Olmix is collaborating with a feed manufacturer and a group of farmers in France to produce antibiotic-free chicken. Photo: Olmix

Olmix is collaborating with a feed manufacturer and a group of farmers in France to produce antibiotic-free chicken. Photo: Olmix

Stuart Lumb and Chakrit Ridmotri write in allaboutfeed.net that animal nutrition company Olmix is working to find natural solutions for food production without using antibiotics. Producers face many problems trying to establish a healthy food chain, and reducing antibiotics for food producing animals is a key topic. Nutritional strategies are an essential part to reduce antibiotics. Founder of Olmix, Herve Balusson, names algae as a renewable raw material with unexpected potential, and thus a promising ingredient for livestock feed.

Algae has been proven to enhance the immune system of animals, increase gut health, increased digestive efficiency and protection against mycotoxins. To prove that these strategies work, Olmix is collaborating with a feed manufacturer and a group of farmers in France to produce antibiotic-free chicken.

In doing so, the conventional production scheme was maintained (intermediate growth strain, 40-day slaughtering and rearing in poultry houses), while the farming hygiene and feed programs were adapted to include several algae-based Olmix products in the feed and drinking water.

“The results are successful,” said Dr. Thomas Pavie, Director “One Health” at Olmix. “From an industry that used antibiotics on more than 50 percent of batches, we managed to reduce antibiotics (including medicinal antibiotics) completely on more than 95 percent of batches. The results were also noteworthy in terms of zootechnical performance, since there was no deterioration and even an improvement in certain indicators such as the age at which the chickens were removed for slaughtering.”

Olmix has established a school in Brittany – France’s biggest animal production hub – to teach new farming practices using algae in the production of meat, milk, eggs and plants. Called “Breizh Algae School,” it will train students, partners and professionals in modern farming techniques that are free of antibiotics, pesticides, and chemical additives.