Animal Nutrition Views
Ioannis Mavromichalis, Ph.D., gives his views on poultry, pig and dairy nutrition based on his experience as a nutrition consultant with clients around the world.
Now is not the time to play with animal feed vitamins
Certain reports indicate that one vitamin is being underutilized, for unknown reasons.
I have just received information that certain nutrition suppliers continue to use low levels of vitamin A, despite the end of the recent price upheaval due to manufacturing problems. This could have been explained as a delayed response to normality, but it may not be so. Apparently, all other vitamins, even vitamin E, have been restored to pre-crisis levels by these same nutrition suppliers, but vitamin A remains at low(er) levels. It is not everyone who follows this practice, but I am intrigued.
Is there something I am missing? Vitamin A has never been expensive to use (less than 1 cent per broiler!) even with levels ranging up to 15,000 IU/kg feed.
Now, more than ever, we need these high levels of vitamin A because this vitamin is a major player in the immune system of the animal, ensuring the integrity of the mucosal membranes. If the mucosa is compromised, toxins and other “undesirables” find it easier to penetrate the organism, and mayhem ensues.
There is a whole new movement to rethink vitamin nutrition to include needs for enhanced animal immunity.
There is a whole new movement to rethink vitamin nutrition to include needs for enhanced animal immunity, and now is definitely not the time to play with lower levels of any vitamin — especially in the European Union where governments push for ever-decreasing usage of antibiotics, even for therapeutic reasons.
So, unless there is something else, I believe this is an oversight, and I would like to know more. So please do leave a comment if you have more information.