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Q4 Poultry Newsletter

Celebrating 25 Years: Helping Feed Tomorrow  


Navigating the Differences in Antibiotic Free Programs  

Antibiotic free production (ABF) is taking the poultry market by storm with retailer and food service demand driving this shift as a result of consumer demand. Meeting the demand for more meat raised with fewer antibiotics challenges producers to manage production differently. A big issue plaguing the industry during this change is the lack of consistency among retailers, food service, or regulatory agencies, including USDA and FDA, for defining what ABF means. Each group has their own self-defined standards. While a premium is available for birds produced in an ABF system, each company or production system has to evaluate if the premium is sufficient to cover increased expense involved in compliance with varying standards. 

ABF programs are defined differently in most production systems. For some it may mean no antibiotics ever; for others it means no antibiotics after a defined stage of production. There are differences even between countries. For example, in European Union countries, ionophores and coccidiostats may be used in poultry production systems even though they are considered ABF. In the US neither are allowed under the majority of ABF production guidelines.

Verification of compliance with ABF programs presents a whole new level of challenges. Each company or production system has its own standards and operating procedures when dealing with sick birds. Verifying those standards and procedures is often at the direction of the retail customer for their particular ABF standards. In the poultry industry, those customers each have their own verification protocol.

For veterinarians and producers, animal welfare concerns need to be addressed before beginning ABF production, so producers are prepared to deal with a sick bird or house. Having the answers will alleviate the amount of time the animal faces that disease challenge. That kind of treatment would negatively impact the grower’s financial return because of being classified as normal production and no longer qualifying for an ABF premium.

Companies who have used ABF in the past have found different ingredients and practices helped their operations make the transition. Each uses their field experiences, research findings and grower feedback to continually improve their production. Evaluating these areas will involve several facets of their systems. 

Recordkeeping poses another challenge as retail and food service customers along with verifying entities may have different protocols or requirements. Looking at these is another task for companies or production systems.

Finding the right fit for ABF production will most likely be an ongoing task for many producers.

Bringing all stakeholders to the table to best define the guidelines and SOPs to meet retailer, food service and consumer requirements without compromising animal welfare standards is key.

Novus has a team in place prepared to help producers navigate the challenges they do and will face through a reduction in antibiotic use. From production management experts to leading nutritionists, Novus is happy to join you at the table to share their findings and offer their services to help navigate this change.

Look for more on Novus’s expert team at PSA and in the next edition of Novus News.


MINTREX® in Broiler Breeders  

MINTREX® chelated trace minerals from Novus provide a highly bioavailable source of trace minerals for breeders. The unique 2:1 chelate structure delivers superior quality over other inorganic and organic sources of trace minerals. MINTREX works to improve overall animal performance through increasing the number of settable eggs, improving the quality of eggs produced and enhancing progeny performance compared to other trace mineral sources.


Characteristics of Woody Breast in Broilers and the Effect of Chelated Trace Mineral Nutrition  

Juxing Chen, Karen J. Wedekind, Terra D. Wineman, Cindy A. Atwell, Mercedes Vazquez-Anon and Jeffery Escobar; Novus International Inc., St. Charles, MO, USA

Woody breast is an emerging issue of meat quality with palpably hard or tough breast muscle. The objective of this study was to understand the characteristics of woody breast and to explore the potential prevention and/or intervention strategy to alleviate the issue. Normal and woody breast samples were examined for histology and total collagen protein, TBARS, marinade uptake, penetration force, and gene expression was measured. Woody breast fillets were heavier (P < 0.03) and thicker (P < 0.0001) than normal fillets. Histological examination showed extensive necrotic/dying and splitting muscle fibers, intense inflammation, and massive accumulation of connective tissue/collagen in the muscle of woody breast. Total collagen protein, TBARS, and penetration force were higher (P < 0.03) and marinade uptake was lower (P < 0.02) in woody breast fillets than normal fillets. The mRNA levels of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 2 and vascular endothelial growth factor were reduced (P < 0.05), and the mRNA levels of interleukin-8 were increased (P = 0.07) in woody breast compared to normal breast in broilers at 40 d of age. The mRNA levels of tenascin C were increased (P < 0.04) in woody breast compared to normal breast in broilers at 23 and 28 d of age. These results suggest that inflammation, fibrosis, matrix degradation, and wound healing were occurring in woody breast muscle and oxidative stress is associated with woody breast. Methionine hydroxylanalogue chelate of Cu (MINTREX®) supplemented at 30 or 75 ppm reduced (P = 0.08) woody breast score in broilers at 33 d of age compared to unsupplemented Cu controls indicating an important role of MINTREX Cu in woody breast. Therefore, MINTREX Cu had potential to alleviate woody breast severity in broilers. MINTREX is a trademark of Novus International, Inc.


With You When It Matters 

IPPE 2016 was a very busy week for the NORAM team where our sales, technical and marketing managers visited with customers at the Novus booth as well as the various 25th anniversary celebration events held throughout the week. There were several posters presented at the IPSF scientific forum and Novus was a proud luncheon sponsor during IPSF where Dr. Ricardo Esquerra from Latin America presented on “Amino Acid & Energy Supplementation Impact on Production Profitability.” In addition to this, Novus hosted a happy hour on the tradeshow floor highlighting their current advertising campaign “Realize the Hidden Value,” this was a great opportunity for people to gain an understanding of what our campaign was about and meet with the team. In addition to this, Novus’s annual happy hour on Wednesday evening focused on the 25th anniversary theme. It is a big accomplishment to make it to 25 years in a business and Novus was honored to have their customers alongside them to celebrate the 25th anniversary this year at IPPE and are looking forward to more celebrations later this year.


Getting to Know Jared Hux  

What is your official title at Novus?
Senior Manager – North America Marketing

How long have you been with Novus?
10 years

In your role what is the most interesting thing you do?
The world area marketing role in Novus is an extremely cross-functional role that requires collaboration with several departments for the development and implementation of the sales and marketing strategies for Novus’s methionine and specialty businesses in North America.  In my role, I am able to interact with my counterparts from the other world areas allowing me to bring new ideas and product/solution concepts from other regions to North America.

What is your favorite Novus product?
ALIMET® is my favorite Novus product.  I started my career with Novus 10 years ago working on the ALIMET business and have been fortunate to be involved with the ALIMET business ever since.

What accomplishment or moment in your career are you most proud of?
In 2012, I was given the opportunity to take an expatriate three year assignment in Brazil.  It was an excellent opportunity that allowed me to have an active role in managing Novus’s methionine business and marketing organization in Latin America.  In addition, I had tremendous personal benefit in learning a new language and being fully immersed in the Brazilian culture with my family. It gave us the opportunity to travel to places we probably would have never visited in our lifetime.

What is the oddest or hardest question a customer has ever asked you?
I was once asked by a customer if I had a good chocolate cake recipe for a family reunion she was attending. I shared the recipe with her and a few days later she called me with a few questions just to check to make sure she was following the recipe correctly.

How do you work with customers to address their needs and overcome challenges they face?
In my role, I work daily with the sales and technical teams in North America and meet with customers on a regular basis.  Being able to hear first-hand the challenges that our customers face and contribute to potential solutions to address these challenges is very rewarding.

When you are not promoting Novus products what do you like to do?
I enjoy golfing, spending time with my family and almost any activity that involves being outdoors.

If you had to choose only one book for your library, what would it be? 
Webster’s Dictionary – I truly enjoy learning. 

What is your favorite beef/dairy/pork/poultry product to eat? 
Hmmm…this is a hard one.  I like steak, but I eat a lot of chicken.  However, each year at World Pork Expo I look forward to having the world famous bacon covered donuts!!