of 3.25 kg.

The 2022 Brazilian study shows that feeding Varium can improve efficiencies and performance, which are critical to increasing profits. In this case, the added annual profit for a producer processing 1 million birds per week would equate to approximately USD 6 million. Using an estimated price for the control diet of USD 375 and USD 380 for the Varium diet, the return on the cost of adding Varium vs the antibiotic control diet is approximately 4 to 1.

To learn more about improved performance with Varium and how to request a field trial, contact your local Amlan representative.

Research Shows NeoPrime® Benefits Swine at Multiple Life Stages

NeoPrime® logo with sow and piglets background.

Weaning is a stressful time for piglets and can have negative impacts on their intestinal environment, overall health and production performance. Multiple studies have shown that improving intestinal health and function with NeoPrime® can help reduce the negative fallback effects of weaning. But what about other times in the pig’s life? Can improving the intestinal health of sows, gilts or pre-weaned piglets with NeoPrime supplementation improve their performance and health?

Here are three case studies that demonstrate the positive effects NeoPrime can have on the fecal microbiota, nursery swine performance, piglet mortality as well as sow and gilt performance and health. These factors help producers drive profits naturally by increasing potential revenue and decreasing the cost of production.

Weaning and NeoPrime Change the Fecal Microbiota

Researchers at a university in Mexico investigated the effects of NeoPrime on select fecal microbial populations when NeoPrime was supplemented both pre- and post-weaning (0 to 56 days-of-age). Sixteen litters of newborn piglets with similar body weight were assigned to either NeoPrime or control treatment groups. Piglets in the NeoPrime group (eight litters) were given two oral doses of NeoPrime (300 mg) in water, the first immediately after birth and the second two hours after consuming colostrum. The same piglets were offered NeoPrime-supplemented creep feed (0.15% w/w) from day 7 until weaning on day 21. The eight control litters received isovolumic sham (water) doses with identical scheduling as the NeoPrime group and were offered non-supplemented creep feed. Previous data showed NeoPrime improved growth performance and decreased diarrhea when fed at weaning. This prompted researchers to administer NeoPrime at birth, using oral doses to ensure that all piglets received a similar initial dose, an off-label use of the product.

At weaning, 100 piglets were distributed to 10 pens/treatment and 5 pigs/pen. Piglets remained in their assigned treatment groups from day 0 to 56. Fecal samples were collected at 21, 35 and 56 days of age to assess fecal populations of Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus spp., and Clostridium perfringens.

Weaning had an overall effect on the fecal microbiota (regardless of treatment), with the abundance of E. coli and Lactobacillus spp. post-weaning (sampled d 35 and d 56) higher (P < 0.05) than during the pre-weaning phase (sampled day 21). Conversely, C. perfringens abundance post-weaning was lower (P <0.05) than the pre-weaning phase (Figure 1).

There was an interactive effect between treatment and growth phase on E. coli and Lactobacillus spp. abundance. NeoPrime significantly reduced the abundance of E. coli compared to the control pre-weaning on day 21 (P < 0.05) and increased (P < 0.05) the Lactobacillus spp. population on day 56 compared to the control (Figure 2). Piglets supplemented with NeoPrime also showed an improvement in weight gain on days 35 and 56 (P = 0.09).

In this study, weaning had a striking effect on the fecal bacterial populations measured. NeoPrime supplementation decreased the negative effects of weaning on performance, which may be partially due to a beneficial modulatory effect on the gut microbiota that promoted beneficial bacteria.

Microbiota effect of each phase chart.
Figure 1: Weaning increased fecal E. coli and Lactobacillus spp. abundance and reduced C. perfringens abundance. Different letters within bacteria species denotes P < 0.05.

 

E. Coli Interaction Treatment X growth phase chart.
Figure 2: NeoPrime reduced the E. coli population on day 21 and increased Lactobacillus spp. on day 56. Different letters within bacteria species denotes P < 0.05.

 

NeoPrime Improved Commercial Nursery Swine Performance

A commercial swine operation in Mexico compared the benefits of supplementing nursery pigs with NeoPrime or a competitor product. From 27 to 78 days of age, 2,364 nursery pigs, with an average initial body weight of 8.2 kg, were fed diets supplemented with NeoPrime (1.5 kg/MT) or a competitor product intended to decrease unwanted gut bacteria. Feeding NeoPrime increased final body weight by 5.2 kg and reduced mortality by 1.5% (Figure 3). The cost per kg produced was also improved by using NeoPrime instead of the competitor product (Mex$12.36 vs. $14.87).

NeoPrime® increased body weight and reduced mortality chart.
Figure 3: NeoPrime increased body weight and reduced mortality in commercial nursery pigs.

 

Benefits of Supplementing Gestation and Farrowing Diets with NeoPrime

A commercial swine farm in Querétaro, Mexico, assessed the benefits of adding NeoPrime to sow gestation and lactation diets (2,400 sows). The farm was experiencing losses from influenza, PRRS and enterotoxigenic E. coli at the time of the study. NeoPrime was supplemented at a rate of 1.5 kg/MT (no other mycotoxin binders or yeast were added) and the results compared to the prior month.

NeoPrime supplemented at the end of pregnancy increased the number of replacement gilts that farrowed (98 vs. 91/110 gilts) which resulted in a substantial increase in potential revenue (Table 1). NeoPrime supplementation from farrowing to weaning also increased the number of sows weaned in good body condition by 6% and reduced sow mortality by 1.31% (Figure 4). Additionally, in sows supplemented with NeoPrime, piglet mortality decreased by 1% and weaning weight increased by 1.05 kg (Figure 5). Lower mortality reduced the cost per piglet by Mex$43.76 (Mex$437.43 vs. 481.19) which amounted to an annual value of approximately Mex$214,000, when accounting for the piglet number increase and the difference in piglet cost.

In this study, NeoPrime improved sow body condition and reduced mortality, which can lead to fewer non-productive sow days, an improved ovulation rate and less cross-fostering in farrowing. NeoPrime also increased potential revenue by increasing the number of gilts retained and reducing piglet mortality, lowering the cost of production per piglet.

 

Table 1: NeoPrime increased gilt retention by seven gilts, leading to an increase in potential revenue.

NeoPrime increased gilt retention and potential revenue chart.

 

NeoPrime® improved sow body condition and reduced mortality chart.
Figure 4: NeoPrime improved sow body condition and reduced mortality.

 

NeoPrime® reduced piglet mortality and improved body weight chart.
Figure 5: Supplementing sows with NeoPrime, reduced piglet mortality and increased piglet weaning weight.

 

In these case studies, NeoPrime was successful in driving profits naturally for swine producers by increasing revenue potential through reduced mortality, improved performance and reduced cost of production. NeoPrime achieves these effects by reducing the level of pathogenic challenge in the intestine, energizing intestinal epithelial cells and safely stimulating intestinal immunity. To experience the benefits of NeoPrime with your own trial, contact your local Amlan representative.

Fifteen Years of Driving Profits Naturally: The History of Amlan International

Dan Jaffee profile with Amlan International logo.

Oil-Dri® Corporation of America has been active in the animal health market since the 1980’s with products designed to help feed flowability and pellet binding. But in 2007, Oil-Dri took a leap — a well-informed, scientifically-backed leap — further into the animal health market with the registration of the Amlan International brand and the official launch of their animal health business. Fifteen years later, Amlan International is a successful global brand that helps poultry and livestock producers optimize intestinal health and add value to their operation. So why did Oil-Dri, a company founded on a garage floor oil adsorbent, decide to invest in animal gut health solutions? And what does the future look like for Amlan?

Creating Value for Animal Health Producers

Consumer demands and concern over antimicrobial-resistant pathogens have created a global push toward antibiotic-free and natural animal protein production. But this change in production has also created the need for natural solutions to help manage the health and productivity of flocks and herds. As Dan Jaffee, President and CEO of Oil-Dri and President and General Manager of Amlan, explains, Oil-Dri saw the opportunity to create value for animal protein producers by leveraging an Oil-Dri-owned mineral to develop novel, natural feed additive solutions under the Amlan brand.

“We realized there was a market need, and Oil-Dri had an incredible natural solution to the problem. Our clay naturally does amazing things; but then when we combine our clay with our multi-million-dollar research investments, in our core lab and our new microbiology lab, we’ve been able to do some incredible things. And we’re really just at the beginning.”

—Dan Jaffee, President and CEO of Oil-Dri, President and General Manager of Amlan

As the animal health business of Oil-Dri, we take full advantage of the benefits that vertical integration brings, including control over the quality of our mineral and ensuring consistency of supply for our customers. We also leverage the 80 years of Oil-Dri mineral science expertise, and we share the values and business ethics of Oil-Dri.

A Broad Range of Natural, Value-Adding Products

Amlan started with just two products, sold internationally outside of North America — biotoxin binding Calibrin®-Z and aflatoxin-binding Calibrin-A. Both products are made from our single-source calcium montmorillonite that undergoes proprietary thermal processing tailored for each product. It’s our mineral’s natural properties and our proprietary processing technique that make our mineral-based products stand out from other clay additives in the market.

Investing heavily in research and development has allowed us to expand our international product range by combining natural ingredients with our mineral to develop synergistic intestinal health solutions for production animals. This included the 2015 launch of Varium® for poultry and NeoPrime® for swine, which help reduce the level of pathogenic challenge in the intestine, strengthen and energize the intestinal barrier and stimulate intestinal immunity. The technology behind Varium and NeoPrime is patented in Brazil, Indonesia, Korea, the European Union, the United States and China, with other countries pending.

Most recently we expanded our international product portfolio with the launch of Phylox® Feed, a natural alternative to anticoccidial drugs and vaccines and NeutraPath®, a natural pathogen-control product (available in select markets). In 2021, Amlan also launched a broad portfolio of products specifically for North American producers. And we’re not done — we have more innovative products in our research pipeline that will continue our efforts to optimize animal intestinal health and provide value for producers.

Your Animal Intestinal Health Partner

Innovative products are a great start for a new business, but we see customers as partners, not numbers on invoices, so we also needed knowledgeable technical service specialists and a strong sales team to support our mission of creating value for our customers. Our team helps customers achieve their production goals by integrating rations with the best Amlan solutions for each situation. As Dan Jaffee mentions in the video below, this includes trialing products first to show customers the true value Amlan can bring to their operations.

Growing Our Future and Yours

Our goal for the future is to continue investing in innovation to continue developing natural solutions to industry challenges that can help producers drive profits naturally. You can hear Dan’s thoughts on the future of Amlan in the video below. Everyone at Amlan shares Dan’s excitement about the intestinal health solutions we are bringing to the animal production industry and the value our products offer for producers. To learn more about Amlan, our innovations and our team, visit our Who We Are page.

 

Sorbiam™ Improves Pellet Durability

Dairy cows with Sorbiam™ logo.

Pelleting feed and concentrates offers a number of advantages for poultry and livestock producers. Pelleting can reduce feed waste, lessen the time allocated to eating (allowing more energy to be dedicated to growth) and improve gain and feed efficiency. Pelleting also helps with feed logistics — improved feed flow through bins, less dust formation, reduced ingredient separation during storage and less space required for storage. However, these benefits are achievable only if the pellet is of good quality. A poor-quality pellet with a large number of fines won’t return the same benefits and will have a low benefit-cost ratio.

Sorbiam™ Improves Flowability

Purpose-made pellet binders can be added to feed to improve the pellet durability index and the overall quality of the pellet. However, premium feed additives like mineral-based Sorbiam™ (available in North America only) can offer producers more than pellet quality improvements. Sorbiam promotes efficient production economics for poultry and livestock through the maintenance of a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Because Sorbiam is produced as microgranules, flowability is improved throughout feed production. Sorbiam is also available as Sorbiam XL, which is the same product manufactured as slightly larger-sized microgranules.

Sorbiam Pellet Durability Research

Recent research from Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS) suggests that Sorbiam can help improve pellet durability as well as flowability. Two methods, the tumbling box and Holmen durability tests, were used to determine if Sorbiam can improve the pellet durability index (PDI).

The basal diet was formulated with 2.52% soybean oil (Table 1). It had a production rate of 34 pounds/minute and a conditioning temperature of 82°C (180°F). Sorbiam was included at 0.1% in half the tested pellets (replacing 0.1% corn).

 

Table 1: Basal diet formulation for pellet durability testing

Basal diet formulation for pellet durability testing chart.

For the tumbling box traditional method, sieved pellets were placed in the tumbling can device and tumbled for 10 minutes. The samples were then removed, sieved and weighed, and the percent of whole pellets calculated. For the modified tumbling box method, three hex nuts were added to the tumbling chamber to create a more abrasive test.1

The Holmen durability test uses air to create the abrasion of pellets rather than the physical action that occurs in the tumbling box method1. To start the test, a weighed sample of screened pellets were added to the test chamber. The pellets were agitated by forced air for 30 or 60 seconds, then removed, sieved and weighed; and the percent of whole pellets was calculated.

For the tumbling box method, adding 0.1% Sorbiam to the formulation significantly improved the PDI for both the traditional and the modified procedures (increased PDI by 1.1% and 2.9%, respectively; Figure 1). For the 60-second Holmen durability test, there was a numerical improvement of 3.3% in the PDI when Sorbiam was added to the diet (Figure 2).

Tumble Box pellet durability index chart.

Figure 1: Sorbiam significantly improved the pellet durability index for both traditional and modified tumble box methods. Different letters within tumbling method indicate a significant difference (P < 0.05).

Holmen pellet durability index chart.

Figure 2: Sorbiam numerically improved the pellet durability index in the 60-second Holmen durability test. Different letters within tumbling method indicate a significant difference (P < 0.05).

 

Pelleting has many production and logistics advantages — but only if good-quality pellets are produced. In this study, adding Sorbiam to the pellets helped increase pellet durability, an important contributing factor to pellet quality. For more information on Sorbiam, contact your local Amlan representative.

 

Reference

1Stark, C. and Fahrenholz, A. Evaluating Pellet Quality, K-State Research and Extension, https://bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF3228.pdf

Calibrin®-Z Improves Broiler Performance Over Other Mycotoxin-Targeting Products

Calibrin®-Z logo and poultry farm infographic.

To prevent mycotoxicosis, poultry diets are often supplemented with feed additives marketed to reduce the toxic effects of dietary mycotoxins. These feed additives are based on a range of key ingredients, including mineral adsorbents (like our biotoxin binder Calibrin®-Z), yeast cell wall preparations, enzyme-based products and algae-based additives. Researchers at Instituto de Soluções Analíticas Microbiológicas e Tecnológicas (SAMITEC, Santa Maria, Brazil) conducted a comparison of these feed additives to determine the best option for maintaining performance when broilers are challenged with mycotoxin-contaminated feed.

Mycotoxin-Challenge Study Compares Commercial Feed Additive Efficacy

In a 21-day feeding challenge, researchers at SAMITEC evaluated the toxic effects of concurrent aflatoxin and fumonisin exposure in broilers. They also compared the effectiveness of various mycotoxin-targeting products, including Calibrin-Z, in reducing those toxic effects. Calibrin-Z undergoes specifically tailored, proprietary thermal processing that promotes the binding of a broad spectrum of biotoxins, including polar and nonpolar mycotoxins. To further help combat enteric disease, Calibrin-Z also binds bacterial exotoxins and endotoxins, such as those produced by Clostridium perfringens and Escherichia coli.

A total of 540 one-day-old male Cobb 500 broiler chicks were randomly assigned to one of six treatments (Table 1). Each treatment had nine replicates of 10 chicks per pen. The mycotoxin-challenged diet, which was fed to all treatment groups except the unchallenged control, contained aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2 produced by Aspergillus parasiticus, and fumonisin B1 and B2 produced by Fusarium moniliforme. Aflatoxin B1 accounted for 93.8% of the aflatoxin added and fumonisin B1 made up 95.8% of the fumonisin.

Table 1. Mycotoxin-Challenge Study Dietary Treatments by Group

Mycotoxin-Challenge study dietary treatments by group chart.

Calibrin-Z Improves Feed Intake of Mycotoxin-Challenged Broilers

As expected, dietary exposure to aflatoxin and fumonisin reduced feed intake, with broilers consuming the mycotoxin-challenged control diet averaging 14% lower feed intake than the unchallenged control group (P ≤ 0.05, Figure 1). However, Calibrin-Z was able to recover some of this reduced feed intake and averaged 11% greater feed intake than the mycotoxin-challenged control group (P ≤ 0.05). Additionally, Calibrin-Z and the enzyme-based group had similar feed intake and were both greater than the yeast cell wall-based group (P ≤ 0.05). The algae-based group was numerically in between, and not significantly different, to the other product groups.

Feed intake chart in grams.
Figure 1. Feeding Calibrin®-Z in broiler diets contaminated with aflatoxin and fumonisin improved feed intake. Different letters indicate a significant difference between groups (P ≤ 0.05).

Mycotoxin-Challenged Broiler Weight Gain Improved By Calibrin-Z

Exposure to mycotoxin-contaminated feed also reduced broiler weight gain (Figure 2). After 21 days, broilers in the unchallenged control, Calibrin-Z and enzyme-based groups had greater body weight gain compared to the mycotoxin-challenged control group (P ≤ 0.05). Those three groups also had greater weight gain compared to the yeast cell wall- and algae-based groups which were not different to the mycotoxin-challenged control group.

Body weight gain chart for day 0-21.
Figure 2. Feeding Calibrin-Z in broiler diets contaminated with aflatoxin and fumonisin improved body weight gain. Different letters indicate a significant difference between groups (P ≤ 0.05).

Calibrin-Z Shows FCR Improvement Over Other Feed Additives

Broilers in the Calibrin-Z group had a feed conversion ratio (FCR) comparable to the unchallenged control group (P > 0.05) and a significantly better FCR than the yeast cell wall-based and algae-based groups (P ≤ 0.05, see Figure 3).

Feed conversion ratio chart for day 0-21.
Figure 3. Feeding Calibrin-Z in broiler mycotoxin-contaminated diets resulted in a feed conversion ratio similar to the unchallenged control group. Different letters indicate a significant difference between groups (P ≤ 0.05).

Calibrin-Z Proves Its Mycotoxin-Binding Efficacy

In this study, adding Calibrin-Z to mycotoxin-contaminated broiler diets led to greater body weight gain and a superior FCR compared to broilers fed diets containing yeast cell wall- or algae-based products. While there is no statistical difference between Calibrin-Z and enzyme-based products, there is a strong numerical difference between the two, with Calibrin-Z leading in both body weight gain and FCR. Broilers in the Calibrin-Z group had greater body weight gain and improved feed intake compared to broilers in the mycotoxin-challenged control group, and an FCR equivalent to the unchallenged control group.

Calibrin-Z has proved, once again, to be an effective mycotoxin binder that improves the performance of broilers fed mycotoxin-contaminated diets. In addition, Calibrin-Z had performance results that were equal to, or better than, other mycotoxin mitigation products in the market. For more information on this study, or to trial Calibrin-Z yourself, contact us.

IPSF Presentations Further Support Phylox® Feed as Natural Alternative to Anticoccidial Drugs

Phylox® logo with microbiology background.

Coccidiosis is the most significant disease affecting poultry production, costing the global poultry industry approximately US$3 billion annually. Not only does coccidiosis damage the gut, resulting in reduced efficiency and profitability, but it also contributes to the development of other enteric diseases like necrotic enteritis. Traditionally, antibiotics or synthetic chemicals were used to control coccidiosis; however, consumer concerns over chemicals and drugs in the food chain have reduced their use in recent years. Therefore, poultry producers need a natural, research-backed alternative to chemical coccidiostats and antibiotics — like Phylox® Feed.

Phylox (available in select international markets) is a blend of bioactive phytochemicals that decreases the negative production and health effects of a coccidia challenge. The ingredients in Phylox contribute to its multiple modes of action which include damaging the coccidia cell structure, boosting anticoccidial immunity and improving general gut health.

Multiple studies have proven Phylox decreases gut damage in Eimeria-challenged broilers, resulting in improved growth and efficiency. Further analysis of some of these trials was presented at the 2022 International Poultry Scientific Forum (IPSF) in Atlanta, Georgia, as a six-trial meta-analysis comparing Phylox to a control diet in Eimeria-challenged broilers. Research was also presented at the 2022 IPSF on how Phylox affects the immune response and gut microbiome of broilers during a coccidia challenge. Summaries of these two IPSF presentations and links to the abstracts are below.

 

A Research-Backed Alternative to Anticoccidial Drugs

A meta-analysis of six in vivo trials that compared the performance and health effects of broilers challenged with experimental coccidiosis and fed either Phylox or a non-supplemented control diet was conducted. Persistent effects of Phylox on growth performance, fecal oocyst shedding and intestinal lesion score were examined.

Phylox improved gut health and performance while also decreasing coccidial lesion scores and oocyst shedding. Less gut damage means improved nutrient use — supporting greater weight gain and feed conversion. Two of the experiments included treatment groups that contained ionophores or anticoccidial chemicals for comparison. In these studies, Phylox delivered gut health results similar to salinomycin, nicarbazin, and Maxiban™ (narasin and nicarbazin), as determined by coccidial lesion scores and feed conversion.

This study supports previous research that shows the potential of Phylox as an alternative to the traditional coccidiostats in poultry production. The results are particularly noteworthy in an era when use of these traditional products continues to be reduced in favor of natural non-antibiotic and non-chemical solutions.

 

A Novel Approach to Coccidiosis Control

This research explored the potential effects of Phylox on host coccidial immunity, the composition and structure of the gut microbiome, and intestinal integrity of broilers challenged with experimental coccidiosis. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell phenotype, ceca-cecal tonsil cytokine mRNA expression, gut microbiome of cecal content and duodenal/jejunum histopathology were examined.

Phylox Maintains Intestinal Immune System Protection

Most of a chicken’s immune tissue is in the gastrointestinal tract, helping to keep pathogenic substances out while allowing nutrients in. IL-10 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine with potent immunosuppressive effects. Coccidia can exploit these immunosuppressive properties, to help them survive in a relatively hostile environment, by increasing IL-10 during a challenge. This decreases the bird’s immune response just when it is needed. However, in this study, Phylox kept IL-10 from increasing during a coccidia challenge, stopping the coccidia from interfering with the bird’s immune response.

Preserved Microbiome Diversity

A disruption to the balance of the gut microbial community is often associated with a loss of microbiota diversity (Mosca et al., 2016). In the Phylox study, Eimeria challenge decreased the α-diversity (the mean species diversity at a local site) of the cecal microbiome, but Phylox returned it to its normal, unchallenged state. This result was for both richness (the total number of species) and evenness (the amount of each species). Additionally, feeding Phylox increased the relative amount of Blautia and L-Ruminococcus — producers of short-chain fatty acids that help the gut and the immune system maintain consistency regardless of challenges.

This study demonstrated that, in addition to damaging Eimeria cell structure and functional integrity, Phylox helps host defense mechanisms by boosting protective immunity against coccidial infection. This multimodal mechanism of action of Phylox contributes to an enhanced resistance to coccidial infection and improved bird productivity.

For more information on these studies or to trial Phylox Feed yourself, contact us at info@amlan.com.

Calibrin®-Z Excels in Broiler Study Comparing Mycotoxin-Targeting Feed Additives

Calibrin®-Z logo and poultry farm infographic.

Mycotoxin-contaminated feed is a constant challenge for poultry producers, made worse if environmental conditions favor the rapid growth of mycotoxin-producing fungi in the field or during storage. And if multiple mycotoxins have contaminated the feed, it can create a synergistic, or additive, effect, amplifying each mycotoxin’s negative outcome on poultry production.

Calibrin®-Z Binds Multiple Mycotoxins and More

Mitigating the effects of mycotoxin-contaminated feed is essential, because whether the effects on poultry are mild (due to long-term low-level exposure) or severe (from a high-level challenge), a decrease in performance (and profits) is usually inevitable. To diminish the effects of mycotoxicosis, poultry diets often include feed additives that target mycotoxins. Examples of these feed additives include Calibrin®-Z (our mineral-based biotoxin binder), yeast cell wall preparations, enzyme-based products and algae-based additives.

Unlike other mineral-based products, Calibrin-Z undergoes specifically tailored, proprietary thermal processing that promotes the binding of a broad spectrum of biotoxins, including polar and nonpolar mycotoxins. Calibrin-Z also binds bacterial exotoxins and endotoxins, such as those produced by Clostridium perfringens and Escherichia coli, to help combat enteric disease.

University of Missouri Study Compares Feed Additive Performance

To evaluate the performance of products marketed to mitigate mycotoxin-contaminated feed, researchers at the University of Missouri (Columbia, MO) evaluated the ability of commercial feed additives to reduce the combined toxic effects of concurrent aflatoxin B1 and fumonisin B1 exposure in poultry. In the 21-day feeding trial, 144 broiler chicks were randomly assigned to six treatment groups with 24 birds in each group (Table 1). Statistical significance for treatment comparisons was set at P < 0.10.

Table 1. Dietary Treatments by Group

Calibrin®-Z Aflatoxin B1, Fumonisin B1 and feed additive chart.

Similar Body Weight Gain for Calibrin-Z and Unchallenged Control Birds

The results showed that as expected, mycotoxin-contaminated feed significantly reduced broiler weight gain (Figure 1). However, Calibrin-Z was able to mitigate this performance loss. Birds fed the mycotoxin-challenged diet and Calibrin‑Z recorded statistically similar body weight gain as the non-challenged control birds (P = 0.35). This performance recovery was not seen to the same extent in challenged birds receiving the algae-, enzyme- or yeast cell wall‑based products, as birds from these groups gained significantly less weight than the non-challenged control group birds (P < 0.10). The weight gain of Calibrin-Z-supplemented birds was also 6 percent greater than the weight gain of enzyme-supplemented birds, 11 percent greater than the yeast cell wall group and 19 percent greater than the algae-based product group.

Calibrin®-Z body weight gain chart.
Different letters indicate a significant difference between groups (P < 0.10). Figure 1. Body weight gain of birds fed a diet containing two mycotoxins plus Calibrin-Z was statistically similar to that of birds receiving a diet free of mycotoxins.

Calibrin-Z Numerically Improved Feed Conversion

Feeding Calibrin-Z to mycotoxin-challenged broilers improved feed conversion by up to 10 points compared to diets supplemented with enzyme, yeast cell wall or algae-based products (Figure 2).  While not a statistical difference in this trial, these results represent a significant numerical difference in broiler production.

Calibrin®-Z feed conversion ratio chart.
Figure 2. All groups had statistically similar feed conversion, with Calibrin-Z numerically improving feed conversion compared to all groups except the unchallenged control.

This study showed that adding Calibrin-Z to aflatoxin- and fumonisin-contaminated feed enabled broiler chickens to maintain weight gain and feed conversion similar to birds fed a mycotoxin-free diet. The other commercial products did not improve bird performance to the same extent as Calibrin-Z in this study, demonstrating the production advantage Calibrin-Z delivers by binding multiple biotoxins and improving intestinal tract health. For more information on this study, or on the health and productivity benefits of adding Calibrin‑Z to your birds’ rations, contact us.

Varium® Rivals Zinc Bacitracin in Maintaining Broiler Intestinal Health

Varium® logo with broilers in the background.

In some countries, the use of zinc bacitracin as an antibiotic growth promoter (AGP) in poultry is restricted due to concern over the increase in multi-drug-resistant bacteria that do not respond to traditional antibiotic treatments. Restrictions in the use of AGPs in animal feeds like zinc bacitracin has spurred the development of natural AGP alternatives that keep birds healthy and growing efficiently.

Natural Performance Promotion

Varium® is a patented natural mineral-based feed additive that promotes efficiency and productivity in poultry. Unlike antibiotics that kill bacteria, the patented technology in Varium includes a synergistic formulation of ingredients that binds pathogenic bacteria and their toxins, provides an energy source for the growth of healthy and strong enterocytes and gently stimulates immunity cells. With multiple modes of action, Varium adds value for producers by replacing the need for multiple feed additives; it can provide the same benefits in one product thereby simplifying diet formulations and reducing costs.

Comparing Varium with Zinc Bacitracin

To demonstrate its effectiveness, Varium was directly compared to zinc bacitracin in a broiler study conducted by a university in Pakistan. In the trial, 180 Ross 308 chicks (10 chicks per pen, 6 pens per treatment) were randomly allocated to one of three treatment groups: control (0.01% zinc bacitracin), Varium 0.1 (0.1%) or Varium 0.15 (0.15%). The broilers were raised under normal production conditions, with the trial ending on day 35. Newcastle disease vaccine was administered to all birds on day 6 (intraocular and subcutaneous) and a booster (oral) was administered on day 21. Newcastle disease titers were measured on days 20 and 35 from 18 birds per treatment. Three birds per pen (18 total per treatment), randomly selected on day 35, and had small intestine morphology and bacterial counts in the small intestine and digesta measured.

Varium Protects Intestinal Health

The study showed that Varium was able to protect intestinal morphology better than zinc bacitracin. In Varium-fed broilers, a significant dose-response effect was observed for intestinal (jejunum) villus height and villi index (villus height to crypt depth) on day 35, with all Varium treatments significantly higher than the zinc bacitracin control (Figure 1). A similar dose response was observed with intestinal (jejunum) crypt depth; all Varium treatments were significantly lower than the control, and Varium 0.15 was significantly lower than Varium 0.1 (Figure 1).

Villus Height, Villi Index, Crypt Depth of broilers information.
Figure 1: Villus height, villi index and crypt depth of broilers fed either 0.01% zinc bacitracin (control) or Varium at 0.1 or 0.15%. Varium demonstrated a dose-response effect that indicated better ability to protect intestinal morphology than zinc bacitracin.

Varium was also able to protect the birds from necrotic enteritis to the same extent as zinc bacitracin. Necrotic enteritis was not found among any of the sampled birds on day 35. Lesion scores (0 to 4 scale) for the entire length of the small intestine were not different between treatments; however, Varium 0.1 had a better effect on intestinal elasticity than the other treatments.

Beneficial Bacteria Increase with Varium

Varium was able to promote colonization of beneficial bacteria while decreasing the population of pathogenic bacteria. Varium 0.1 had significantly more beneficial Lactobacilli than zinc bacitracin and Varium 0.15 had significantly more than all treatments (Figure 2). All Varium treatments decreased the population of Salmonella in the small intestine and digesta compared to zinc bacitracin (Figure 3).

Lactobacilli colonization of the small intestine and digesta information.
Figure 2: Lactobacilli colonization of the small intestine and digesta was improved when the broiler diet was supplemented with Varium.
Salmonella colonization of the small intestine and digesta information.
Figure 3: Salmonella colonization of the small intestine and digesta was significantly reduced when the broiler diet was supplemented with Varium.

A Better Immune Response

Varium also improved the immune response to vaccination. On day 20 and 35, Newcastle disease antibody titer (hemagglutination inhibition test) was significantly higher in all Varium treatments compared to zinc bacitracin. Previous research (contact Amlan for more details, info@amlan.com) has shown that feeding Varium during disease challenge can restore the expression of immune cells that are responsible for stimulation of an antigen-specific immune response and also increase phagocytic activity compared to the control group. This increased immune response, as well as the removal of bacterial toxins that can cause immunosuppression, are thought to be the reasons behind the increase in Newcastle disease antibody titers observed in the present study.

This study confirmed that Varium can be as effective as zinc bacitracin in promoting intestinal health. The doses of Varium at 0.1 and 0.15% performed equal to or better than zinc bacitracin for the parameters tested. For more information on how Varium can improve health, production efficiency and value, visit the Varium product page.

Calibrin®-Z Improves Dairy Cattle Health and Performance in Four Commercial Case Studies

Calibrin Z logo over feeding cows.

If there’s one goal dairy cattle producers strive to achieve, it’s production efficiency. Reproductive efficiency, feed efficiency or overall milk production — dairy producers want their cows performing to their maximum potential. But for a cow to be efficient, she also needs to be healthy.

Dairy farmers around the world face a multitude of potential health challenges in their herds; from heat stress to bacterial disease to mycotoxin-contaminated feed, it’s a lot to manage. It’s unlikely that some of these health challenges can be completely avoided but mitigating them with a natural feed additive like Calibrin®-Z can go a long way to keeping cows healthier and more likely to achieve their production potential.

A Proven Biotoxin Binder

Calibrin-Z is a mineral-based feed additive that binds bacterial pathogens and their toxins, as well as mycotoxins, protecting dairy cattle from a broad spectrum of biotoxins that reduce performance and cause morbidity or mortality. A one-ingredient feed additive, Calibrin-Z is made from our single-source calcium montmorillonite with opal-CT lepispheres that undergoes proprietary thermal processing (tailored to the product) to promote the binding of multiple biotoxins in the intestine of dairy cattle. A healthy gastrointestinal tract means a healthier, more productive cow.

Commercial Dairy Farms Recognize the Benefits of Calibrin-Z

In four commercial-based case studies, Calibrin-Z increased dairy herd performance for several key performance indicators against a wide variety of challenges and in diverse environmental conditions. In Mexico, two dairy farms, approximately 1,200 lactating cows each, were used in a four-month side-by-side study. The two farms shared silage, used the same diet formulation and feed ingredients, and the age, lactation period and condition of the cows were evenly distributed between the two farms. Mycotoxin analysis showed low mycotoxin concentrations during the trial, however, the potential to improve performance of the herd was still evident.

Adding Calibrin-Z to the ration increased milk production, enhanced feed efficiency, decreased somatic cell count and reduced death and abortion loss (Figures 1 and 2).

Milk production before and after Calibrin-Z info graphic.
Figure 1: Milk production was greater in dairy cows fed Calibrin-Z (P < 0.01)

 

Somatic cell count info graphic.
Figure 2: Somatic cell count was lower in dairy cows fed Calibrin-Z (P < 0.001)

 

Calibrin-Z also improved the health of cows from two farms in Mexico that were experiencing other kinds of health challenges. One farm had high levels of mycotoxin contamination (T-2 and DON) and a high incidence of Clostridium in the region. Calibrin-Z was able to improve the general health and production of the herd and reduce death loss. Another farm had medium levels of mycotoxin contamination and was experiencing abnormally high abortions. Heat stress was also a factor on this farm. Calibrin-Z was able to reduce abortion loss, decrease cull numbers and improve the general health of the herd.

The fourth case study was conducted on two dairy farms located in the Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, where data collected over the 88-day study was compared to the previous year’s data. Feed samples showed medium levels of mycotoxin contamination at these farms. Calibrin-Z increased milk production, improved reproductive performance and decreased disease incidence (Figures 3 and 4).

Year over year milk production info graphic.
Figure 3: Calibrin-Z improved milk production in dairy cows compared to the previous year (P < 0.05).

 

Mastitis and enteritis info graphic.
Figure 4: Calibrin-Z reduced the incidence of mastitis and enteritis in dairy cows compared to the previous year.

These commercial case studies demonstrate the benefits Calibrin-Z can bring to a dairy cattle herd, no matter the level of disease or environmental challenges the farm is facing. To start your own Calibrin-Z trial or for more information about the benefits of using biotoxin-binding Calibrin-Z, contact us at info@amlan.com.

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