Poultry producers can leverage the combined effects of animal health products to curb the impact of the industry’s two most costly diseases simultaneously.
Coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis pose a constant threat to the health and welfare of poultry flocks worldwide — costing producers billions of dollars. While the clinical effects of these diseases are easy to identify, it is often the unseen subclinical symptoms that cause the greatest impact to profits.
Dr. Brian McComb, a poultry technical consultant with Elanco, joins the Chat to explore strategies for combatting both disease challenges simultaneously.
Transcript: Feed Strategy Chat featuring Dr. Brian McComb, poultry technical consultant, Elanco Animal Health
Jackie Roembke, editor in chief, WATT Feed brands/Feed Strategy: Hello everyone and welcome to Feed Strategy Chat. I am your host, Jackie Roembke, editor in chief of WATT Feed brands and Feed Strategy magazine.
Today’s Chat is brought to you by Elanco Animal Health. Elanco, a global leader in animal health, is committed to helping customers succeed in the ever-changing poultry industry. Elanco will always go above and beyond for producers, applying their deep knowledge and comprehensive gut health and food safety platforms to drive results. It’s an unmatched combination that sets Elanco apart as they strive to raise confidence in continued success every day for its customers.
Today we’re talking to Dr. Brian McComb, a poultry technical consultant with Elanco Animal Health. Dr. 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.
Hello Dr. McComb, thank you for joining us.
Dr. Brian McComb, poultry technical consultant, Elanco Animal Health: Doing great. Thanks for having having me, Jackie.
Roembke: Thank you so much for joining us. Well, let’s get right into it.
Coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis are a serious and constant threat to the health and welfare of poultry flocks — yet, often it’s the unseen, profit-robbing subclinical symptoms that are even more common than clinical outbreaks. Today, let’s explore how finding the right necrotic enteritis and coccidiosis combination can address the common performance and health issues.
Dr. McComb, we know that coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis can impact many things in a poultry flock, such as immunity, feed conversion and mortality. As a veterinarian who helps customers with their intestinal integrity programs, why are cocci and necrotic enteritis cause for constant worry in poultry operations?
McComb: Jackie, you know those two diseases are found worldwide. We have producers that spend a lot of time and energy working on mitigating the effects of those two diseases. To understand why, you just have to look at the numbers. When we look at necrotic enteritis worldwide, it costs poultry producers $5 billion to $6 billion a year1, and then when you look at coccidiosis in the U.S., it’s estimated that producers are losing out on $14 billion2.
We often think about the clinical signs, where we have sick birds and mortality, but some people are surprised to learn that the subclinical disease can be even more costly. Producers will often assume that that decrease in weight gain and feed conversion is due to a different disease when in fact it’s subclinical coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis.
We also can see these two diseases together, closely associated while they’re separate, and combined they can really put a dent in a producer’s bottom line.
Roembke: What are some ways a producer can combat these two diseases simultaneously?
McComb: Seems like whenever we talk about diseases, we start on farms by ensuring that the bird has a great environment to grow in, i.e. feed management, water, litter, ventilation.
I’d say the second one is vaccination, so making sure you have a robust breeder vaccination protocol, as well as a commercial bird [protocol].
The industry has a few products available, but not too many. Producers are always looking to understand how they can better utilize what they have. To that point, we recently concluded a included a trial with Inteprity, our animal use-only, in-feed antibiotic in combination with Maxiban, which is an ionophore chemical combination and monensin, an ionophore. And the results of that study showed that adding Inteprity to a Monteban-Maxiban program can reduce mortality associated with necrotic enteritis and, in return, increased weight gain and increased feed conversion3.
Roembke: How can producers best utilize Elanco’s team to help them overcome these disease challenges?
McComb: You know, as a leader in the intestinal integrity segment for a long time, we have a very experienced team that’s seen a lot, and we enjoy working with customers to maximize their program for coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis. We understand that one size doesn’t fit all. [We aim] to understand the customers’ needs and help ensure that they have a program that’s maximizing animal welfare, as well as their bottom line.
Roembke: Is there anything else that maybe we haven’t touched on yet that you think is important to include in the discussion of this topic?
McComb: I’d say that, at Elanco, in addition to having veterinarians and nutritionists who help customers be more successful, we’re committed to bringing products to the market to help our customers ensure animal welfare and their bottom line.
Should anybody have any questions on programs or would like more information on the study I referenced earlier, they can reach out to their Elanco technical consultant or visit ElancoPoultry.com/I2.
Roembke: Excellent, thank you so much. And again, if you’re looking for more information about the solutions that we’ve discussed here today, visit www.elanco.com. Thank you so much, Dr. McComb, and thanks to you for tuning in.
1 Elanco data on file.
2 Blake, Damer P., Jolene Knox, Ben Dehaeck, et al. “Re-Calculating the Cost of Coccidiosis in Chickens.” Veterinary Research 51, No. 1 (September 14, 2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13567-020-00837-2.
3 Elanco data on file.
Inteprity directions for use: For the prevention of mortality caused by necrotic enteritis associated with Clostridium perfringens in broiler chickens:
- Avilamycin is to be fed at 13.6 to 40.9 grams per ton of Type C medicated feed (15 to 45 ppm) as the sole ration for 21 consecutive days.
- Feed to chickens that are at risk of developing, but not yet showing clinical signs of, necrotic enteritis associated with Clostridium perfringens
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
CAUTION: Federal law restricts medicated feed containing this veterinary feed directive (VFD) drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.
- To assure responsible antimicrobial drug use in broiler chickens, treatment administration must begin on or before 18 days of age.
- The safety of avilamycin has not been established in chickens intended for breeding purposes.
- Avilamycin has not been demonstrated to be effective in broiler chickens showing clinical signs of necrotic enteritis prior to the start of medication.
- The veterinary feed directive (VFD) expiration date must not exceed 90 days from the date of issuance. VFDs for avilamycin shall not be refilled.
Maxiban directions for use: For the prevention of coccidiosis caused by Eimeria necatrix, E. tenella, E. acervulina, E. brunetti, E. mivati and E. maxima in broiler chickens:
- Feed Maxiban at 54-90 g/ton
- Feed continuously as the sole ration
- Requires a zero-day withdrawal (when fed according to the label), some combination use requires 5–day withdrawal
CAUTION: Nicarbazin medicated broilers may show reduced heat tolerance if exposed to high temperature and high humidity. Provide adequate drinking water and ventilation.
Do not allow adult turkeys, horses, or other equines access to formulations containing narasin. Ingestion of narasin by these species has been fatal. Do not feed to laying hens.
Monteban directions for use: For the prevention of coccidiosis caused by Eimeria necatrix, E. tenella, E. acervulina, E. brunetti, E. mivati and E. maxima in broiler chickens:
- Feed Monteban at: 54–90 g/ton
- Feed continuously as the sole ration
- Requires a zero-day withdrawal (when fed according to the label)
CAUTION: Do not allow adult turkeys, horses or other equines access to narasin formulations. Ingestion of narasin by these species has been fatal.
Elanco, Inteprity, Maxiban, Monteban and the diagonal bar logo are trademarks of Elanco or its affiliates.