Feed Ingredients - 24 June 2024

Rising temperatures and longer and more frequent periods without rain – can become a major problem for our livestock. At the beginning of the 1980s, there were around 175 hours per year in the barn that were above 25°C. 40 years later, this figure had more than doubled to 375 hours (Müller, 2022). The production of meat, milk and eggs also generates considerable amounts of heat, which can accumulate in the barn. This becomes particularly problematic when humidity levels are also high. The animals eat less, their performance and fertility drops and they are automatically more susceptible to infectious diseases. The immune system has to fight against leaky gut, which is often observed in livestock, especially under heat stress conditions, as more blood is pumped to the body surface to cool down during high temperatures.

In addition to technical and constructional measures in the barn, it is of course essential to provide enough good quality water. However, feeding can also help to support the animals during hot temperatures. Oregano essential oil in the feed can make a major contribution to reducing the negative effects of heat stress. It is known from many international studies that essential oregano oil as a flavoring agent can keep feed intake high, especially during periods of heat stress, and thus also improve feed efficiency. A trial showed that DOSTO Oregano Oil had a positive effect on zootechnical performance, gut morphology and meat quality in broilers kept under heat stress conditions (Thailand: temperatures between 30 and 35 °C and humidities of 60-80%). The animals that received DOSTO had a better feed conversion rate than the control animals. In addition, the ratio of villus height to crypt depth in the intestine was higher, which correlates with an improvement in digestion and absorption of nutrients. Furthermore, after slaughter, the drip loss of the meat of the experimental groups was significantly lower (p<0.01) than in the control group and lipid oxidation was also inhibited, which extended the shelf life of the chicken meat.

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Translated from MÜLLER, P. (2022): Im Stall geht’s heiß her – Wie Hitzestress Nutztiere beeinflusst, VETMED 03-04/2022.

Margriet  Faber

Margriet Faber

Technical Sales Manager Feed Additives