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FEED FOCUS: Health benefits of natural feed
ingredients: oregano increases efficienc...
Performance, flexibility and stability
Raise your standards of performance with Econase®
Striving fo...
Health benefits
of natural feed
oregano increases
efficiency of cattle
Thomas Logemann, Head
of Sales, ...
stress factors also include the mobilisation of
the population. Thus, changes of building and
transportation should be avo...
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FEED FOCUS: Health benefits of natural feed ingredients: oregano increases efficiency of cattle feeds

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Since the 1950s, scientists have known about the medical efficacy of certain plants. Still, they only found their way into modern livestock farming about 10 years ago. Today, they are not only found in the organic sector.

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FEED FOCUS: Health benefits of natural feed ingredients: oregano increases efficiency of cattle feeds

  1. 1. Digital Re-print - July | August 2013 FEED FOCUS: Health benefits of natural feed ingredients: oregano increases efficiency of cattle feeds Grain & Feed MillingTechnology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2013 Perendale Publishers Ltd.All rights reserved.No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872
  2. 2. Performance, flexibility and stability RAISING STANDARDS Raise your standards of performance with Econase® XT. Striving for improved profitability in uncertain times? Econase® XT optimises feed efficiency, offering you real cost savings. Performance - Improved FCR and cost reduction. Flexibility - Efficacious across all diet types. Stability - Intrinsically thermostable, easily detected and measured in feed. Econase® XT from AB Vista - the leaders in enzyme innovation. Find out more: E: T: +44 (0)1672 517664 W:
  3. 3. Health benefits of natural feed ingredients: oregano increases efficiency of cattle feeds Thomas Logemann, Head of Sales, Dostofarm GmbH, Germany S ince the 1950s, scientists have known about the medical efficacy of certain plants. Still, they only found their way into modern livestock farming about 10 years ago. Today, they are not only found in the organic sector. However, hardly any plant is useful simply fresh from the field or dried. The plants are generally elaborately distilled or fermented, in order to extract the essential oils as a base for a suitable organic compound. In the laboratory, the inhibition zone test delivers proof of efficacy: the larger the clear circle, the more effective the compound. In objec- tive comparative tests with several natural compounds, prepared oregano was proven to be the most effective biological agent. The oil extracted from the plant inhib- ited 19 of 25 investigated bacterial strains, showed good efficacy against four strains, and only had to admit defeat in two cases. Thus, oregano is considered to be a natural broad-spectrum bacteria killer. Broad-spectrum bacteria killer The advantage of oregano compared to other compounds is the relatively low effec- tive dose and the neutral flavour in meat, milk and eggs. The low dose is particularly remarkable. For example, when used to con- trol fungi, the dose required to eliminate 99.9 percent of Candida is 111 times lower than with the standard medication (calcium- magnesium-caprylate). In other cases, a con- centration of 0.1 percent or 0.01 percent is already sufficient to eliminate 90 percent. The laboratory values can generally be transferred to practical use in cattle farming, however, some restrictions may apply. For example, although oregano is very effective at inhibiting the spreading of Salmonella, in the barn, these bacteria are not only found in the livestock, but also in alternate hosts, which makes control more difficult. This did not detract from the triumph of this natural product: oregano is being used in commercial livestock farming more than ever. Incidentally, it is used mainly for pre- vention until the slaughtering day, since it is possible without altering the flavour of the animal product and without record in the medication log. As a side effect, oregano stimulates the animal's appetite and prevents premature spoilage of the feed. Oregano also leaves no detectable flavour in milk and milk products. Several manufacturers share the market. The German company Dostofarm was one of the first to work on processing of oregano for livestock farming. Today, the company is the only one to offer natural compounds as a medicine whose efficacy is confirmed according to the German Medicines Law. In terms of cost, the conversion to natural products is economical, as demonstrated by numerous examples from organic and conventional livestock farming. The admin- istration is simple, since the active substance is only added to the feed or drinking water. There is no danger of an overdose and there are no known cases of resistance. Intestinal stability Oregano has also proven itself for pre- ventative use to stabilise the intestines of barn animals. Compared to conventional compounds, oregano is even usually more economical and as a bonus, it does not pose a health hazard. A study shows that oregano is very effective when administered as a feed sup- plement. Oregano was given to a group of calves (43 animals) that had diarrhoea. Already after one single treatment, 58 per- cent of the animals were free of symptoms. The rest of the animals were healed after the second administration. Although these results were also obtained in the control group, they were only obtained with the use of a hard ‘chemical cocktail’ consisting of Baytril, Bacolam and Biosol. Infections, parasites or bacterial toxins generally cause diarrhoeal disease. It can be recognised by frequent bowel move- ments that tend to be of liquid consistence and sometimes severe pain in the animals. Diarrhoea requires immediate treatment, since fluids and minerals are flushed out of the body due to the reduced water- absorbing capacity of the intestinal cells. Dehydration and loss of electrolytes could ultimately lead to the death of the animal. Respiratory disease Another field of application is respira- tory disease caused by bacteria or viruses. However, the animals are only susceptible when the farmer creates the conditions that lead to infection. For this reason, the surrounding conditions should be checked before using medication. A crucial point here is insufficient hygiene. Direct contact between persons and the animals should be restricted as much as possible in order to reduce the introduction of pathogens. Also, reducing person traffic through all the operating areas can help to prevent the spread of existing pathogens. The animals themselves are also carriers. It is always risky to freshen up the population with purchased animals. If it cannot be avoid- ed, animals should only be bought from one or few (known) suppliers, which restricts the spectrum of potential pathogens. Stress factors such as drafts through doors or windows that do not close prop- erly or uncoordinated opening of these may promote the occurrence of disease. For this reason, ventilation should be optimally adjusted. This keeps the air temperature constant, so that the animal's organism does not need to mobilise its reserves to compensate for cooling. Cleanliness is always key. In the barn, this means that: droppings should not be left to lie longer than neces- sary. Therefore, the litter has to be changed as often as required to keep the air free of ammonia. Pay attention to dust in general, as it has a highly irritating effect. The primary Grain&feed millinG technoloGy28 | July - august 2013
  4. 4. stress factors also include the mobilisation of the population. Thus, changes of building and transportation should be avoided as much as possible. Separate animals that disturb the population due to hierarchy conflicts. Altogether, it is important to protect the animals' immune system and mucous membranes. This also prevents secondary diseases, for example, of the intestinal tract. The majority of these measures can be accomplished without additional costs, simply by reorganising the operating procedures accordingly. If one wants to reduce the risks even more, the natural oregano compounds can be added to the drinking water or sprinkled around the barn. Parallel to this, the animals can also be immunised. Antibiotics should only be administered if a large portion of the population is infected. Meanwhile, organic farmers must con- tinue to use natural compounds. In many cases, however, these have proven to be just as effective. In addition, they can be used up to the slaughtering day. Those who implement these preventative meas- ures could save a lot of money: respiratory disease not only counts among the most frequent diseases, but also among those that cause the most economic losses, since they inhibit animal growth. Appetite-stimulating effect In addition to use for infection preven- tion, oregano has also proven itself to be effective against constipation, flatulence and loss of appetite. The latter is a welcome side effect of the treatment. It can be attributed to its aromatic properties, which intensify the flavour of the feed and thus increase the feeding instinct. The effect was observed in all of the examined animal species. The effort is worthwhile from an economical point of view, since the increased yields generally are opposed to relatively low costs. In this context, there is also the use of oregano in total mix rations (TMR). The homogeneous distribution system consist- ing of basic and concentrated feeds pro- vides the animals with the required com- ponents and simplifies animal maintenance. Although the mixture produced in the feed mixer improves the return per unit, it is not without its problems in the summer. This is due to fermentation processes in the ration that reduce the animal's feed intake. Added oregano acts against this: certain components of the plant provoke a bio- chemical reaction that reduces the reheat- ing of the feed. The aromatic addition also increases the palatability of the feed and thus increases the animal's appetite. At the same time, the stimulation of saliva- tion improves feed conversion and animal health: saliva contains sodium bicarbonate, which has an acid-moderating effect in the rumen. The required amount of oregano administered in powder form is low. Climate protection side effect Only a few months ago, scientists from the Pennsylvania State University, USA sur- prised the world with the discovery that cattle farmers can make a great contribution to climate protection with little effort. In a study carried out on Holstein cows, it was shown that already a small amount of oregano in the feed can reduce the exhalation of methane gas from animal stomachs by 40 percent. Undesirable side effects were not observed. On the con- trary, the cows increased fat-corrected milk produc- tion by almost four per- cent. The quantity of fresh oregano of 500 grams fed to each cow on a daily basis (dosage about 1:40) can be replaced by processed oregano from an agricultural specialist shop, so that only a fraction of the amount is required. The costs are of only a few cents. Methane is an odourless gas that is produced by microbiological degradation processes in the stomach of almost all mam- mals. It is especially dangerous to the climate, since it has about 23 times more greenhouse potential than carbon diox- ide. According to the cal- culations by the United Nations, the harmful cli- mate effects caused by methane from livestock farming even exceed those of the entire transport sec- tor. Conclusion The exam- ples show that cattle farmers today have good alternatives to the often problematic chemical com- pounds for the treatment of disease and to increase performance. It is not really surprising that, of all things, oregano com- pounds are best suited for the purpose: the positive effects of this plant have been known for centuries. Although their use had decreased in the last decades due to the industrial production of antibiotics and other chemical products, their use has fortunately been increasing again due to the worldwide trend towards healthy food that is produced in an animal-friendly way, as well as the increasing yield pressure. More InforMatIon: Website: PhotocourtesyofDostofarm Grain&feed millinG technoloGy July - august 2013 | 29 CATTLE gain rate and meat quality. The proteins and amino acids of feed ingredients are used to stimulate the production of lean body mass. Research shows that greater energy intakes directly improve pigs’ pro- tein and lean meat accumulation, the daily weight gain, feed utilization rate and the fat content. However, when the daily weight gain hits a certain degree, greater energy intake does not ensure an increase in lean meat. Greater or fewer trace elements may lead to metabolic disorders, slow weight gain speed, more feeds consumption and diseas- es or death. So the amount and proportion of amino acids, energy level, protein level and mineral elements should be considered. Sow feeding Figure 1 shows the energy needs distribu- tion for pregnant sows. From the table we know most of the feed is used as energy. During this period, it is important that the feed ingredients are not mouldy or degenerative as poor quality feed can cause miscarriage. Dried fat and soybean oil should be added to the feed to improve the birth weight and survival rate of piglets. Sows at different pregnancy stages need different nutrition and feed intakes. Research shows that in the early pregnancy sows need about 6 g lysine while in the later stages the lysine intake is 15 g. Figure 2 shows the is the daily feed intakes of pregnant sows. From the table we know that the daily feed intake for pregnant sows should be reduced to 2.5 kg during the first 30 days so as to maintain the energy levels and reduce feed waste. Then feed intake is adopted according to the body conditions. In the later gestation stage, feed intake is increased to expand stomach capacity and meet piglet nutrition needs. In the last stages of preg- nancy, feed intake reduced to 1.5 kg so as to prevent constipation before parturition. During the lactation period, sows may eat less which causes weight loss and influences lactation. So lysine should be added to the feed pellets so as to reduce weight loss of lactating sows, improve piglet weight gain rate, provide sufficient milk for piglets and Figure 1: Energy needs distribution for pregnant sows Figure 2: Daily feed intake for pregnant sows Grain&feed millinG technoloGy July - august 2013 | 17 Die and roll re-working machines O&J Højtryk A/S Ørnevej 1, DK-6705 Esbjerg Ø CVR.: 73 66 86 11 Phone: +45 75 14 22 55 Fax: +45 82 28 91 41 mail: AD_o&j.indd 1 21/11/2012 15:08 Deep Processing Grains A Russian Milling Conference February 4-7, 2014 GFMT has been engaged by the Cereals-Mixed Feed-Veterinary Exposition 2014, which will be held in the All-Rusia Exhibition Centre (VVC) in Moscow from February 4-7, 2014, to deliver a one-and-a- half-day conference on milling for feed manufacturers. It will be called the ‘Deep Processing Grains Conference’ and focus on feed manufacturing developments both in the mechanical and nutritional areas. So as to compliment the exposition rather than compete with it, we intend to break this conference into three separate blocks so that delegates can maximise their time in the exhibition halls while still managing to glean developmental information from conference speakers, says Roger Gilbert of Perendale Publishers Limited, publishers of Grain and Feed Milling Technology magazine. “This is an honour for us to be invited to join with the Cereals-Mixed Feed-Veterinary Exposition to organise this innovative program for Russian feed millers and nutritionists.We are calling on exhibitors to consider proposing topics that they are specialists in and which they would like to share with the audience. “The conference itself with be in both English and Russian and will have a period of questions and answers at the end of each session,” he adds. Delegates will be asked to register prior to the event in order to ensure sufficient facilities are made available. Each of the three sessions will comprise three speakers each and will be organised into themes by species and processing by feed type. Companies interested in proposing speakers for the program should contact Roger Gilbert directly ( or Elena Belserova ( FEATURE
  5. 5. LINKS • See the full issue • Visit the GFMT website • Contact the GFMT Team • Subscribe to GFMT A subscription magazine for the global flour & feed milling industries - first published in 1891 INCORPORATING PORTS, DISTRIBUTION AND FORMULATION In this issue: • Pig feed pelletizing technology • Feed focus Cattle • Exploring the challenge of single versus multi- enzyme dosing comparisons July-August2013 • Improving poultry health and production efficiency with probiotics • Aflatoxins in Europe: a new risk in maize production? • Sweeping changes to OSHA’s sweep auger enforcement first published in 1891 This digital Re-print is part of the July | August 2013 edition of Grain & Feed Milling Technology magazine. Content from the magazine is available to view free-of-charge, both as a full online magazine on our website, and as an archive of individual features on the docstoc website. Please click here to view our other publications on To purchase a paper copy of the magazine, or to subscribe to the paper edi- tion please contact our Circulation and Subscriptions Manager on the link adove. INFORMATION FOR ADVERTISERS - CLICK HERE Article reprints All Grain & Feed Milling Tecchnology feature articles can be re-printed as a 4 or 8 page booklets (these have been used as point of sale materials, promotional materials for shows and exhibitions etc). If you are interested in getting this article re-printed please contact the GFMT team for more informa- tion on - Tel: +44 1242 267707 - Email: or visit