To learn more about next generation AGP-alternatives, poultry producers from around the world attended Amlan’s first Summer International Poultry Seminar Aug. 2–3 in Chicago.
Attendees heard from industry-thought-leaders about the latest research into the impact of bacterial resistance on modern poultry operations and what measures are needed to drive progress in global poultry production.
Producers worldwide lose $6 billion annually due to bacterial-related disease in their flocks. The reduction and elimination of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in poultry diets is leading to a higher incidence of diseases that challenge gut health, making those economic losses worse. The two-day event hosted by Amlan International, a global leader in the development of innovative products that improve intestinal health and productivity in livestock, attracted producers from 13 countries for a unique learning experience and a chance to exchange ideas about poultry disease management.
“We hosted experts on the forefront of academic research and producers on the leading edge of animal husbandry practices for a deep look into barriers to optimal intestinal health, productivity and profitability in poultry production,” said Flemming Mahs, President, Amlan International. “Even more exciting was to see the new technologies that are addressing some of these challenges. It is this new innovation that promises strategic progress for poultry producers and can provide benefits throughout the food chain.”
Seminar presenters included leading poultry producers such as Amick Farms (OSI Group), which produces 3 million chickens per week and Tyson Foods, one of the largest companies in the global food industry. Leading academic researchers included Dr. Margie Lee, Department Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia Tech University; Dr. John Maurer, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia; Dr. Peter Ferket, Department of Poultry Science, North Carolina State University; and Dr. Marvin Whiteley, Biological Sciences, Georgia Tech.
Successful AGP-free production
Steve Kernen, Vice President of Marketing for Amick Farms, said that for the industry, “antibiotic-free poultry production is like a freight train. You can choose to get on board, or not get on board.” U.S-based companies such as Amick Farms and Tyson Foods are converting some or all of their production to antibiotic-free, but the change comes at a cost.
Those costs, according to Dr. Lee of Virginia Tech University, include reduced efficiency and increased production costs. Producers such as Tyson Foods are overcoming those challenges by refining nutrition management, adopting new technology and altering animal husbandry practices.
“In no-antibiotics-ever (NAE) production systems, maintaining gut health in the birds and minimizing intestinal disruptions are critically important,” said Dr. Phillip Smith, Tyson Senior Poultry Nutritionist. “Having a strong nutritional program is even more important in NAE. Some of the new nutrition technologies that are coming forward are very promising to help address these challenges.”
Advancements in natural feed additives are helping to transform the poultry industry by providing proven and reliable alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters for efficient feed use and improved bird performance. At the seminar, field results from Amlan’s natural growth promotion product Varium were presented that demonstrated the product’s effectiveness at improving growth and reducing mortality. Varium works by supporting the bird’s intestinal health and immune system and by controlling fungal and bacterial diseases caused by Clostridium perfringens, Salmonella and E. coli.
Mahs added, “It’s an exciting time in the livestock health industry because, while the global challenges are great, the opportunities to create the necessary solutions are even greater. At Amlan, we use research to create innovative products with proven efficacy to solve global challenges across livestock production.”