The trial, set to commence later this year, will look at the efficacy of the essential oil product Orego-Stim, which is designed to strengthen immune support, enabling animals to better cope with stress and pathogenic challenges.
Hayley Agnew, UK and EU commercial director at Anpario, said the product had already been trialed in the US and Middle East, but not yet the UK.
“We’re just putting a protocol together, looking at what level we put the product in at different stages and what data to collect; We’ll be looking at things like egg production, egg weight, egg grading and, anecdotally, looking at the health, mortality and overall condition of the birds,” Agnew told FeedNavigator.
She said the trial would start with the birds at age 16 weeks and would take in the full production cycle.
“The goal for the producer is just to evaluate the product and my goal is to get a full, comprehensive set of data.”
With this data, Agnew said she was hopeful Anpario could gain better traction and growth in the UK egg sector.
“In the layer hen market, we are talking to the customers and finding out what they want, so the current trial will give some generic information.”
Increasingly relevant with cage conversions
Agnew said for those working in the UK layer market, the product would become of increasing interest as more moved away from cage colony systems into barns or free-range egg production.
“The challenge is bigger with free-range, for example, because of the fact the ranging sites are a big bacterial challenge. The cage system is much easier to control as there’s a complete wash out where they disinfect everything.”
She said factors like the overall condition of the birds can become a real concern with ranging birds.
“There’s a variety of things going on but yes, the pathogenic challenge and stress on then birds gets mentioned quite a lot.”
Agnew said supermarkets in the UK were putting increasing pressure on egg producers, saying they would not take eggs from any cage colony systems after 2025, so it was likely more egg producers would convert in the coming years.
“There are some challenging times ahead because of the move away from cages, but I think there are also some nice opportunities there.”
Agnew said the planned trial was a direct result of a recent partnership with
RSB Poultry – a services company specialized in poultry production and egg packaging – proving the importance of such industry alliances.
“The feed industry is taking on a different shape with mergers and acquisitions and although we’re not feed, we’re feed additives, we have to look at doing things differently. People are looking at getting more value, so if we can go with a joint partnership where we have a lot of knowledge between us that’s great,” she said.
“…RSB bring the contacts, expertise and industry respect and Anpario brings the products and technical knowledge and nutritional input on those products – they’re the industry side, we’re the nutritional side.”