Two broiler producers have seen positive benefits in the first UK trials of a new additive widely used in Europe, including improved feed conversion.

After seeing a piece back in the March edition (p30), Patrick Wedgewood of North Riding Farm, Tholthorpe, North Yorkshire, decided to try the in-water additive in four of his 10 sheds on his 140,000-bird broiler unit.

BioAktiv is mainly a salt which has been oxygenised by a patented process and is claimed to improve the bird’s gut health and hence, feed conversion.

Mr Wedgewood said: “After three weeks the litter was still dry and at the end of the crop I found the birds healthier not having had to treat them in the meantime. I estimate that I have made a saving on feed of about 5%. I have never suffered badly with mortality but even this showed an improvement.”

Another broiler producer, Dave Whistance of Abergavenny, Gwent, who also tried the additive found that according to his computer records, at the end of 42 days the average weight was 2.81kg against the normal average of 2.56kg.

More importantly was the improvement in feed conversion from 1.81kg feed/kg gain to 1.75. He said: “In the first trial crop, we saw lower on farm mortality and lower factory rejects than the previous three crops off the farm with obvious financial benefits in flock health.”