We all know how it goes: to get things off to a safe start, fattening pigs get a course of antibiotics at the outset in the first silo. Or dairy cows are given a preventative course of antibiotics to prevent bacterial infections and, along with them, mastitis. Maybe we have also read the reports on the spread of the antibiotic-resistant bacteria EBSL in chickens and how it is also increasingly found in humans…
What will happen to pig farming now that fattening pigs can no longer be given medicated feeds?
Given developments in pig farming in recent weeks and months, it does not seem likely that the quality of the piglets supplied is going to improve. After all, the sow farmers are not earning enough from them to make a decent living, so they are likely to start cutting corners. The first way to save money is by not administering certain vaccines and providing less of the pre-starters that give the piglets maximum intestinal preparation.
The consequences of these choices are still fairly negligible at the piglet stage, but once the piglets are transferred to fattening pigsties, it does become clear that they have very little in the way of basic resistance. Add to that the fact that the use of antibiotics is no longer allowed and you will realise that pig farmers find themselves obliged to take other measures. As soon as they experience the first dip in their immunity, fattening pigs will have to contend with Streptococcus, PIA and so on.
Mastitis is the biggest cost item at most dairy farms.
Under pressure from a low international milk price, the dairy cattle sector is industrialising at high speed. Cows need to be highly productive or are sent to the slaughterhouse. Whether the farmer wants to or not. The farmer might want to send it because its milk yield is too low, and not to send it because it is in fact a highly productive cow that is suffering from illness or infertility. Mastitis is the second most frequent reason, after fertility problems, for getting rid of productive cows, and in most businesses it is the biggest cost item.
High premature slaughtering suggests poor animal welfare, which means high costs (for veterinary care) for the dairy farmers. That is why there is a lot prophylactic use of antibiotics.
Close to calving, almost all cows experience a dip in their immunity levels that may result in them developing troublesome conditions such as mastitis, metritis etc. Many cows also suffer from a negative energy balance during that period, with too much body fat being broken down and the chance of chronic milk fever and fatty liver becomes a very real issue.
Nevertheless, this immunity dip and negative energy balance can be avoided without administering antibiotics.
Natural additives are an alternative to antibiotics
Nutrika completed pilot projects in various markets a few months ago to find out how its additives can serve as an alternative to antibiotics. Nutrika focuses on maximum stimulation of natural resistance. Practical tests have demonstrated that a worry-free start-up without antibiotics is also possible with the help of the our products.