This article appeared in Poultry World, No 10, 2021
Probiotics have their part to play in mitigating on-farm challenges such as necrotic enteritis (NE) – even before these challenges reach a clinical stage.
Necrotic enteritis can be a massive challenge on farm, resulting in high mortality rates and reduced performance. Clostridium perfringens plays an important role in the onset and development of NE but there are multiple predisposing factors that need to be present before C. perfringens can lead to a clinical challenge.
These factors can already adversely affect performance without presenting themselves as clinical issues. The development of dysbacteriosis (or dysbiosis) is one such factor, often described as a disruption of the microbiota’s homeostasis. Symptoms range from increased wet litter to reduced gut functioning, negatively impacting animal performance. Probiotics can help to prevent and mitigate such situations, both directly and indirectly.
Bacillus licheniformis DSM 28710 – the active strain in Huvepharma’s B-Act range – is a good example of such a probiotic, tackling NE with a two-pronged approach. The first is based on preventing dysbiosis taking hold to start with, by making sure gut health is secure and the engine keeps running. However, if C. perfringens does proliferate and NE develops, B. licheniformis DSM 28710 is also capable of mitigating the negative effects of an NE challenge itself.
The above was recently confirmed again in peer-reviewed research (Van der Veken et al., 2020), where broilers were subjected to an induced NE challenge. Health and performance parameters were recorded for three groups: a control, a B-Act group and an antibiotic treatment group. Even under the induced challenge, animals receiving B-Act scored significantly better than the control and to a similar level as the antibiotic treatment group. The trial also confirmed B-Act’s two-pronged approach: even before the NE challenge, animals supplemented with B-Act already outperformed the control, simply through supporting and maintaining proper gut health.
Probiotic inclusion in feed formulations has come under pressure lately though, as the current global situation has increased feed prices across the board. Fortunately, certain probiotics can also be added to drinking water. A flexible water-soluble formulation allows the probiotic to be applied only in specific periods. This does require adding a product to an already complex system and should be done with great care: water quality and management influence animal performance greatly, making the continuous availability of high-quality water paramount. As such, the probiotic formulation should be adapted to this – including the amount and type of carrier used.
With this in mind, B-Act Buzz was developed as the newest member of Huvepharma’s probiotic range. The formulation is based on the same unique B. licheniformis strain as in other B-Act products, but is presented as an effervescent tablet. Each tablet weighs only 50 grams with adapted carriers for use in drinking water. In this way a minimal amount of carrier material is added to the water system while still ensuring efficient delivery of the probiotic. The tablet’s effervescence also offers greater ease of use compared to traditional powder products, as it requires minimal stirring and the probiotic spores are homogenously distributed throughout the water column. B-Act Buzz thus efficiently combines the highest water quality standards with practical on-farm efficacy in an easy-to-use tablet.