Bedgen 40® in Free Range Layers

The plant extract product- Bedgen 40® is a natural additive based on artichoke extract.  It contains caffeoylquinic acids, flavonoids, polyphenols and pro-vitamins.  Designed to naturally modulate and regulate the hepatic-biliar function, it protects and regenerates the cytoplasmic membrane of the liver cells, while reducing the negative impact produced by harmful substances present in feed and water.

Studies Show Artichoke extract (Cynara scolymus)

  1. Promotes the increase of bile production and
  2. It enhances the detoxification process and re-establishes liver functions in cases of acute intoxication.  It also interacts with lutein in fat mobilization.
    • Increased bile is responsible for better fat emulsification and micelle formation leading to better fat- and fat-soluble vitamin absorption.
    • Increased bile has been shown to increase digestive enzyme production (lipases and proteases), intestinal motility and possible increases in some hormone production.
    • Bile has also been shown to trigger the FXR receptor in the epithelial cells of the gut leading to improved tight junctions.
    • The flavonoids, polyphenols and pro-vitamins of Bedgen 40® assist in detoxification by promoting the production of increased Glutathione and Glutathione Transferase in the Liver.
    • These flavonoids, polyphenols and pro-vitamins also promote the more efficient Apo-B protein production leading to a reduction in the incidence and severity of Steatosis (Fatty Liver Syndrome).

Trial Background
The objective of this trial is to identify benefits in performance as well evaluating the general health of the birds by including Bedgen 40® into the mash feed for a flock of ca. 50,000 free-range layers.  Bedgen 40® was included at 150g/MT of mash into the feed from 17 weeks of age up until 31 weeks, this trial is ongoing.  The flock used were Hi-line layers which were divided into two groups under the same management team and located in separate areas adjacent to each other, this ensured that the conditions for each of the groups was the same.

Trial Results
From week 21 onwards until week 28 the Bedgen 40® treated group showed an increase of between 3-4% laying rate with an increased egg weight of 10%, the feed intake for the both the groups remained essentially equivalent leading to an improved FCR of 9 to 10 points.

During the peak laying period it was also noted with interested that there was a significantly lower number of dirty eggs in the Bedgen 40® treated group.

In terms of impact general health of the two flocks it was noted by the trial supervisor that by end of week 31 he was most impressed by the health of the treated group.  In general, the livers appeared to be of similar health however the bird weights, gut and intestinal health for the treated group were visually better compared to the control group.

Conclusion
Conclusion of Bedgen 40® into the rations of a layer mash has shown in this trial generally healthier birds and an increase in performance from week 21 through to week 28.  After week 28 the performance improvement between the two flocks was less obvious.  In discussions with the farm there was no difference between the management of the two groups through out the trial period and at this stage it is not possible to surmise why the treated group performance fell off.

References available on request.