PATENT No. 4,315,917
"Method of Treating Cannibalism in Poultry"
The Abstract on this Patent includes:
"The incidence of infectious disease in poultry is reduced and/or anti-social behavior is controlled by providing the poultry with drinking water containing a catalytically effective amount of a unique catalyst. In a preferred variant the drinking water may also contain lignite which has been pre-treated with the catalyst until it is soluble. . . The invention is also useful in obtaining better utilization of feed and for other purposes. 22 Claims, No Drawings."
By Dr. Darrell B. Bragg
Dept. Of Poultry Science,
University of British Columbia
Reprinted from Canada Poultryman
A brief report on Catalyst Altered Water (CAW) was carried in the October, 1984 issue of the Canada Poultryman which provided the ingredients used in this product. Catalyst Altered Water was described as colloidal sodium, magnesium, calcium polysilicate polymer coated with a vegetable oil derivative and combined with lignite. It is recommended as a water conditioner for animal and poultry production and there is a large number of producer reports indicating positive results. The product appears to provide the greatest response when conditions in the production facility are somewhat less than ideal, indicating that greater responses may be obtained with animals or birds under environmental or physiological stress. The precise mechanism in which Catalyst Altered Water improves performance (growth; feed conversion, leg problem, etc.) is still not clear, however some information is being developed.
Plant Products, Agriculture Canada has approved the Catalyst Altered Water for use in drinking water for livestock and poultry on the basis of producer reports and other information showing the complete absence of toxicity. During the past years, a continuous flow of producer reports confirm the absence of toxicity. In fact to my knowledge, all producers reports have been positive by indicating growth response or improved feed conversion. However, some reports showed a slight increase in mortality which is believed to be associated with increased retention of drugs such as coccidistats. Even these producers observed sufficient improvement to yield equal or better income from their flocks.
An article in ACRES, U.S.A. A Voice For Eco-Agriculture, November, 1984, indicated that Catalyst Altered Water would find its value in foreign countries which implied a lack of interest in the product in the United States. The lack of interest may be related to the limited amount of scientific information on water structure as it relates to animal and poultry production. The report explained the value of using CAW in plant production with only minor emphasis on animal production. However, the article did indicate that CAW has a proven synergist effect when used in conjunction with antibiotics, germicidal and fungicidal agents and that it reinforces the natural defense mechanism in living things. These statements seem to be partially confirmed by user reports and completed experimental studies.
The number of preliminary studies were carried out at the University of British Columbia in 1985. Results showed improvement in growth with chicks (128 days of age) when fed Canola meal diets and supplied with drinking water containing CAW at 50 ppm (loz.\130 gal) to 300 ppm.
Although, chicks fed soybean meal diets with low levels of CAW show no growth improvement at levels between 50 and 150 ppm. The addition of CAW to drinking water at 500 and 5000 ppm improved growth of chicks fed soybean meal diets. The growth response at these CAW levels were 6.7% and 11.4% higher than a control treatment (zero CAW). Unlike producer reports no improvement in the feed conversion ratio was observed.
The two diets used in these studies had approximately equal nutrient content except the energy level in the Canola meal diet was 130 kcal/kg lower than the soybean meal diet. Without CAW in the drinking water the final body weight of the Canola meal diet was 9.6% lower than the soybean meal diet. The addition of CAW to the drinking water resulted in higher body weight of chicks fed the Canola diet. The growth improvement was 0.8%, 3.8% and 5.5% greater than the soybean diet at 50, 100 and 150 ppm of CAW in drinking water of chicks fed Canola diets.
The feed conversion ratio (FCR) of chicks supplied with CAW drinking water showed no change from the control (zero CAW).
Results of these studies indicate that chicks fed either soybean or Canola meal diet show improvement in rate of growth by the addition of CAW to the drinking water. However, the level of CAW required with the two diets were different. The growth response is (at least in part) due to an improvement in the utilization of dietary energy and protein. Although results of this study and reports from producers differ in respect to growth and FCR the effect on nutrient utilization appears to be similar. There was variation in the magnitude of the result in the different feeding trials which is similar to trends reported in the field. The suggestion that better results are obtained at higher levels of stress may very well be true.
Field comparisons repeatedly show positive results either in body weight, FCR, dress-out grades and/or reduced leg problems. Income per bird over cost with CAW has been reported to have increased by 0.36 cents/bird to a high of 58 cents/bird by producers.
The slightly higher mortality in some cases reduced the profit yield. Therefore, studies are planned to examine the effect of CAW on mortality as it relates to medication. If the suggestion on better retention of medication is true, then such a response may account for the slight increase in mortality and require - adjustments in drug level employed when CAW is added to drinking water.
There is a large number of questions that need answers before the full benefit can be derived from the utilization of CAW in livestock and poultry production systems. However, results obtained indicate that producers who use CAW in drinking water should enhance utilization of dietary energy and/or protein with improved growth or FCR This may also apply to other nutrients (e.g minerals and vitamins). Such improvement may reduce cost in addition to increasing productivity in poultry and livestock.
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