Brian McComb, DVM

Dr. Brian McComb has more than 20 years of experience as a turkey production veterinarian, live production manager and technical consultant. He earned his D.V.M. in 2001 from the University of Minnesota


Boosting Poultry Health and Growth: In-Feed Strategies to Combat Necrotic Enteritis

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Posted by By Dr. Brian McComb on January 18, 2024

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Boosting Poultry Health and Growth: In-Feed Strategies to Combat Necrotic Enteritis

Annual broiler production volumes are expected to trend downward by as much as 1.7% for the rest of this year and by another 1% in 2024, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The agency believes the downward trend is due to decreasing prices and expectations of a retrenchment in the sector.

Naturally, many producers are looking to lower feeding costs, and in turn antibiotics, to protect bottom lines. The unintended consequence, however, is that it also puts bird health at risk, particularly for necrotic enteritis (NE), one of the most common and costly poultry diseases.

Driven by changing consumer preferences, the reduction of antibiotic use and the increase in coccidiosis vaccination in poultry has led to a rise in NE. Inteprity®, an in-feed antibiotic additive, provides producers with a much-needed solution to effectively battle mortality due to NE while meeting consumer demand for poultry raised without using shared-class antibiotics.

Benefits of Inteprity®

A study conducted by Elanco linked lower mortality caused by NE and as a result, improved Intestinal Integrity (I2) scores – without losing efficacy or risking resistance – when producers used Inteprity®1.

The same study also found that lesion scores improved when Inteprity® was used for multiple cycles during an 18-month period2. The data showed that for multiple cycles (18 months):

  • Mucus, cellular sloughing, and feed passage incidence all decreased.
  • All other scores observed, including water content, NE, and gizzard, remained stable and low.

The findings were validated by more recent Elanco research, including a comparison with virginiamicin.

Comparing Inteprity® and virginiamycin

In this study, we compared the efficacy and economics of Inteprity® and virginiamycin. Specifically, we evaluated the performance of each antibiotic in reducing broiler mortality due to NE and the costs across treatment groups based on the performance observed during the trial.

The study also analyzed the impact of Inteprity®, and its use with two other Elanco feed additives, Maxiban® and Monteban®, in four key areas that every veterinarian and Live Production Manager monitor closely: mortality rate, average weight gain, average feed conversion, and average feed cost per pound of live weight.

The results reflected the following:

  • Improved NE mortality rate: Birds treated with Inteprity® showed the lowest average NE mortality rate of 0.29%.
  • Higher average weight gain: Birds treated with Inteprity®, Maxiban® and Monteban® showed the highest average weight gain of 5.545 pounds.
  • Lowest average feed conversion rate: Birds treated with Inteprity®, Maxiban® and Monteban® had the lowest feed conversion of 1.547.
  • Lowest average feed cost/pound of weight: Birds treated with Inteprity®, Maxiban® and Monteban® had the lowest average feed cost of $0.379 per pound of live weight.

Using Inteprity® to protect your flock health and bottom line

Whether alone or in combination with coccidiostats, Inteprity® can reduce mortality due to NE when compared to virginiamycin. Using Inteprity as an addition to a coccidiostat program based on Maxiban® and Monteban® does not necessarily result in increased costs, and in fact, these feed additives can help provide savings through performance improvements.

To learn more about how Inteprity® can help protect your flock from mortality due to NE, contact your local Elanco sales representative or Technical Consultant, or visit ElancoPoultry.com/Inteprity.

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