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​Gut Health

Gut health is a foundation for performance and profitability in animal production.

Antibiotic-free is a hot topic, as both producers and consumers become more concerned about the effects of antibiotics on animal well-being and the meat they produce.

The process of going antibiotic-free can be arduous, but as some producers have been able to demonstrate, it can also be done successfully by putting their focus on gut health.

Scientists believe that 90% of diseases can be traced back to gut health and the microbiome. The establishment of the microbiome as a young piglet, chick or calf will impact that animal for the rest of its life. Also, holistic nutrition and management practices should be provided across all stages of production. This aids the transition towards minimal antibiotic use in a drive to achieve antibiotic-free operations.

To support these strategies, Alltech has created a line of gut health solutions to ensure success within and outside the gut, and with animal health in general.

To optimize animal performance in antibiotic-free or low antibiotic use production systems, it is essential to manage the composition of the intestinal microbial community. This involves accelerating the evolution of the microbial community to a steady state and then maintaining the status quo. As a result, the inherent intestinal health risks of intensive production systems can be avoided.

Seeding the gut with favorable organisms:

A healthy start in life can have a major, long-term impact on animal health and performance. As such, it is vital to first seed the intestine with the correct bacteria as soon as possible after birth or hatch. The first organisms to colonize the gut determine the composition of the flora by creating the microenvironment necessary to establish a complex microbial community and good architectural development.

With the right intestinal microflora now in place, piglets and chicks show improved early growth, feed conversion, uniformity and liveability.

Feeding the favorable organisms:

In addition to seeding the gut with the correct pioneer species, it is crucial to enhance the capacity of the favorable organisms to colonize and rapidly dominate the microbial community of the small intestine.

Once a beneficial microflora community and intestinal ecology is established, the villi will flourish. This is critical for health and feed efficiency: The more healthy villi an animal has, the more efficiently nutrients are absorbed.

Weeding out the unfavorable organisms:

The gut can also contain harmful pathogenic microbes, which can damage the villi. It is important to weed them out before they can attach to the gut lining and replicate enough to cause disease. By blocking the attachment mechanism of unfavorable organisms with a type-1 fimbria blocker, their capacity to compete with the favorable organisms in the gut is reduced.

Minimizing the gut’s exposure to these microbes will help to improve the animal’s natural defenses and shorten recovery time from disease.

Paired with effective biosecurity, water and farm management, the Alltech Seed, Feed, Weed solution helps producers to get one step further on the path of improved performance and reduced antibiotic use.

Antibiotic Reduction Program

The aim of the Alltech®️ Antibiotic Reduction program is to create a consistently healthy animal and reduce prophylactic and metaphylactic antibiotic use by focusing on gut health. The program can assist the farmer in developing an action plan.

This program is for animal producers who are interested in achieving higher levels of health in their herd/flock and are committed to taking steps to achieve these goals. The producer is guided and coached by a team of experts. Industry consultants, veterinarians and nutritionists from the Alltech® Gut Health Platform help to develop a bespoke action plan and provide assistance as producers strive to reduce antibiotic use on-farm.

Live example:

The full Alltech Antibiotic Reduction program implemented on a pig farm in the United Kingdom:

Antibiotic-Free Program

The Alltech®️ Antibiotic-Free program helps reduce the use of antibiotics, with the ultimate goal of transitioning to an antibiotic-free operation. This is achieved by improving gut health and utilizing holistic nutrition and management practices across all stages of production. An action plan is created, including targets, and progress is monitored over time.

How To Control Gut Health in Your Pigs & Poultry

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Alltech Gut Health


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A unique combination of organic acidifiers and electrolytes


A proprietary blend of fatty acids, prebiotic components and readily available mineral forms


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