Optimizing immunity: in ‘no antibiotics ever’ and ‘reduced use’ broiler flocks

Experts in three immunosuppressive diseases — IBM, Marek’s and reovirus — share ideas for boosting immunity in broilers.
calendar icon 29 December 2022
clock icon 1 minute read

Access the full transcript on Poultry Health Today

The growing trend toward “no antibiotics ever” and “reduced use” production systems has prompted poultry companies to rethink their traditional disease-management practices.

When flocks are raised with few or no antibiotics, they’re naturally more susceptible to diseases caused by primary or secondary infections. This has presented a huge challenge for poultry veterinarians.

Alternative therapies have shown potential, but reports from the field — both scientific and anecdotal — show they’ve also been inconsistent.

Making refinements in nutrition, stocking rates and housing may help to reduce disease pressure. But in the end, finding ways to optimize immunity and give broilers more “staying power” could be the best strategy for maintaining the health and welfare of these birds.

To help the poultry industry meet this goal, we brought together an all-star team of experts with expertise in three diseases affecting the broiler’s immune system — IBD, Marek’s and reovirus — to talk about what producers can do now to raise the bar for protection and flock welfare.

This booklet presents highlights from that lively and informative discussion. Special thanks to the participants for sharing their insights and expertise.

Jon Schaeffer

Senior director, Technical Services, US Poultry at Zoetis

Poultry Health Today

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