Experts in Poultry Nutrition

AFG: Chloride-Free Sodium Source + Acidification

The composition and strong acidic properties of AFG (animal feed grade sodium bisulfate) make it a highly valuable addition to poultry diets at all dietary phases. Research has shown its ability to support performance in challenged and unchallenged conditions, improve litter quality and reduce ammonia emissions, while playing an important role in a Salmonella control program.

Support Performance in Challenged and Unchallenged Conditions

As a mineral acid with a pKa of 1.99, AFG lowers feed pH and reduces buffering effects of diets in the upper GI tract. By working to maintain gut integrity, AFG positively impacts bird performance.

Mitigate Performance Losses in Challenged Birds

Coccidiosis affects birds’ ability to absorb nutrients, which challenges performance. By working to maintain gut integrity, AFG mitigates those losses.

A 44-day trial was conducted in commercial type housing by Dr. Bradley Turner, DVM, MAM, to evaluate the effect of AFG on the performance of broilers subjected to a coccidiosis challenge. All birds were raised on built-up litter and administered a 2X dose of coccidiosis vaccine. The control group was not supplemented with AFG nor a coccidiostat. The trial showed that birds fed AFG during the peak of the coccidiosis challenge experienced significantly improved feed conversion rates and improved body weight gain.

a,b,c Means with different letters differ significantly (P<0.001)
44 day trial; Cocci vaccine (2X dose), built up litter;12 pens per treatment; 40 birds/pen

AFG is suitable for replacing non-chloride sodium sources, such as sodium sesquicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate.

Unchallenged Birds Fed AFG

A field trial was conducted in Arkansas in collaboration with a poultry integrator in order to evaluate the performance of broilers fed rations formulated with the addition of AFG.

In a commercial-type house, feed treatments were randomly assigned to pens containing 100 chicks each, with 8 replicate pens per treatment. As was seen with the challenged trial, the birds in the unchallenged trial once again showed improved feed conversion and body weights compared to the control.

a,b,c Means with different letters differ significantly (P<0.05)
33-day commercial broiler trial; No challenge; 8 pens per treatment; 100 birds/pen

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Performance Improvements + Reduction in Ammonia

AFG helps preserve proper electrolyte balance by eliminating excess chloride, which has been shown to help reduce litter moisture – a main contributor of excess ammonia generation and paw lesions. A study by Dr. Hong Li at the University of Delaware, which demonstrated similar performance improvements as previous studies, also showed adding AFG to diets can significantly reduce ammonia emissions.

Three flocks were raised in two houses, which shared the same settings and management practices, each starting with 2,400 day-old Ross 708 chicks over a 49- to 52-d grow out. Each house started with new softwood shaving and no litter amendment.

During the first 5 weeks of the three flocks, there was no difference in ammonia emission rate between the two houses. However, flocks fed AFG had a 17% lower ammonia emission rate between 36 and 52 d of age.

Reduced ammonia means reduced fuel use. Over three flocks, houses with AFG-fed birds used nearly 25% less fuel than the control.

Ammonia emissions were reduced 10% overall during three flocks

Salmonella Control with AFG

Animal Feed Grade sodium bisulfate (AFG) is used in pet foods as a cost-effective way to fight Salmonella contamination. Research from Kansas State University showed a reduction of Salmonella Typhimurium levels in the chicken fat commonly used in pet foods when treated with AFG (sold for pet food as Pet SBS™).

In the study, the kibble of 10 commercial pet foods (5 cat foods and 5 dog foods) was inoculated with Salmonella enterica on d 0 and then coated with 2.2% spray-dried chicken liver and AFG at concentrations of 0.60 and 0.80 for cat food and 0.20 and 0.40 for dog food. Researchers found that by day 14 AFG reduced Salmonella levels by 2 logs in cat food and 1 log in dog food.

study by Muckey et al. showed AFG reduced Salmonella Typhimurium concentration by 1 log and was the most effective dry product tested for reducing Salmonella on the surface of animal feed manufacturing equipment.

New research is proposing the use of AFG in a Salmonella control strategy for poultry feed from farm to plant. Feed ingredients have been documented to be a source of Salmonella contamination. While there are some interventions like extended heat-treatment and formaldehyde-based products, these may have a negative impact on feed nutrients or worker safety.

Animal feed grade sodium bisulfate reduced Salmonella levels by 2 logs in cat food.
Animal feed grade sodium bisulfate reduced Salmonella levels by 1 log in dog food

Uniform and Easy to Mix

In addition to efficacy, AFG offers formulators ease of use. A study by Dr. Chad Paulk at Kansas State University showed that AFG can be adequately mixed in the diet when added with micro ingredients for uniform feeding. It was concluded that increasing animal feed grade sodium bisulfate (AFG) in the diet reduced (P < 0.001) pH and increased the sodium and sulfur content (P < 0.001) of the diet.

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