special edition: Reports from IPPE

Delacon turns to plant blend to address poultry heat stress

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages
© GettyImages

Related tags: Poultry, Heat stress, Feed additives, phytogenic

Delacon is looking to address challenges related to heat stress in North American poultry production, focusing on a blended phytogenic feed additive that is said to support weight gain and FCR.

The Austria-based phytogenic feed additive company launched its heat stress additive for poultry producers in the US and Canada at the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta in January, following an Asian market launch phase. 

The blended phytogenic product incorporates flavonoids, essential oils and spices, said Kevin Adams, sales group leader for North America at Delacon Biotechnik GmbH.

“The purpose of the product is to help birds mitigate heat stress,” ​he told FeedNavigator. “[The idea is[ to help combat the negative effects of those challenges, which are  reduced feed consumption, reduced feed efficiency and thus reduced performance – whether that is reduced body weight gain in broilers or egg [production] in layers.”

Heat stress related conditions are estimated to cost the industry more than $100m annually, he added.

Focusing on heat stress

Poultry production can take place in tropical and subtropical regions, taking account of certain regions in US and regions where temperature spikes occur, said David Harrington, species leader poultry, Delacon.

The industry has been exploring several pathways to address the issue including looking at bird genetics and the use of feed additives, he told us.

Warm and humid conditions can reduce bird performance and negatively affect birds’ homeostasis mechanisms, Harrington said.

Birds can also suffer from oxidative stress where cellular respiration generates free radicals that then may damage cells and tissue, he said.

The Delacon product, Biostrong Comfort, is intended to support birds’ own defense systems, he said. Adding the phytogenic additive helps support the antioxidative capacity of the bird, he added.

In a series of feeding trials with broilers, the birds receiving the supplement saw higher body weight gain and improved feed conversion during heat stress conditions compared to birds on the control diet, Delacon reported. Weight gain was increased by about 4.3%.

“You bring the levels of stress, of physiological stress in the bird back down, so it’s able to cope with heat stress that way,”​ Harrington said

The additive is intended to be used in feeds starting at the grower phase, he said.

The product is also thermostable and capable of being added to feed mixes prior to the pelleting process, he said. It has been tested with both broilers and layers at this point.

The additive was developed for use in both conversational and antibiotic-free production systems, said Adams.

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