Independent research conducted by Novometrix Inc. has verified that Elanco’s Intestinal Integrity (I2) Index used to measure gut health and function in broilers, correlates closely with live performance outcomes such as daily weight gain and feed efficiency in broiler flocks around the globe. The research findings were presented during the International Production & Processing Expo’s (IPPE) Tech Xchange on Wednesday, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Jeff Wilson, president of Novometrix Research, Inc., reviewed the methodology, research findings and data-driven insights the I2 Index offers to help poultry producers manage the health and performance of their flocks. Novometrix specializes in epidemiology, including data integration and analytics, with a special focus on solutions for sustainable agriculture and agri-food production in the poultry industry. The company’s validation of the I2 Index included an analysis of data collection processes and the analytic platform used to create the Index. Research methodology also included a comprehensive literature review and interviews with industry experts including veterinarians, as well as a statistical analysis of millions of data points supporting the I2 Index.
“For a long time, poultry experts have known that maintaining Intestinal Integrity is crucial for broiler health, said Dr. Wilson. “Now there is research to support the connection between intestinal integrity and flock health and performance.”
The I2 Index includes 23 enteric conditions such as gizzard erosion, necrotic enteritis and excessive intestinal fluid. Each condition is assigned a specific weight and collectively, these weights create a custom, composite number that is entered into the Health Tracking System (HTSi) database. Developed by Elanco, HTSi is a comprehensive database integrating more than 15 years of data and more than 600,000 individual bird post-mortem analyses from around the globe. In addition to incorporating enteric diseases, HTSi data include a range of productivity metrics such as as average daily gain (ADG), feed conversion rate (FCR) and European Production Efficiency Factor (EPEF). By analyzing data specific to individual flocks, the I2 Index allows producers to monitor their birds’ health and provides a tool for benchmarking performance across operations over time. As producers apply insights derived from data, they can make adjustments to improve the health and performance of specific flocks based on the I2 Index.
“At a time when the poultry industry is challenged with increasing global competition, the management of persistent and emerging diseases and a rapidly changing regulatory environment, theI2 Index provides poultry producers around the world with a data-driven approach to monitoring and managing flock health and performance,” said Dr. Wilson.