Probiotic Products for Birds-- any guarantee of potency?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Porch Chickens, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Porch Chickens

    Porch Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2013
    I did some research a while back into probiotics for people. The consensus was that probiotics are indeed perishable and must be refrigerated and used within a certain time or the live and active cultures will die and they are worthless.

    The store where I purchased mine in the past has them in the fridge and they say, "keep refrigerated" on the label. From what I've read on various website (not site endorsing or selling probiotic products), the probiotic powders you can buy unrefrigerated are usually worthless by the time you buy them. Furthermore, on the label, they usually have a disclaimer that states that the guarantee of potency only applies to the strength "at the time of production". Not guarantee that they have any live and active cultures left by the time you buy them.

    I have also read on here that people give the probiotics for people to their birds. I was under the impression that probiotics are species specific. That the strains of bacteria natural to a bird's gut is completely different to that in a person's gut and so the product needs to be specifically made for birds. Then we are back to trying to find a reputably manufactured refrigerated product for birds....

    I found an interesting post about this here. Sounds like we may be wasting money on the freeze-dried product:
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Makes you wonder, most do say something about the quantity of bacteria/whatever per gram and viability, but you always wonder about storage conditions and is it any good by the time it gets to you. Have wondered about things like vaccines which are really temperature sensitive why they don't have something that would tell you if the temperature gets outside a certain range, would think there has to be something chemical reaction wise to put in the vaccine or something on the box like the autoclave tape that would work on a lower range.
  3. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Probiotic pills are convenient but like you mention, you have to question their viability if not stored properly. Why not make your own as in fermented feed, fermented veggie scraps, homemade kefir or yogurt. These are all quite easy to make, especially when you get in the rhythm of making them regularly.

    Bee gave you a good thread on fermenting feed.
    Ferment kitchen veggie scraps by googling for sauerkraut recipes, but omit the salt. Same for making your own kefir or yoghurt, kefir is easiest, but you'll need a starter and those can be bought online or there are forums online where people are happy to mail you some for the cost of postage.

    From what I've learned about probiotics, at least for humans, the probiotics we ingest via lacto-fermented foods or a pill, generally do not populate the intestinal tract, contrary to popular belief. Rather they help digest our food for us, as they are making their way through our gut. We have to keep ingesting more probiotics. The ones that DO take up more or less permanent residence in our gut are not ones you would want to eat! Google for "fecal transplant treatment" or "c. Difficile" to learn more about how to repopulate your gut with the bacteria that will tend to stay around. Until then, eat some kraut! I don't know for sure, but I imagine this is similar with chickens, though they probably DO get the fecal transplant therapy, seeing how they eat from the ground often.

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