For animal farmers and feed suppliers, attention is focusing increasingly on the importance of efficient, healthy digestion in farm animals. Countless feed additives displaying a wide range of characteristics and substance groups are offered for sale with the argument that they support intestinal health. In farm animal feeding, they have thus long since taken on the role of feed antibiotics, which used to be considered irreplaceable. To a greater extent, however, the trait of substituting for the therapeutic or at least prophylactic use of antibiotics too is being accentuated, which in connection with feed law leads one onto thin ice along the boundary with medicated feeds. However, delays in the restructuring of legislation on veterinary medicines and the rules regarding dietetic feeds are encouraging this approach. After all, healthy animals are the central element of animal husbandry. Tools that help to keep the animals and especially their digestive tracts healthy should therefore not be suppressed because of a nebulous legal status.

» Lecithin: Significance and use in animal nutrition
Background and trends

Lecithin is the basis for innovative products with important, performance-enhancing properties in animal nutrition. The raw material situation of the phospholipid complexes obtained from soybeans, oilseed rape or sunflower seed is highly significant with regard to use, availability and costs.

» Soy protein concentrate for milk replacers and balanced diet for young animals
Origin to be choosen carefully

Since the 1960s, soy has been used in pig and poultry feed in the form of soy meal and extracted soya bean meal. Alongside the discussion on GMO, a crucial focus connected with soy products is on the nutrient profile and biological protein digestibility. Toasted soy products display lower digestibility than soy protein concentrate (SPC). As a result of the multi-stage production method, the protein content in SPC is increased and at the same time digestibility is improved. Already in the 1980s, SPC became a fixed component of milk replacer formulations, and in the 1990s it became increasingly significant in diets for young piglets too.

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» Can secondary plant materials help reduce antibiotic use?
In vitro experiments give good grounds for hope

„Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill. Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier, and benefit from modern medicine. Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating." This statement was made by Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security, in the WHO Report of April 2014.

» Inflammation – a yardstick for growth and performance
Avoiding energy losses

Inflammations in the gastrointestinal tract are a frequent cause of low performance in animal production. Animal welfare as well as commercial losses have brought inflammation processes and reactions onto the agenda of science and research. Studies have shown that precisely formulated phytogenic feed additives can support the digestive tract.

» Time for change – zinc different!
New avenues of zinc supply for piglets

When did you last see a freshly weaned piglet with diarrhoea? There is no question about it, such animals need help. Preventive help! Against the background of current discussions on the topic of “multi-resistant germs”, preventive treatment should of course not be carried out with antimicrobial substances. The use of large quantities of zinc oxide in the feed is not possible either, due to the environmentally harmful effects. But what other possibilities are there?

» Breakthrough in dairy cow feeding in stress periods
Polyphenols regulate oxidative stress

Dairy cattle are top athletes. Depending on the breed and intensity of keeping, they give up to 50 kg milk per day. On top farms, they now achieve a total yield of 12000 kg a year. For the purpose of comparison – in 1990 the average milk yield per cow and year was still around 4400 kg. In order to achieve this performance, the animals must above all be healthy. And best of all of course, always healthy – but most especially at the time of calving and in the following weeks. During this period the metabolism of the cow changes. The milk yield rises within 30 days from zero to 30 to 40 kg a day. Alongside breeding and keeping conditions, feeding plays a crucial role here.