ABC works with all sections of the production chain to understand the various inputs that can affect gut health. Our role involves understanding the aims of the farms, assessing and evaluating the current situation, developing strategic protocols, and monitoring performance. Antibiotics are a powerful and very useful tool in controlling disease in animals and humans. It is essential from our experience as vets that we continue to be able to use them where required to maintain animal health and welfare. Reducing their use where alternative protocols can be used is important and the range of husbandry protocols and products supplied by ABC will help farmers of all species achieve this end. Most of the alternatives products, whether they are acids, essential oils or probiotics are not as effective as antibiotics alone and have to be used together. Making sure the right combination is used at the right time is the aim of ABC. Diagnosing the reason for ill health and understanding the multiple factors which lead to disease developing is our focus and expertise. Evaluating the animal’s environment is required to develop the facts that favour the microbiome development and equally, what environmental factors would predispose to unfavourable microflora. Once systems are in place it is equally important to ensure that health monitoring is detailed and targeted so that early interventions and changes to the preventative plans can be employed..
Water Sanitation and Acids
A core element of good health is clean water and it is often an area overlooked as a contributor to farm performance. ABC can provide advice on the most cost effective way of ensuring your animals have clean water as well as a range of practical solutions. The incoming water supply should be tested regularly to monitor potential contaminants that could be affecting animal health. Water constituents that may affect animal performance include iron, manganese, sulphates, hardness, nitrogen compounds, magnesium and bacteria. Biofilm build-up is a common problem within drinking systems. Biofilm is a polysaccharide layer that can build up in drinker lines and increase the risk of exposing the animals to harmful bacteria. Combining acids and chlorine in a controlled environment such as the Liquid Mineral Services (LMS) system gives a complete solution to the farm, but there are other ways the same outcome can be achieved. In some environments, it is more suitable to supply the water sanitiser in a dosing system which is automated for ease of use, or also can be added simply on farm. There are many versions of hydrogen peroxide silver products and with our
practical experience of using them, we are able to advise on the most suitable product for your particular farm or animal species. Once clean water has been achieved, the next consideration is the use of the water line to adjust and supplement the animal’s health with specific reference to the gut microbiome development. The administration of organic acids via the water helps to ensure stable gut environment. The organic acids act as a feed source for the microflora aiding their proliferation and maintenance. The acids also help to maintain a low gut pH making the gut environment inhospitable to pathogens. Yet, the term ‘acidifying the gut’ is over used and simplified by many in this area and we focus on both the species needs and the age of the animal in question. Our experience in the addition of a range of acid products gives us a broad knowledge on what best suits the farm. ABC is all about a bespoke system to fit your needs. In some cases the best solution might be to do nothing and develop protocols in other areas of animal husbandry to achieve the desired aim of enhancing, supporting and delivering a healthy microbiome to the animal.
An Insight into LMS Water Sanitation
The LMS water treatment system is a two pump automated dosing system that utilises chlorine and acid to ensure a water supply free from bacteria and help maintain a clean drinking system. We offer a specialist installation and maintenance of this dosing system. The LMS system treats every litre of water that passes through it with a blend of inorganic and organic acids and a chlorine product. There are two main aims of the system; the first is to sanitise the water with the chlorine and the second is to aid gut health.
Benefits of the LMS system:
- Reduced FCR
- Drier litter
- Improved weight
- Antibiotic reduction
- Improved EPEF
- Better footpad integrity
- Bacteria control
Features of the LMS system:
- Integrated into a complete ABC solution
- Automated and adjustable
- Requires little input from you and enables easy alterations to be made should the incoming supply fluctuate
- All chemical handling is carried out by ABC
- We work with you to monitor and manage the LMS water treatment system to ensure it is working to its full potential at all times
- 24/7 breakdown cover with complete back up and support
Probiotics are a wide category of bacteria which work in a number of different ways in animals. Due to recent research in both animals and humans, we now have a better understanding of their interaction with the microbiome. Some probiotics stimulate the animal’s immune system, whilst others act by helping the development of the gut environment and hence leading to the multiplication of other bacteria we wish to promote. Probiotic bacteria might compete with unwanted bacteria for sites on the intestinal wall and can also produce chemicals which have a damaging affect on other bacteria. There is a complex interaction between the gut flora and the host cells so it is clear that it is essential to choose the most appropriate bacterial probiotic for the animal species and depending on a range of other factors. ABC provides a range of probiotics from different manufacturers, aiming to offer the best probiotic at the best price. Probiotics are one component of a complete range of solutions and protocols to replace the routine use of antibiotics.
Essential oils have been used for generations and were a foundation of treating infectious diseases prior to the discovery and manufacture of antibiotics. Plants require a defence mechanism, as do animals, to control the invasion of cells by bacteria and viruses and it is essential oils that are part of this mechanism. There are many types and the method of manufacture also affects the efficacy of the product. Most are licensed as Feed additives with no direct anti-bacterial claims so we have spent many years investigating the best mixtures to use and when to use them. ABC vets have visited the sites of manufacture and have questioned the manufactures in detail so we are aware of the best products and when to use them. Essential oils can be applied externally as well as in water or feed and, in the right place at the right time, have proven to be a very useful component in controlling unwanted bacterial infections. Some essential oils also have a positive effect in animals with protozoal infections.