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.
A personal story and a reminder to ask your nutritionist to keep evaluating your animals' diets and formulas
I am currently between hospitals taking care of my father-in-law and mother. Despite everything else, doctors — in both cases, at two different hospitals — indicated that both patients take too many medications. Upon examination of their health histories, both patients admitted that certain mild health conditions were diagnosed even 30 years ago and no doctor ever again questioned their condition and the need to continue the medications. Right now, after a careful investigation of their cases, they are both on a light medication program, and they are doing not just fine, but much better than before!
We must continuously re-evaluate all additives, nutrient levels and ingredients in our formulas/diets.
Why am I relating all this? Because I keep repeating that we must continuously re-evaluate all additives, nutrient levels and ingredients in our formulas/diets. (I will leave medications to veterinarians — each to his or her realm!) Adding on is not only unprofitable, but also counterproductive. The animal organism must degrade and excrete all those things we feed it and no longer needs. This is true for medications, additives and even nutrients (excess protein, and some vitamins, quickly come to mind).
A client of mine recently complained when I erased most of the additives from the formulas I was asked to review. I responded that I would waive my fee if the animals suffered from lost production or deteriorated health, after they tested the simplified formulas. The animals actually did slightly better, the feed was significantly less expensive and I was paid in full being asked, in fact, to continue with the next phases of my review (I follow a stepwise system), but I keep digressing.
All I want to say for this week is to ask your nutritionist to keep evaluating the need for everything that adds cost (monetary or metabolic) to your formulas. In this case, the cliché “the more, the better” is not always true!