Help keep your chicks and family safe and healthy

Discussion in 'Sponsored Content, Contests, and Giveaways' started by JenniO11, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. JenniO11

    JenniO11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2012
    Help Keep your chicks and family safe and healthy

    Why Use Probiotics for Poultry? It’s All About BALANCE…
    Situations that cause stress to poultry, like hot or cold weather, disease or handling, can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the birds’ digestive systems, leaving them vulnerable to disease. Chicks and young birds are especially susceptible to diseases, because their digestive systems have yet not developed healthy populations of beneficial bacteria, and their immature immune systems are not ready to combat diseases effectively yet. Many common diseases of poultry (such as Salmonella and Campylobacter) are bacterial and can also affect people. Probiotics provide large numbers of “good” bacteria that help birds maintain a healthy digestive system.

    What are Probiotics and how do they work?
    The digestive tract of a bird (as well as an animal and a human) contains large numbers of bacteria that help the bird digest food properly and stay healthy. This system only works well when there is a favorable balance between beneficial “good” bacteria, and pathogenic (disease causing) “bad” bacteria. In a healthy bird, there are far more beneficial bacteria than pathogenic bacteria. Probiotics are feed or water delivered supplements that contain large numbers of beneficial bacteria that have been found to promote a healthy digestive balance in birds. Probiotics support the proper balance of bacteria in the digestive system in a couple of ways:

    1) By “competitive exclusion” – when we introduce large numbers of beneficial bacteria through the feed or drinking water, they occupy space in the bird’s digestive system that pathogenic bacteria need in order to survive and grow. The beneficial bacteria “out-compete” the pathogenic bacteria for space and nutrients in the digestive tract.

    2) By producing natural compounds (such as lactic acid produced by Lactobacillus species) that make the environment much less favorable for pathogenic bacteria to survive and grow (in the case of lactic acid producing bacteria, making the environment more acidic).

    How are Probiotics different than Antibiotics?
    Antibiotics are chemical compounds that have been developed to kill certain kinds of pathogenic bacteria. While they can be very effective for treating bacterial diseases, they can also kill beneficial bacteria with the same type of cell wall structure. There are also concerns that overuse of antibiotics in animals may contribute to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria in humans. Treating with antibiotics is REACTIVE (done after the bird gets sick), while feeding probiotics is a PROACTIVE way to support bird health (done before the bird gets sick). With probiotics, there is no concern about antibiotic resistance. There may always be a need to treat diseases with antibiotics, but probiotics, along with careful management of birds to minimize disease transmission, may allow us to reduce antibiotic use.

    When should Probiotics be used?
    Because they are a natural supplement to the bird’s own digestive bacteria population, most probiotics labeled for birds can be safely used any time birds are stressed, or proactively on a daily basis. Probiotics are also routinely fed to newly hatched chicks to support the development of a healthy population of bacteria and get them off to a good start. It’s also a smart practice to give probiotics to birds that have been treated with antibiotics, to help re-establish the population of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. Be sure to read and follow all manufacturers’ label directions.

    Do birds require special Probiotics?
    While most probiotics are probably not harmful to poultry, many strains have never been tested for effectiveness in birds (particularly those labeled and sold for humans). It is wise to look for products that are labeled specifically for poultry, or to get advice from your veterinarian or other poultry expert on what strains are appropriate, and how much to feed. Make sure the product you are considering is safe for all ages of birds you want to feed. The product manufacturer should be able to tell you if the strain(s) in their product have been tested successfully in poultry.

    Are healthier birds better for my family?
    When there are fewer pathogenic bacteria in the bird’s digestive tract, the bird is less likely to get sick, and will shed less of the bacteria in its manure. This will reduce the spread of the bacteria (and the resulting diseases) to other birds and to humans. NOTE: This does not replace the need for strict sanitation when handling poultry. Always keep the coop and all feeding and watering equipment and containers clean, and provide plenty of clean bedding. Wash hands and clothing after handling live birds or anything that has come into contact with their manure. Better yet, designate specific clothes just for your poultry chores. The USDA advises preventing contact entirely between birds and very young children, or those that have reduced immune function (sick or elderly people). Learn more about keeping your birds healthy at Find a veterinarian with poultry expertise that you can use as a resource when problems arise or you have questions about your birds’ health.

    What about food safety? Aren’t poultry products from back yard flocks safer?
    Don’t buy into the myth that home-raised poultry products are safer than those that are commercially grown – they are not. Backyard flocks are susceptible to the same diseases as commercially raised birds, and many folks with small flocks don’t know how to spot signs of disease or how to minimize the spread. Protect your family and play it safe. Develop a bio-security plan for your flock. Cook poultry products thoroughly, and sanitize all utensils and surfaces that come into contact with raw poultry or eggs.

    Introducing Sav-A-Chick[​IMG] Probiotic Supplement
    Sav-A-Chick[​IMG] Probiotic is a concentrated supplement with beneficial bacteria for newly hatched and adult chickens, ducks, turkeys, and other domestic poultry. It is formulated specifically for poultry and has been extensively performance tested with excellent results in large flocks. Sav-A-Chick[​IMG] Products are packaged in convenient, single-use packets that each mix into one gallon of drinking water. Use when birds are stressed or proactively on a daily basis to support optimal digestive health. This product can be used with our popular Sav-A-Chick[​IMG] Vitamin & Electrolyte Supplement in the same waterer. Learn more at or find us on Facebook at

    By Carrie Kost, PAS
    Milk Products
    Chilton, Wisconsin
    2 people like this.
  2. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2012
    This is cool! I think since my mom's a poultry leader in our 4H club and people are always asking peep questions, this would be really helpful! [​IMG]
  3. EarthyLady

    EarthyLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2012
    southwest wi
    Can't you just let them have yogurt? Or human probiotics?
  4. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2012
    I do mix yogurt with chick feed and it works well too.

  5. blueferral

    blueferral Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2012
    Simpsonville, SC
    I think some plain yogurt every now and again will be just fine.

    Carrie Kost your article states

    "The product manufacturer should be able to tell you if the strain(s) in their product have been tested successfully in poultry"

    you article then states

    "It is formulated specifically for poultry and has been extensively performance tested with excellent results in large flocks."

    That's great.
    What specific bacteria are contained in your probiotic?
    Were these "large flocks" commercial egg laying facilities, broiler production sheds or both?
    Where can we see copies of these (I hope peer reviewed) studies?

    Thanks for the information.
  6. tgblldog70

    tgblldog70 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I ordered some yesterday. I hope it works well for our growing flock.
  7. Carrie Kost

    Carrie Kost New Egg

    Mar 16, 2012
    Chilton, Wisconsin USA
    Hello Blueferral,
    Sav-A-Chick® Probiotic contains a single strain of Bacillus subtilis bacteria (the level is guaranteed on the package), which has been selected for effectiveness in poultry, and is widely used in commercial poultry production under the brand name GalliPro®. I have multiple studies that I can email you info on if you like - many are published in peer reviewed scientific journals. Most of the research in the articles I have was done with broilers. Milk Products does not manufacture probiotics (it is a very specialized field), but we are delighted to have partnered with Chr. Hansen (manufacturer of Probios® for Vets Plus) to package their great poultry probiotic for easy use in small flocks. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you would like to chat more about this.
    -Carrie Kost, PAS Milk Products
  8. blueferral

    blueferral Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2012
    Simpsonville, SC
    Thanks for the quick reply Carrie Kost. B. subtilis is frequently genetically modified for industry and research. Is your product a natural strain or is it modified. I ask because I would hate to use a genetically modified product on my girls with out an extremely good reason.
  9. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

    Apr 1, 2007
    N. Carolina
    So, this thread is actually an advertisement? :oops:
    1 person likes this.
  10. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the great discussion everyone!

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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012

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