For what it’s worth

Novel postbiotic generates economic return in layers.
calendar icon 6 June 2023
clock icon 4 minute read

All over the world egg production is gaining popularity and importance, mainly fuelled by increasing egg consumption. Therefore, there are some challenges that producers need to overcome to fulfill consumer demands and remain profitable. The most urgent challenges are related to eggshell quality and productive life span. Maintaining normal physiology and good health of the laying hen is essential to produce high-quality eggs for longer periods of time. Dietary interventions like the feeding of fermented feeds, fiber, probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics are acceptable means for influencing the gut microbiota and its metabolic activity. In laying hens, the inclusion of postbiotics in the diet to maintain and improve productivity and egg quality has been researched and has led to the development and commercialization of a new product, AO-Biotics® EQE (Egg Quality Enhancer).

AO-Biotics EQE is a fungal postbiotic produced using patent-pending technology and specifically indicated to improve the number of sellable eggs, egg mass, and productive lifespan of laying hens. De Juan et. al. (2021 and 2022) studied the effects of AO-Biotics EQE on the performance and egg quality traits of hens from 15 to 43 and 18 to 65 weeks of age, respectively. The results, along with numerous field trials, demonstrated the addition of AO-Biotics EQE increased sellable eggs by 3%, egg mass by 2%, egg production by 3%, and decreased mortality by around 25%, on average. But, do the benefits of adding AO-Biotics EQE significantly outweigh the costs?

Economic evaluation

Generally, the more eggs a layer operation can produce, the greater the profit potential. It is well-known that egg production is influenced by a variety of factors, including the quality of feed, the environment in which the hens are kept, and the health of the flock. Those factors can impact egg production, egg size, and egg quality, which can, in return, impact revenue and profitability. Furthermore, high cumulative mortality may lead to big economic losses. To maximize profitability, egg producers must strive to optimize the productivity of their hens, increase the survivability rate, and maintain or improve the eggshell quality, helping the animals produce more sellable eggs. To achieve this, producers need to apply a high-quality management system, which might include the incorporation of a well proven postbiotics such as AO-Biotics EQE.

BioZyme® Inc., the creator of AO-Biotics EQE, has created a calculator to help producers evaluate the potential and advantages of incorporating AO-Biotics EQE into their feeding programs. The tool considers the most relevant parameters for egg producers when evaluating the profitability of their operation. It includes:

  • Number of laying hens in the barn
  • Pullet price and the weeks of age of pullets when entering production
  • Weeks of age at the end of the laying cycle
  • Expected cumulative mortality of the flock
  • Feed cost ($/MT)
  • Average daily feed intake (g/d)
  • Rate of production (average % along the production cycle)
  • Number of eggs laid per hen on the production cycle
  • Egg price/cost per egg or cost per kg

As well, it considers the cost of adding AO-Biotics EQE to the diet. At the recommended inclusion rate of 50 mg/MT, the total cost will represent less than a 1% increase in the feed cost.

Filling the information described above, we can see that the expected benefit of adding AO-Biotics EQE (more productive shelf life, more egg mass and more salable eggs) to the feeding program, will provide a significant return on investment (ROI).

A practical example is:

  • 600 thousand hens entered the production barns at 18 weeks of age
  • Production cycle up to 100 weeks of age
  • Cumulative mortality of 6%
  • Average daily feed intake of 115g of feed/d
  • Average egg production of 88%
  • An expectation of 450 eggs/hen at 100 weeks of age with an average egg weight of 62g

With the above exposed parameters, 36,000 hens will leave the production. The first advantage of AO-Biotics EQE is an improvement in the liveability of the flock, reducing the cumulative mortality on average by 25%. The cumulative mortality would drop to 4.5% (9,000 hens more in the operation producing eggs for a longer time). The second advantage is more egg mass, together with an improvement in the persistence of egg production over time. Improving the productivity and the productive life span of the flock will be reflected in an improvement in the number of sellable eggs (3% more). In this case, the improvement in sellable eggs will mean 14 more eggs per hen in production. Considering this improvement in combination with the savings due to the increased productive lifespan of layers, the producers can expect an ROI of more than 6:1.

Are you egg-cited yet about what AO-Biotics EQE is worth? If so, visit Biozymeinc.com/additive/eqe/ to learn more about incorporating AO-Biotics EQE into your operation. You can also calculate your own ROI based on your input costs using our online AO-Biotics EQE Economic Return Calculator, or contact one of our representatives to help you complete the economic evaluation.

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