Pigs and poultry react differently under heat stress. Feed additives help alleviate the negative effects of heat stress on growth performance in pigs and poultry. When it comes to heat stress, it is very important to make adjustments in feed formulation. A properly formulated pig feed premix can decrease the amount of heat generated during digestion and metabolism, improve animal comfort, health and well-being.
Six feed additives that can help reduce heat stress further are:
- Sodium bicarbonate: Added up to 0.1 percent, it can improve feed intake, especially in older animals. Feeding sodium bicarbonate to young pigs is strongly discouraged as it tends to buffer stomach ph. It is best to use lower dosage whenever possible to avoid unbalancing the optimum dietary electrolyte balance.
- Potassium chloride: This has shown to improve growth performance, especially in broilers, but when used in low dosages. Again, adding too much of these salts should be avoided.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is not required by mammals or birds. It has shown to alleviate the symptoms of heat stress by reducing oxidative stress and improving immunity under stress conditions. Best results are shown when used with optimum levels of vitamin E.
- Betaine: This is a well-known methyl donor. It is also a potent osmo-regulator. It acts by balancing water levels inside the cells, and alleviates the negative effects of accumulated inorganic ions. It is specifically beneficial in cases where animals have only saline water to drink.
- Sodium zeolite: It is natural clay that has been shown to reduce the effects of heat stress. It also acts as a buffer in the gastrointestinal system, thus reducing alkalosis associated with panting.
- Enzymes: It is very common during heat stress. It increases the feed energy density to combat reduced feed intake.
No single feed additive additives or feed formulation adjustment can fully compensate for the negative effects of heat stress. Offering the best nutrition and health solutions for the poultry industry, we have emerged as the top poultry feed supplement exporters. But, when part of a comprehensive program, these additives can help recover part of the lost performance potential.