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How to reduce antibiotics in broiler production?

How to reduce antibiotics in broiler production?

There is an increased awareness recently in relation to the sensible use of antibiotics within poultry and livestock production. When looking at broiler production, the use of antibiotics is highest in the first week of life. How can we explain this?

The first 48h of a broilers’ life

Although a good start of broiler chicks is considered crucial to good broiler health, it can be questioned whether current incubation systems and hatchery management procedures meet the young chicks’ requirements. This is due to 3 important factors:

  • Delayed feed and water access - Chicks hatch over a time frame of approximately 24-36 hours and are removed from the hatchers only when the majority of the chicks have hatched. For early hatching chicks, this practice can lead to a delay in  being placed on the farm. Hindering access to the chicks  first feed and water intake. The delay in access to feed and water may mount up to 50 hours. This relates to inferior growth posthatch, but also to impaired development of the gastrointestinal tract, immune functioning, and capacity to withstand cold exposure.

  • Hatching and brooding environment - Environmental conditions in the hatcher do not seem to match the chick’s requirements. In the last phase of incubation, broiler hatching eggs, and newly hatched chicks produce considerable amounts of heat. Overheating is prevented by using high air velocities. However, this air carries dust, generated during hatching, along with possible pathogens, present on or inside the eggs, and recirculates them throughout the cabinet during the last 2 days of incubation. Large amounts of airborne fluff and dust during hatching, are found to be one of the primary sources...

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Steffie Jansen

Steffie Jansen

Marketing, Vencomatic Group

Vencomatic Group is a leading company in the poultry sector. It is our ambition to bring poultry husbandry to a higher level. For this, we develop and market sustainable, animal-friendly products. We are proud to pioneer and create the best products together with our customers. Think ahead with poultry people.

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