Mycotoxins in animal feed are responsible for huge economic losses which have serious negative effects on animal health and performance.
It increases the possibility of animals to come down with diseases due to immunosuppression, death due to poisoning, vital organs and reproductive organs damage at a long term. Mycotoxins can affect activated and proliferating cells, damage epithelial tissue, increase intestinal permeability thereby leading to a weakened immune system of animals.
Aflatoxin causes poor performance, reduced weight gain and poor feed conversion rate (FCR) and enlargement organs such as the liver, spleen, kidneys, bursa of fabricius, thymus and birth hatch defects that leads to poor hatch. Other signs of mycxotoxin include :
- Reduced egg production
- Sexual maturation delay
- Renal dsysfunction
- Poor hatchability
- Liver lesions and gizzard discoloration
Farm animals are very sensitive to mycxotoxin, the toxic effect affects them greatly and leads to immunosuppression that are undetectable through routine screening procedures.
Mould can reduce the digestibilty, nutritive value and palatability of feed. The effects of mycotoxins in animal feeds is a cause for concern, control measures require solution tackling mycotoxin problem in feeds. The use of a combination of binders, microbial enzymes, yeast cell walls, and natural antioxidants.
However, addition of toxin binders into contaminated animal feeds has greatly reduce the effect on mycotoxin by decontaminating the mycotoxin in the feed and binding them strongly to prevent mycotoxin absorption in the digestive tract.
Mycotoxins may exist in poultry feed even with very good managent and several mycotoxin binders have been developed that prevent the toxic effects of mycotoxins on animals consuming contaminated feed. Toxin binders prevent the negative effects on the animals consuming them.
Livestock farmers must ensure that a broad range of toxin binders is a component of their feed at the right quantity so that the feed is safe for animals consumption, analyse their feeds to know which mycotoxin is present or it’s level and grain samples analysis.