Feedinfo Review - Winter 2022

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Cargill’s Galleon decodes flock gut microbiome to help broiler producers improve bird & farm performance


he importance of the gut microbiome in creating optimal bird health, wellbeing and performance has become a well-established concept in poultry nutrition and agriculture. While this has resulted in a myriad of gut health solutions for producers to consider, the microbiome is a very complex system, and deciphering it can help identify where these solutions can be applied to boost bird and farm performance. A more complete picture of the microbiome can enable producers to pinpoint the various internal and external factors that can upset and throw the microbiome system off, which can be valuable information to have when making decisions on how to improve farm operations. Thousands of organisms make up the microbiome in just a single bird, with each organism and their combinations causing different outcomes. Interpreting this data and converting it into actionable insights across flocks can be overwhelming and costly. This is where Cargill sees its microbiome intelligence tool, Galleon™, making a difference. The analysis tool is currently used for broiler producers. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and statistical tools combined with Cargill’s extensive expertise, Galleon provides insights into the flock’s microbiome status. Cargill’s technical experts can then suggest interventions to optimise operations. Feedinfo sat down with Dr. Jean De Oliveira, Cargill Animal Science Research Manager, to find out more about how Galleon works. [Feedinfo] In your opinion, how aware are broiler producers about gut health and its impact on flock performance? [Dr. Jean De Oliveira] The vast majority of broiler producers are knowledgeable and recognise the impact of gut health on their flocks. They regularly attempt interventions for flock wellbeing based on intuition or anecdotal evidence. The biggest challenge lies in the complexity of being able to create a link between microbiome composition, performance, and actions that can be implemented for improvement. This is mostly due to customers’ unfamiliarity of the microbiome, and trying to understand this relationship without expert help can be expensive and time consuming. With insights into the gut microbiome, we believe producers have an opportunity to enhance their perception even more by understanding the microbiome’s connection to performance. This can be achieved through recommendations from experts in the industry who have access to data, experience, and expertise that can be used to provide actionable insights to improve their farm management practices, and support flock health and performance.

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[Feedinfo] What are some of the main industry concerns that an improved understanding of the gut microbiome can help broiler producers address? [Dr. Jean De Oliveira] The gut microbiome is intimately connected to the health and performance of the bird. Tracking the health of the gut microbiome then becomes a key step that producers can take to improve the performance of their flock. A few common examples we have seen in which microbiome analyses have provided insights leading to improved performance in the industry include: • Being able to pinpoint the reason why different farms Dr. Jean De Oliveira that have the same inputs — feed management, antibiotic regimens, etc. — have different performance results • Having access to insights and solutions to manage inexplicable disease episodes in flocks • Being able to maintain a healthy flock and potentially limiting the use of antibiotics • Having the capability to improve the performance of the flock for economic benefit, by means including but not limited to: switching feed, using additives, or improving management practices. These examples are shared by integrators, feed producers, etc., who are also seeking solutions to some of the same problems. [Feedinfo] So how can Cargill’s Galleon broiler microbiome tool help address these concerns? What are some of the benefits of improved gut health it can help unlock for broiler farmers? [Dr. Jean De Oliveira] Galleon is an innovative, patent-pending microbiome assessment tool designed for commercial routine use. It combines powerful statistics with AI modelling based on an extensive databank of samples analysed over 10 years which continues to grow every day. This AI makes it possible to understand the complex relationships between microbiome composition and performance, simplifying the process of evaluating the health of the microbiome for the customer. Galleon microbiome analysis can be used to monitor the effects of