Grazix Animal Health, Inc. recently introduced the industry’s first feed product in which plant-based nutrients to deliver full polyphenol bioactivity to the gut. The products are expected to become the first choice for large scale food animal producers interested in alternative feed strategies.
Gut Stress in Swine
Confinement raised livestock face a multitude of productivity-robbing biotic and abiotic stresses. Digestive care in young animals with developing immune systems is especially critical for preventing mortalities and care-intensive fall-backs.
Current trends in husbandry practices on large farms reduce the length of time in the weaning process in piglets. Unfortunately, this practice can have a negative effect on the healthy development of a piglet’s immune system.
Physiological and anatomical changes that impacts the digestive capability of the small intestine also occur during the weaning process. The small intestine plays an important role and is necessary for survival and long-term health. However, when the intestinal health and structure are impaired, a number of vital cellular functions can be altered, leading to inflammation that can result in Post Weaning Diarrhea (PWD).
In the past, antibiotics protected the animals through this transition. Today, concern over antimicrobial resistance worldwide and the Veterinary Feed Directive have made AGP alternatives a critical consideration for any livestock production system. The exploding commercial demand for antibiotic-free protein makes the selection of the right non-antibiotic support for gut health an essential task for veterinarians and production managers.
Feed additives containing organic acids, enzymes, probiotics and plant extracts have become commonplace in modern production systems, but completely eliminating antibiotics still remains a challenge. A healthy diverse microbiome is now recognized as an integral part of the gut immune system. Some researchers go as far as calling it another endocrine organ. The extreme feed to finish hygiene required in large systems is costly and when animals do get sick, mortalities and dropouts from antibiotic treatments directly hit the bottom line.