Expert opinion

Finding the right balance

Optimal gut health is of vital importance as it builds the foundation for animal performance and farm profitability.

The definition of a healthy gut differs from person to person, one could describe it as ‘having a diverse community of gut microbiome’ or from vets perspective ‘as being disease free’.

The flora found in the intestines helps to keep harmful pathogens at bay, it can increase intestinal metabolic capacity and generally ensure that the animal stays fit and well. However, this intrinsic ecosystem can easily be disrupted through; stress, inflammation in the intestine or even by an unbalanced diet, for example.

Disruptions are often corrected with antibiotics, but with the worldwide quest to reduce the use of antibiotics, livestock producers need to constantly look at other viable alternatives.

There are many available, the producer needs to look at what is most suitable for him, the animals and the profits. Finding the right balance seems to be the key when it comes to securing the health of the animal and profits because at the end of day a healthy animal provides healthy animal protein for consumers.

Managing and maintaining the gut can be approached in many different ways and this bumper special will take you on a journey through many solutions and insights from around the globe. With Covid-19 still looming over us, I hope this special can be welcome distraction… at least for a few hours!