A new survey by Elanco Animal Health has revealed several important trends related to bacterial enteritis, a serious, constant threat in poultry flocks, with new information regarding including prevalence, producer attitudes and best management practices.
The 2015 results of the Bacterial Enteritis Global Impact Assessment (BEGIA), conducted by Elanco every five years since 2000 to help monitor this deadly disease and its impact on intestinal integrity, confirmed that bacterial enteritis is a still a significant issue in the U.S. Respondents reported that 65 percent of flocks experience bacterial enteritis at some time, and 60 percent believe the bacterial enteritis problem will remain the same or worsen over the next five years.
“We learned from this survey that prevention is the preferred way to mitigate bacterial enteritis. Preventative treatments will be needed to align with responsible use due to expected limits on antibiotic access,” said Marcelo Lang, Elanco Poultry Global Marketing Director.
Disease and feed optimization were identified as the two most important factors affecting profitability within an operation, as bacterial enteritis aligns with both factors through the impairment of feed conversion, increase in mortality, reduction in weight gain and increase in condemnations at processing associated with the disease. Estimates of the on-farm cost of bacterial enteritis settled at $0.05 or more per bird, or $50,000 for every 1 million birds. 93 percent of U.S. respondents reported performance losses caused by bacterial enteritis.
Producers have become able to recognize the signs of bacterial enteritis earlier and have started to initiate treatment and preventative measures sooner, which has helped to mitigate their production losses. 46 percent of respondents from the 2010 survey agreed that economic losses begin in the earliest stage of disease, but only 34 percent initiated treatment at this stage, a gap of 12 percent. This gap had narrowed to 5 percent in 2015, with 50 percent of producers recognizing that economic losses begin at the earliest stage of disease, and 45 percent initiating treatment and preventative measures at this stage.
“As we look ahead to what the 2020 survey may find, keeping the incidence of bacterial enteritis on its downward trend will require more and better strategies, which in turn will help us deliver Full Value Poultry,” said Lang.