Each farm has an infection history that repeats in each cycle. This is quite much obvious, especially in broiler farms. Even in the same farm area, it is possible to have repeating infections of necrotic enteritis, E. coli or subclinical coccidiosis, Gumboro or etc., on different days, in different houses even though they are next to each other. One of them will show the signs maybe at day 21, the other house will show at day 24, and the other maybe earlier or later.

This is because the real disease pressure and the bacterial/viral/protozoal load is right around the farm house and in the immediate proximity. Even though you will apply the most exhaustive terminal biosecurity between cycles, such as cleaning, disinfection, fumigation and waiting period; many farmers will notice that the same house will have the same infection, on the same dates. This why many have developed the so called “protection treatment” with antibiotics, because they know this history.

But with protective treatments in each cycle, and using maybe the wrong dosage, low quality generic molecules, or short applications, we give the pathogens to develop resistance and to become even stronger and stronger in every cycle.

The starting point of eliminating antibiotic growth promoters and decreasing the usage of treatments during the cycle, goes through a serious plan:

1-          Management: Of course the management conditions should be improved, the drinking water systems should be kept clean, the access of people in to the farm area, the decrease of pets and etc. is very crucial. The collection of dead animals, the elimination of dead animals, eliminating hospital areas in the farm, observing animals with leg problems, collecting and sacrificing them is some of the important points.

2-         Continuous biosecurity: The disinfection of the water, rodent control (which is one of the most important subjects), fly control, litter beetle control, Air treatments and similar actions are crucial to help to decrease bacterial load.

3-         Establishment of gut flora, usage of probiotics and prebiotics: We have to keep in mind always that 70% of the rearing costs is feeding. So we always want that the nutritional factors will reach the host and they will be absorbed from the intestinal channel. The only way to ensure that all vitamins and minerals are going to be absorbed, is to ensure that the intestinal mucosa is healthy and resistant. The only way to ensure that there mucosa is formed well and the villiae height and crypt depth is optimized, goes through reducing the colonization of pathogens and increasing the beneficial flora load. Under normal conditions the establishment of the gut flora is about 9-11 days in poultry. But when we think that all animals receive 3-5 day antibiotics at arrival, there are vaccinations at days, 10, 14, 20, and maybe there are additional treatments in between, what we do, is that we push the establishment of the flora maybe to days 22-23, which in most cases is the 2/3 of the life of the chicken. And while the flora is not established well, there are a lot of sites available for the pathogenic bacteria to infect, invade, colonize and multiply. At this point we have already lost 0,2-0,3 points of FCR. And on top we have used antibiotics, we have opened the door for resistance which will cause damages in the next cycle, and we lost economic benefits. For all these factors, the most suitable and practical feed additive to use are:

a.         Organic acids: They improve the breakdown of fats and proteins. Help to decrease gizzard pH fast, which increases the time of exposure of pathogenic bacteria to acid environment, and also protects feed from fungi, or water from bacterial load.

b.         Prebiotics: S. cerevisiae is a powerful prebiotic which contributes to the feeding of the host, but as well to the feeding of the beneficial flora. Additionally ß-Glucans create an immune modulation along the digestive tract (which holds 70% of all lymphatic nodules), and MOS binds some of the big molecule toxins in the gizzard, protecting the mucosa.

c.          Probiotic bacteria: The main group of beneficial bacteria that is available everywhere are lactic acid bacteria. So the usage of probiotics, starting from day old until slaughter, will ensure that the intestinal mucosa will be optimized and protected right from the start. The animals will digest better, absorb better and the resistance will increase. As the integrity will be maintained, sub clinical conditions will eventually decrease, and the quantity of pathogenic material shed to the environment will be drastically less.

d.         Toxin binding: One of the most dangerous factors that alters resistance, immunity, mucosa integrity are toxins. It is crucial to use agents first decrease the multiplication of fungi, second binding of the already existing toxins.


As you have read above, the action plan should be integral and requires patience. Until we can change the bacterial load on or favour it can take 6-10 cycles, also depending how much the management is improved.

 Under this context we strongly suggest to use Turbo Tox and Bacflora-F together at the beginning stage that will cover many aspects of the digestive tract. After some cycles the producer should be able to observe that there is already an improvement in the performance:

-           Mortality will be lower

-           Flock uniformity will be better

-           Vaccine success will increase

-           Slaughter and carcass performance will improve.

 After a while it is possible to start alternating plans and programs or administration rates. This way also the return on investment will become better and better after each cycle. 

By Dr. Burak Ruperez, Head of XVET Technical & Sales