New system paves way for antibiotic-free poultry

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (1)
  • Save

New system paves way for antibiotic-free poultry

A new method of rearing chickens that has taken 12 years to develop promises to dramatically reduce the need for antibiotics - and ultimately even eliminate it.

Pitched as a healthier, more natural way of producing eggs and poultry meat, the ‘seed, feed and weed’ system has been developed in the US by Professor Steve Collett of Georgia State University.

Having already been tested in the US, it is now being promoted in the UK by feed nutrition company Alltech UK, which has spent two years trialling it on UK chicken farms in tests involving five million birds.

Under the system, poultry producers feed probiotics to chicks within days of hatching to ‘seed’ their intestines with microflora to support the digestion of feed.

Organic acids are then supplied in the chicks’ drinking water - the ‘feed’ element - to help improve water quality and reduce the bacteria living in the lower intestine. Supplements are also fed to ‘weed out’ harmful pathogens.

The system was designed with the aim of achieving antibiotic-free poultry, and several flocks in the US had already achieved this, claimed Judd Culver, director of poultry solutions at Alltech UK.

However, he added: “At the moment, what ‘seed, feed and weed’ is achieving for most producers is reduced antibiotic usage and the ability to manage that antibiotic usage more closely.”

Although it cost more than standard production systems, the benefits of ‘seed, feed and weed’ would be worth it, said Culver. “It will increase costs to the farmer with the understanding that their flock health will improve over time, reducing the need for antibiotics as desired by the end user.”

To date, trials have been run with independent UK poultry producers, but Alltech is now in contact with all the major UK suppliers.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Very innovative and smart idea! However, cage-free is much more humane for the chickens. None of this would be necessary if the chickens are cage-free.....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the “report this comment” facility or email groceremails@wrbm.com

Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (1)
  • Save

Grocer jobs Experts in FMCG

Redhill Recruitment Ltd Business Development Manager – Meats

Business Development Manager – Meats - Redhill Recruitment Ltd

Upto £30k Basic + Excellent OTE - Company Car- Laptop & Phone
Search jobs
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up

Free

I wish to receive the following newsletters:

For Members

Become a Gold Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a Finance Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a member of The Grocer

DIRECTORY

The+Grocer+Directory

CLICK HERE to search for the products, services and companies you need in the definitive guide to the UK food and drink industry.

FOLLOW THE GROCER

The Grocer's commentators and opinion makers