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Dosage of trace elements
Dosage of trace elements

Micro-immunonutrition as an effective lever for successful demedicalisation in livestock Logo Natual

The trend to decrease antibiotic use in pig, ruminant, and poultry farms is definitely underway. To support this whole movement, Nutral has set up an innovative concept to achieve this aim through nutrition. This new approach is called ‘micro-immunonutrition’. In other words, ‘micro-immunonutrition’ is the process by which nutrients, which are essential to the body, are brought in specific quantities in order to support animal immunity.

How can we reduce successfully the exposure of farm animals to antibiotics while maintaining their performance and allowing farmers to work in the best possible conditions? Demedicalization is one of the major issues at stake in agriculture. Progress is underway and new approaches are emerging in order to further reduce animal exposure to antibiotics.

Demedication, a global trend in swine, cattle and poultry farms

The latest findings of the National Food Safety Agency (ANSES) regarding the use of antibiotics indicate a 20% average reduction in the ALEA, Animal Level of Exposure to Antimicrobials, between 2011 and 2015. These encouraging figures show that farmers and veterinarians in the ruminant, swine, and poultry sectors are more and more aware of these issues. Such efforts must be pursued with ever greater commitment on the part of the actors involved and also by the emergence of new farming methods. More generally, the demedicalisation process has shown interesting results to date. This approach consists of limiting the use of exogenous molecules (antibiotics, anti-parasitic, hormones) by supporting the natural processes of animals.

Comfort and stress management: key areas of action in order to limit the use of antibiotics

Among the promising areas of work, animal comfort and stress management always stand out as two prominent points. When it comes to animal comfort, the aim is to satisfy the primary needs of animals in terms of feeding, watering, temperature and humidity, exercise area, air quality... Stress is another axis of improvement due to its disruption of the autonomous defenses of animals. It is important to distinguish between environmental stress, such as environmental variables, stress related to living together with other animals and competition between animals, and stress related to changes in environment and diet, transportation or batchings (particularly in ruminant livestock). Stress has a depreciating effect on animal defenses via the ACTH (adenocorticotropin), CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone) or cortisol by sending antagonistic messages by mediators of immunity (interleukins and cytokines).

Micro-immunonutrition, an innovative lever to support the immunity of pigs, cattle and poultry

Nutrition can become a major pillar of demedicalization, whenever it is used beyond the mere scope of securing food and providing nutrients. Micro-nutrition is a well-known method for providing essential and useful nutrients (trace elements, vitamins, amino acids) especially in cases of oxidative stress.

Micro-immunonutrition is based on the aforementioned principle yet it also brings up a new concept: the supply of natural elements through the suited dilution of natural elements to support the animal processes of immunity. These compounds are designed to reactivate and maintain the abilities of coordination, self-regulation and adaptation of the animal immune system. The micro-doses are calculated in order to pass on an appropriate message to the cells, without disturbing their functioning.

Nutral has developed a product range specially formulated according to the concept of micro-immunonutrition. This range is available for all farm animals. The modes of administration can be adjusted to all kinds of situations (drinking water, diet, bolus ...). For ruminants, the bolus form is particularly suited with a mid-term release. On the other hand, dissolving a product in drinking water is much more useful in pig and poultry production as it is designed to address the risky phases of feed transition and changes of the environment.

For more information on various approaches to micro-immunonutrition and the ways to apply it to pigs, ruminants and poultry flocks, please contact our experts!

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Natual is a range of plant-based nutritional supplements designed to support the physiological functions of farm animals and crops, and in particular their natural defences.