Probiotics have their part to play in mitigating challenges on-farm, such as necrotic enteritis (NE), even before these challenges reach a clinical stage. NE can be a massive challenge to producers resulting in high mortality rates and reduced performance. Clostridium perfringens plays a key role in the onset and development of NE, but there are multiple predisposing factors that need to be present before C. perfringens can cause clinical issues. These factors can already negatively affect performance without presenting themselves as clinical issues.
The development of dysbacteriosis (or dysbiosis) is one such factor, often described as a disruption of the microbiota's homeostasis. Symptoms range from increased wet litter to a reduction in gut function, all with a negative impact on animal performance. Probiotics can help to prevent and/or mitigate these situations, both directly and indirectly.
Bacillus licheniformis DSM 28710 - the active strain in the B-Act® range - is a good example, taking on NE with a two-pronged approach. The first is based on preventing dysbiosis taking hold in the first place, making sure gut health is secured. However, if C. perfringens does proliferate and NE develops, B. licheniformis DSM 28710 is capable of mitigating the situation by inhibiting C. perfringens directly.
The above was recently confirmed again in peer-reviewed research (Van der Veken et al., 2020) where broilers were subjected to an induced NE challenge. Health and performance parameters were recorded for three groups: a control, a B-Act® group, and an antibiotic treatment group. Even under the induced challenge, animals that received B-Act® scored significantly better than the control, and to a similar level as the antibiotic treatment group. The trial also confirmed B-Act®'s two-pronged approach: even before the NE challenge, animals supplemented with B-Act® already outperformed the control group, simply by supporting and maintaining proper gut health.
Probiotic inclusion in feed formulations has come under pressure lately though, as the current global situation has increased feed prices across the board. Luckily, certain probiotics can also be added to the drinking water. A flexible water-soluble formulation allows that probiotic to be applied only in specific periods. This does not require adding a product to an already complex system and should be done with great care. Water quality and management have a big influence on animal performance, making the continuous availability of high-quality water paramount. As such, the probiotic formulation should be adapted to this - including the amount and type of carrier used.
With this in mind, B-Act® Buzz was developed as the newest member of the Huvepharma® probiotic range. The formulation is based on the same unique B. licheniformis strain as in other B-Act® products but presented as an effervescent tablet. Each tablet weighs only 50 grams, with adapted carriers for use in drinking water. That way a minimal amount of carrier material is added to the water system, while still ensuring efficient delivery of the probiotic. The effervescence of the tablet also translates into a greater ease of use compared to traditional powder products as it requires minimal stirring and distributes the probiotic spores homogenously throughout the water column. B-Act® Buzz thus efficiently combines the highest water quality standards with practical on-farm efficacy, in an easy-to-use tablet.