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Growth Promoters for Poultry Animals: How do they work?

In the past few years, there has been a substantial growth in the poultry industry, thanks to several growth promoting strategies and appropriate disease preventive and control measures among the flocks. Growth promoters are substances that are used by farmers and livestock owners with the intent of promoting growth, boosting overall efficiency, improving feed conversion efficiency and improving the quality of produce. These growth promoters are added to poultry feed supplements or induced in the form of injection to increase poultry nutrition.

There are different types of growth promoters used in poultry feed supplements such as antibiotics, probiotics, prebiotics, exogenous enzymes, antioxidants, herbs, and more. Apart from boosting production and promoting general health of the birds, several growth promoters seem to enable modulation of the immunity system and come with stress relieving properties. Let us take a look at the different types of growth promoters and how they increase poultry nutrition:

Antibiotics:

Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGP) involve the use of antibiotics in poultry feed to improve overall growth and feed conversion. AGPs help improve the flock’s performance and keeps their health in check. It promotes growth by reducing growth-suppressing metabolites caused by microbes. These growth promoters also increase amino acid levels in the gut, and reduces stress and mortality in birds.

Probiotics:

These are live microbial feed supplements which are used for balancing the population of microbes in the intestines. It restrains the growth of disease producing microbes in the birds, prevents digestive problems, enables absorption of nutrients, improves feed intake, increases growth rate and body weight, boosts fertility, reduces stress, and performs various other functions to enhance growth.

Prebiotics:

Prebiotics beneficially affect the host by stimulating growth of harmless bacteria. It provides energy and other limited nutrients to the intestinal mucosa. Probiotics also work by hindering the colonization of pathogenic bacteria in the birds.

Phytogentic Feed Additives:

Also known as PFAs or botanicals, Phytogenic Feed Additives are added to animal diet to improve performance and productivity. Phytogenics include essential oils, spices and herbs. These have several benefits such as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, digestion promoting properties and more.

Organic Acids:

These acidifiers help in lowering gut pH among the birds, which in turn reduces the presence of pathogenic organisms. In order to hinder the growth of intestinal bacteria, dietary acidification is necessary, which reduces the availability of toxic bacterial metabolites.

Vitamins and Minerals:

Vitamins and minerals are used for improving growth as well as feed utilization, which in turn helps in better production. They also help maintain gut health and boost immunity in birds. Certain vitamins also have the ability to reduce weight loss in birds caused due to heat stress.

One of the most effective growth promoters for poultry is Easygrow by Natural Remedies. It improves mortality and immunity in hens, enables weight gain, allows for better flock uniformity, controls stress, and restores nutritional balance. For more information, you can click on the link given below:

https://www.naturalremedy.com/india/poultry/growth-promoter/easy-grow/

Artificial insemination in farm animals

Artificial insemination (AI) is the introduction of male reproductive cells into the female reproductive tract by an artificial means. A.I. is primarily an economical measure in that fewer bulls are required and maximum use can be made of the best sire.

  • Advantages of A.I

    AI has following advantages

    1. Increases the usefulness of superior sire to an extra-ordinary degree

      The germplasm of the superior sire can be used for insemination to several cows at the same time.

    2. The services of superior sire are greatly extended by A.I.

      It reduces the cost of transport of the sire and saves time along with dissemination of superior germplasm to several dams simultaneously.

    3. Reduces the management of herd sire/bull

      The breeder does not need to maintain a herd sire and thus can avoid the botherations accompanied with the management of bull. It helps to regulate the breeding programme and the space between successive calving without unnecessarily prolonging the dry period.

    4. AI avoids inbreeding

      The dairyman does not have the problem of searching and purchasing a new herd sire every two years to avoid in-breeding.

    5. Overcomes the difficulty of size and weight

      AI bypasses the obstacles of size and weight faced by several breeders during cross between dam and sire of desired genetic characteristics.

    6. Increase rate of conception

      AI has found to have higher conception rate than the normal breeding. Moreover, there is no animal transport so AI can be performed anytime as per the oestrus cycle of the dam.

    7. Outstanding animals located apart can be mated

      There is no animal transport required in AI, so AI can be performed anytime as per the oestrus cycle of the dam.

    8. Helps in better record keeping

      In a dairy farm, it is much easy to keep proper records of AI than normal breeding due to its time saving procedure and much convenient process than normal breeding.

    9. Old heavy and injured sires can be used with advantages

      Several old sires of heavy body weight but superior germplasm which cannot be transported, have an added advantage of their germplasm collection for AI service.

  • Limitation of A.I.

    1. Requires well trained operations and special equipments

      AI needs well trained personnels/ field veterinarians along with AI gun for conducting the task.

    2. Necessitates the knowledge of structure and function of reproduction on the part of the operator

      The person conducting AI must have thorough knowledge of the anatomy of female reproductive tract of cow for the correct deposition of semen inside the uterus.

    3. Market of bull reduces while that for the superior germ plasm is increased

      TAI being an easy and convenient process, the market demand of bull reduces.

    4. Selection of sire should be very rigid in all respect

      The selection of sire for the desired traits should be done by a breeding expert as the germplasm of the selected bull will be distributed to several dams at the same time and the same bull will be used for future breeding as well.

How to prevent and reduce heat stress in poultry

Just the way humans are susceptible to heat stroke during hot climatic conditions, livestock also face extreme exhaustion due to heat, known as heat stress. High environmental temperatures are one of the most common causes of heat stress. In a bird, heat stress occurs when the core body temperature increases to extreme levels due to poor heat loss and limited means of coping. The environmental temperature and humidity inside the barn or the hen house plays an important role in heat stress. Thus, the temperature and humidity must constantly be measured and kept in check. Heat stress not only causes suffering and death among the birds, but it also results in loss of production and profit to the livestock owners.

What is heat stress?

Heat stress in poultry occurs when birds have difficulty striking a balance between body heat production and heat loss. Heat stress can occur at all ages among the birds. However, older birds are at a high risk of heat stress as larger birds tend to become more insulated with their feathers.

The thermoneutral zone for poultry is between 60 – 75 degrees F. When in the thermoneutral zone, birds can lose heat through normal behaviour. When the temperature increases to 85 degrees F (the upper critical zone), the birds tend to adapt themselves to the temperature by decreasing their feed intake and production. This may also lead to reduction in egg laying quantity, hatchability, quality of the egg shell, and egg size. During this zone, the birds must lose excessive heat by panting. When the temperature reaches 100 degrees F (thermal maximum temperature), the birds’ core body temperature will increase, which can lethal, unless help is provided.

How to prevent heat stress in birds?

Heat stress can be reduced or prevented in a variety of ways. Here are some tips you can follow to reduce heat stress in your flock:

Provide Ventilation:

One of the simplest ways to prevent heat stress among your flock is by managing the air flow. Make sure that you increase the ventilation to remove excess heat. If you have a naturally – ventilated barn, ensure that you have supplemental fans in the barn, as there is an increased risk of heat stress if the air flow is calm.

Feed Right:

Birds tend to be hungrier in the morning, resulting in them eating more. This will make them prone to heat stress in the afternoon. The best way to prevent this is by withdrawing feed 6 hours before peak warm temperature, and feeding them once the peak temperature is declining.

Water:

Bird tend to increase their water intake by 2 – 4 times more than usual during heat stress. Make sure that the birds have cool, clean water all the time, which will encourage them to consume water more often.

Use Electrolytes:

You can add electrolytes to the water for up to three days. This will help balance the electrolytes in birds and also enable them to drink more water.

Manage Space:

Make sure that your birds have plenty of space. By putting fewer birds in each hen house, you can help reduce heat stress.

You can also use products such as Natural Remedies Phytocee, a phytogenic feed additive that promotes endurance, reduces vulnerability against diseases and helps manage the harmful effects of stress. You can learn more about the product by clicking on the link given below:

https://www.naturalremedy.com/monogastrics-poultry/adaptogenic-general-immunity/phytocee/

Biosensors and their utility in animal disease diagnostics

Globally, infectious diseases are the leading cause of mortality in man and animals. Infectious diseases of both domestic and wildlife pose a serious health risk to humans as exhibited by the current ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These infectious diseases can be of zoonotic origin affecting not only human health, but also, animal health and production. Such diseases pose a serious threat to a country’s growth, economy, and health perspectives. To prevent the spread of infectious diseases it is imperative to develop rapid and sensitive tests for early detection of the causative agents. It aids in adopting suitable preventive measures, compartmentalization of the infected zones, and designing strategies to prevent further spread of the disease. The viral agents can be detected in the clinical samples by gold standard virus isolation in cell culture system. This method has well-known merits and demerits such as economic investment, expert manpower, and time-consuming lengthy protocols (from days to weeks). On the other hand, molecular detection methods such as conventional Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Real-time PCR (RT PCR), although they are both sensitive and specific, cannot be employed for pen-side diagnosis due to the involvement of sophisticated instruments. In such a scenario, the development of a rapid, sensitive, and specific pen-side test is the need of the hour and is a challenge for the scientific community to combat the emerging and re-emerging diseases. With the limited infrastructure for the diagnosis of the emerging and re-emerging infection, biosensors can be an effective tool to perform field-based diagnosis and animal health monitoring. Easy handling, user friendly, and minimum processing endows biosensor an effective tool for disease diagnosis. In the past few decades, a lot of work has been done on this aspect for the detection of both viral and bacterial pathogens. Various molecules like nucleic acids, antibodies, antigens, and proteins of animal origin are detected in the clinical samples in these biosensing elements.

The principle of a biosensor is based on the detection of a biomarker molecule in the clinical sample. This biomarker can be any protein, antigen, or antibody of the infectious agent. The biomarker molecule is detected by the bioreceptor which is immobilized on a chip or another base. This bioreceptor could be DNA, RNA, monoclonal antibody, protein, or any cell. However, it is important to choose the bioreceptor carefully as it is the deciding factor for the sensitivity and specificity of a biosensor. Although there are several types of bioreceptors, the most common types used are nucleic acids, enzymes, and antibodies. The interaction between the biomarker and bioreceptor generates signals via transductor which are read and interpreted. The signals generated give information regarding the presence or absence of the pathogen in the sample. These biosensors have been developed to detect many animal pathogens like E. coli, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Avian influenza virus(LPAI and HPAI), Bluetongue and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Viruses, Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus, Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus, Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) Virus.

Broiler production and management

Broilers are the birds of about 8 weeks of age of either sex with body weight of around 2.1 kg which are reared for meat purpose. Broilers can be housed on deep litter, slatted or wire floor or battery cages. Broilers can be reared as either single batch at a time (all-in all-out system) or multiple batches of brooding and rearing of broilers. All-in all-out system have only one batch of broilers, belonging to the same hatch at any time. This system is more hygienic, lesser sub-clinical infections and horizontal spreading of diseases and thereby lesser mortality rate, better growth rate and improved feed efficiency. However, this system is not suitable for large scale farming and needs higher fixed and working capital per bird.
    • Multiple batch system

      Disease causing microorganisms in the poultry industry includes various virus, bacteria and protozoa. The most destructive avian viral diseases are Newcastle disease virus (NDV), avian influenza virus (AIV), infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), egg drop syndrome avian adenovirus, and fowl pox virus. Some of the natural remedies to treat viral diseases in poultry are as follows
    • Floor space, feeder space and waterer space

      The floor space requirement of broilers varies depending on their body weight at the time of marketing, housing systems, marketing age and ambient temperature. The feeder and waterer space also varies depending on the environmental temperature and health condition of the birds.
    • Cage rearing of broilers

      Broilers can also be reared on battery cages. Broiler cages are like that of grower cages. To prevent the breast blisters, the bottom of the cage may be coated with some plastic materials. The floor space requirement in cages is 75% of the floor space needed in deep litter.
    • Vaccination

      1. Vaccination against Ranikhet disease is done at 5-7 days and 21-24 days age
      2. Vaccination against Gumboro disease is done at 12-14 days age
      3. Vaccination against Infectious Bronchitis is done at 1st day or along with Ranikhet.

Respiratory infection in domestic animals and its management

The most common respiratory diseases in domestic animals are Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in cattle and heaves in horses. CRD is a general term for respiratory disease in cattle caused by a range of factors, singly or in combination. A major cause of economic losses, BRD affects the lower respiratory tract/lungs (pneumonia) or upper respiratory tract (rhinitis, tracheitis, bronchitis). Common respiratory diseases of domestic animals are – rhinitis, sinusitis, and mucous membrane inflammation syndrome with allergic and irritant rhinitis. The most common signs of respiratory problems are Coughing, Difficult breathing, Gagging after coughing, Nasal congestion, Exercise intolerance, Fainting, Wheezing, Blue gums. Heaves in horses is a common, performance-limiting, allergic respiratory disease of horses characterized by chronic cough, nasal discharge, and respiratory difficulty.

  • Management of respiratory diseases

    Respiratory diseases can be managed by following measures given below

    1. Management of allergen

      Environmental management is an essential part of therapy in allergic respiratory diseases. For example, clinical signs in horses with heaves (recurrent airway obstruction) or cattle with hypersensitivity pneumonitis may be effectively controlled by preventing exposure to molds present in hay.

    2. Providing good housing and feed

      In cattle, farming, poor housing conditions, allotments and abrupt feeding transitions are particularly disturbing for dairy or suckling cows. The more they are stressed and weakened, the more these animals are prone to bacteria and viruses, regardless of their age. Respiratory disorders are one of the main signs of this imbalance.

    3. Providing good ventilation

      After conformation of respiratory difficulties, the reasons of these problems must be analysed by examining the condition of housing system like for the quality of ventilation, number of animals accommodated and also the presence of dust and gasses that may cause allergy.

    4. Stress management

      Stressed related rearing conditions must also be analysed. Changes in buildings or in farming organization are often necessary for preventing the emergence of respiratory disorders. For example, mixing cattle of different origins or ages within a same building increases the risk of diseases.

    5. Animal vaccination

      To avoid respiratory infections animals should be fully vaccinated to enhance their immunity and should be provided with optimal nutrition. Unnecessary stress to the animal must be avoided and further limiting the consequences by the intake of specific nutrients such as magnesium.

Natural remedies for viral infection in poultry and farm animals

The use of plants as traditional medicine against viral diseases in the production of animals have been described and practiced worldwide. Common herbal extracts are used as antiviral agents in treating or preventing virus diseases of farm animals such as poultry, swine, and ruminants. Some of the common viral infections and natural remedies for their treatment are discussed below.

  • Poultry

    Disease causing microorganisms in the poultry industry includes various virus, bacteria and protozoa. The most destructive avian viral diseases are Newcastle disease virus (NDV), avian influenza virus (AIV), infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), egg drop syndrome avian adenovirus, and fowl pox virus. Some of the natural remedies to treat viral diseases in poultry are as follows

    1. Aloe

      The aloe is a potential candidate on the management of NDV. It has been reported that the flowers and leaves of aloe has showed relatively higher antiviral activity than other parts of the plant

    2. Azadirachta indica (neem)

      Neem, scientifically known as Azadirachta indica, has been shown to demonstrate a wide variety of therapeutic effects including antimicrobial activities. Neem leaf extract significantly reduced the NDV-stimulated splenocyte proliferation in mice to the level comparable to the uninfected control. This suggested that the extract has anti-NDV activity.

    3. Burtt

      Commiphora swynnertonii (Burtt) has been found to reduce clinical symptoms or severity as well as in antibody titers in the chicken resulting to lower mortality rate. These findings indicate that the resinous extract has strong antiviral activity against NDV in chicken.

  • Farm animals

    Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) are most common viral infections in cattle and buffalo. Some of the natural treatments for viral diseases in farm animals are as follows

    1. Finger millet

      For FMD, honey, finger millet, and 97% sodium on topical application has shown improvement in ulcers and blister within three days.

    2. Basil

      Basil, or Ocimum basilicum has been demonstrated in many studies to have antivirus, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. The effects of basil and its essential oils, known as monoterpenes have been tested against BVD virus at different time points of infection. It has shown to reduce the virus titre effectively.

Vices in domestic animals and their remedies

Undesirable quality or bad habits shown by the animals are called vices of animals. Degree of these undesirable qualities vary individually. Sometimes these vices are dangerous either to owner or to the animal.

  • Types of vices in animals

    Eye rolling, licking, sucking, intersuckling calves, intersuckling by adults, wool pulling, wool eating, head rubbing, kicking and sucking and eating solid objects are common vices of farm animals. Most common causes of all the vices are improper diet and restricted movement.

  • Causes of vices

    Overcrowding, restrictive enclosure and indoor management systems plays significant role in behaviour of small ruminants. Lack of enough exercise and work also causes viciousness. Early weaning of animals produce stress and can generate vices. Vices like kicking are act of self defence due to fear.

  • Ways to treat vices in animals

    Following measures can be followed to treat animal vices

    1. Food and exercise

      By providing sufficient food and taking out the animal from the stall or allowing free movement of animal, vices can be controlled. Feeding good quality feed with roughage and concentrate helps in minimizing the vices. Adding salt in the feed of animals also plays important role in preventing these undesirable qualities.

    2. Feeding weaned calves

      Early weaned calves of dairy animals develop vices like licking at their own bodies, at objects in their pens and at parts of bodies of other calves. It can be controlled by feeding calves with automatic nurses with teats and prolonging the feeding time.

    3. Good feeding management

      To control the loss of milk yield and to prevent the damage of udder, mouth muzzle can be used. Sometimes due to bad weather or indigestion, animals start eating dung. Good feeding management like feeding hay before grain feeding help in reducing over feeding in bulls. In sheep and goat wool pulling is common abnormal behaviour which can be managed by increasing amount of roughage in feed.

    4. Avoiding overcrowding

      To control fear in animals, over crowding in the farm areas should be avoided.

Management of skin diseases in farm animals

Skin diseases in farm animals are mainly due to bacterial, viral or fungal infection. Endocrine skin diseases , tumor conditions , nutritional skin disease and skin condition due to poisoning are also common in animals. Skin condition where pus formation occurs are mainly due to bacterial infection. Parasitic skin diseases are mainly due to ticks, lice, mites, fleas and flies.

  • Clinical signs and lesions

    In case of lumpy skin disease (LSD) infected cattle develop fever, lacrimation, nasal discharge, and hypersalivation, followed by the characteristic eruptions on the skin and other parts of the body in ~50% of susceptible cattle. The incubation period is 4–14 days. The nodules are well circumscribed, round, slightly raised, firm, and painful and involve the entire cutis and the mucosa of the GI, respiratory, and genital tracts. Fungal infection in animals like hair loss with scaling and sometimes with inflamed borders are common signs. Animals exhibiting skin diseases as thickening of skin with intense irritation alopecia should be separated immediately.

  • Treatment

    1. For fungal infection Griseofulvin 25-50 mg/kg body weight and in some animals amphotericin B may be useful.

    2. Cleaning of skin

      For skin lesions with pus formation, cleaning skin with shampoo such as hexetidine or 2.5% peroxide is advisable.

    3. Applying Topicure spray

      Topicure spray is recommended for the treatment of wound lesions in LSD.

    4. Vaccination

      There is no treatment for the viral diseases like LSD in cattle. So prevention by vaccination is the most effective means of control.

    5. Applying herbal preparations

      Herbal preparations having garlic extract, turmeric powder, lemon extract, camphor, and onion extract may be applied.

Tips to care for wounded animals

Wounds refer to injuries that damage or break the skin and/or other tissues in the body, mostly caused due to external factors. Wound in animals can be caused while fighting, insect/animal bites, accidents, injuries caused by fences and barbed wires while grazing, and more. If not cared for immediately, the wound in animals may cause infection as toxins are released by the microbes present in them, leading to conditions such as abscess, necrosis, slough, and more, which is why proper wound management is important. Here are some of the most common types wounds in cattle, and how to manage wound healing in animals:

Open Wounds:

An open wound is when the injured tissues are exposed to the air due to broken skin. These wounds are at a higher risk of getting infected. Some of the most common types of open wounds are cuts, abrasions, punctured wound, penetration wound, and avulsions.

In case of open wounds, it is important to stop the bleeding by applying ice packs, which helps constrict the blood vessels. After the bleeding stops, the next step in treating the wound is irrigation. Flush the wound with a diluted disinfectant, saline solution or just water. The fluid rids the wound of dirt, bacteria and other germs, and applies gentle pressure on the wound, aiding the healing process. Topical sprays and ointments can be applied if necessary. You can also bandage or suture it, depending on the nature of the wound. You can use topical medicines such as Topicure ++ and Topicure Advance by Natural Remedies to ensure quick recovery.

Abscess:

An abscess refers to a pocket of infection that occurs when gets under the skin. This can happen when the animal comes in contact with a contaminated object. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the surrounding tissues or the bloodstream.

If your animal has an abscess, the first thing to do is to clip the fur from the area of infection, clean the wound vigorously to open it and drain out the pus. It is important to be gentle as the pus could be forced back into the bloodstream. Oral or injected antibiotics should be administered immediately. After draining the pus, apply heat packs to the wound to encourage continuous drainage. Make sure that the wound is always clean and consult the vet before taking significant action.

Animal Bites:

In case of animal bites, wash the wounded area carefully until the bleeding stops. If the wound is severe, you can apply ice packs. If the injury is minor, do not use antiseptics as they interfere with the healing process. You can cover the wound with a thin layer of antiseptics if the wound is major and cover it loosely with a clean bandage or gauge to prevent dust particles from coming in contact with the wound.

Closed Wounds:

Most of the times, closed wounds occur as a result of a forceful blow, which damages the soft tissues underneath. In this type of wound, there is internal bleeding, due to which the blood flows into the surround tissues, causing them to swell or change colour. While treating closed wounds, the goal is to control pain and reduce inflammation. In case of closed wounds, contact your vet immediately.

When it comes to wound healing in animals, proper nursing is required to ensure quick recovery. Keep the animal from licking or chewing at the wounds, sutures and bandages. The bandages should be kept clean, and must be changed at regular intervals. Keep in touch with your vet and get your animal checked in case of any complications.