Stress related performance losses? We've got something against that!

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Stress related performance losses? We've got something against that!

By Anne Möddel, Senior Technical Sales Manager, Dr. Eckel Animal Nutrition


During poultry production cycle, birds are exposed to a variety of stressors including transport, microenvironment, fasting, withdrawal of water, overcrowding, social disruption, and noise. The stress induced by exposure to variations in climate situations and high temperatures plays a major role. It exposes the animals to unnecessary energy costs and an increased risk of infection by clostridium, salmonella and coliform bacteria (Burkholder et al., 2008), while increasing stress parameters in the blood. Elevated levels of stress parameters are connected with behaviour changes (Iyasere et al., 2017). This is where phytogenic anti-stress additives like Dr. Eckel's MagPhyt come into play. It mitigates the negative effects of stress and counteracts performance losses while improving the animals' general condition and well-being.

MagPhyt: all-round success against stress

A recent trial with broilers demonstrated how phytogenic anti-stress additive MagPhyt can counteract negative stress reactions and visibly improve performance and health parameters in poultry even under difficult conditions.

Important parameters for poultry health and performance include:

    - the concentration of stress-biomarkers in the blood serum such as catalase and corticosterone,
    - stable gut health

    - final weight and feed conversion.

Stress specialist MagPhyt displays its capabilities in all important aspects.

For one thing, the test results showed that MagPhyt reduces the activity of stress biomarkers in the blood serum (Fig. 1). When animals are exposed to environmental stress, there is an increase in the activity of stress biomarkers such as glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and corticosterone in the blood serum. Fewer biomarkers means less stress and thus fewer stress-induced losses due to agitation, inflammation or behavioural problems.

Second, the heightened response also has a negative effect on the gastrointestinal tract and leads to stress-related diarrhoea. In this trial, analysis of litter moisture content was analysed. This is especially important because of the known laxative effect of magnesium. This leads us to the extra selection of MagPhyt's highly bioavailable magnesium sources. Combined with the phytogenic components it resulted in a low litter moisture content compared to the negative control group (Fig. 2). As the results illustrate, the magnesium fumarate in the composition of MagPhyt doesn't cause diarrhoea in broilers and has no negative impact on the consistency of faeces. At the same time, the lower moisture content of the litter is evidence of stress mitigation in broilers fed MagPhyt.

This leads to the chance to reduce stress related diarrhoea and less loss of nutrients and wet litter.

And third, stress is notorious for robbing animals of performance. Animals cannot reach their full genetic potential if factors in their environment are limiting. Less stress for the animals means less energy loss due to disease and inflammation, resulting in better feed conversion and a higher total weight. This simple conclusion was also reflected in the trial results, as expected. Animals in the MagPhyt group achieved a higher final weight and average daily weight gain compared to the control group. In addition, the group fed MagPhyt showed better feed conversion: 1.53 vs 1.62 (Fig. 3).

Less stress, better profit – go for MagPhyt

The results of the trial once more underline the stress reducing potential of MagPhyt. It mitigates the negative impacts of environmental and managemental stressors on broiler performance by supporting the animals' immune system, strengthening their resistance and improving their well-being. MagPhyt can be used successfully to stabilise performance, especially during stressful times.


Fig. 1:  Perceptibly less stress: MagPhyt reduces biomarkers in the blood serum


Fig. 2:  MagPhyt produces better feed conversion and a higher final weigh


For more of the article, please click here.

Article made possible through the contribution of Anne Möddel, Senior Technical Sales Manager, Dr. Eckel Animal Nutrition