Poultry Producers Gain Key Insights Using Data Management Platform

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Health Tracking System (HTSi™) helps optimize bird health and performance

Leveraging data and analytics is essential for making smart decisions in poultry production. Data provides insight into animal behavior and health, feed conversion, disease outbreaks and more. Real-time information, coupled with large data sets of historical information, can help producers identify relevant patterns over time to improve overall bird health and performance.

“Having a deeper understanding of the performance drivers through data helps producers optimize and identify when to intervene and select the right program or intervention that will deliver better results,” said Francene Van Sambeek, D.V.M., Elanco technical consultant.

For poultry leaders who seek to continuously improve their performance and business, a data management platform enables them to better understand flock health.

Largest Database of Broiler Health

Established in 1995, Elanco’s global Health Tracking System (HTSi™) is a comprehensive, independently verified data management platform based on necropsies that provides the largest data-based view of broiler health worldwide. Information collected offers timely data-based decisions to producers. In addition, Elanco experts provide consultation on multiple lesion scores to assess gut health, locomotor function, respiratory stability and bird welfare.1

“This is an industry with enormous scale and numbers,” said Dr. George Gould, Elanco principal global marketing technical advisor. “It’s easy to have figures that become overwhelming or are not well interpreted. With an Elanco expert’s help, HTSi helps translate data into information that is clear, simple and actionable.”

HTSi puts producers in control by identifying patterns and trends; giving early indications of health problems; allowing early targeted interventions; and comparing performance over time. It also helps support sustainable production to improve bird health and animal welfare.

HTSi Review of U.S. Broiler Chickens

Elanco’s team of experts often analyze the data set to help draw conclusions on the state of certain challenges of the poultry industry. A recent assessment of 68,113 birds gathered from January 2016 through December 2020 revealed several key insights related to peak challenges in broilers across the U.S. for age, season, anticoccidial feeding program and production type based on coccidial scores presented.

  • Gross Eimeria acervulina (gAc) lesion scores showed peak incidence at 21 days of age, with the highest cycling occurring in the spring and the lowest cycling occurring in the fall. The most common severity level found was score 1 (0-4 scale)2
  • Gross Eimeria maxima (gMx) lesion scores showed peak incidence at 42 days of age, with the highest cycling occurring in the spring and the lowest cycling occurring in the winter. The most common severity level found was score 1 (0-4 scale)2
  • Microscopic Eimeria maxima (mMx) lesion scores showed peak incidence at 28 days of age, with the highest cycling occurring in the winter and the lowest cycling occurring in the summer. The most common severity level found was score 1 (0-4 scale) 2

The study also looked at the most common anticoccidial feeding programs types used by season and age.

  • In starter feeds, the most-used program type included a weak chemical in winter and vaccines in spring and summer, followed by Maxiban® in the2
  • In grower feeds, the most-used program type included Maxiban in the winter, with ionophores used during the spring and summer and repeating Maxiban in the fall.2
  • In finisher feeds, there is a steady decrease in cocci feed additive products used in ration 3 and 4.2 In 2021, where the average feeding program had 3.8 rations, only 46% of ration 3 diets had a cocci product in it, and in ration 4 that dropped to 6%.

“We still see product variation by season and shuttles are common, especially between the grower and finisher feeds, with most producers moving to cocci feed ingredients,” said Van Sambeek. “Removing a cocci product in late feeding programs could allow for subclinical coccidiosis or late cocci cycling to come through, which can reduce bird performance, and ultimately, profitability. It’s important to be vigilant after eight weeks of product usage in assessing and adjusting the program. Pulling data from HTSi with the help of our team can aid producers in designing their programs and creating an action plan.”

Data allows producers to identify critical points for performance and bird health improvements and helps establish trends and outcomes for the poultry industry. By partnering with an Elanco technical consultant, producers can discuss ways to utilize HTSi data and create a well-planned Intestinal Integrity program. Learn more by visiting ElancoPoultry.com/I2

  1. Kasab-Bachia H, Arrudab A, Robertsa T, Wilsona J. The use of large databases to inform the development of an intestinal scoring system for the poultry industry. Prev Vet Med. 2017; 146:130-35.
  2. Elanco Animal Health. Data on file.

Maxiban Usage Information:

The label contains complete use information, including cautions and warnings. Always read, understand and follow the label and use directions.

Maxiban directions for use:

For the prevention of coccidiosis in broiler chickens caused by Eimeria necatrix, E. tenella, E. acervulina, E. brunetti, E. mivati and E. maxima:

  • Feed Maxiban at 54-90 g/ton
  • Feed continuously as the sole ration
  • Requires a zero-day withdrawal (when fed according to the label), some combination use requires 5-day withdrawal

CAUTION: Nicarbazin medicated broilers may show reduced heat tolerance if exposed to high temperature and high

humidity. Provide adequate drinking water and ventilation. Do not allow adult turkeys, horses or other equines access to formulations containing narasin. Ingestion of narasin by these species has been fatal. Do not feed to laying hens.