Mycotoxicosis is a very common disease found in farm animals caused by a natural toxin produced by fungus. In poultry this disease mainly occurs from these toxin-producing fungi getting embedded and thriving in their grain and feed. Many of these mycotoxins exhibit additive or synergistic effects along with many other natural toxins, infectious agents, and nutritional deficiencies. Quite a few of them are chemically stable and remain toxic for a long time. Their early treatment and prevention can go a long way in tackling this serious problem.
Once the disease has been diagnosed, the immediate step should be to replace the toxic feed with clean, fresh feed. The treatment of the ongoing disease should be to heal and minimize the spread of disease. Often feeding the poultry with prescribed vitamins, or trace minerals such as selenium, proteins and lipids along with food and water supplementation can expedite the treatment. Substandard management practices are often detrimental to the infected poultry and must be sorted as soon as possible. Another great strategy for its treatment, especially if contaminated feed is present, is to feed specific nutrients that metabolize and form detoxicants. For instance, supplemental methionine and N-acetylcysteine can be a good antidote to counteract the aflatoxin infection by enhancing formation of the glutathione compound.
They say prevention is the best cure. This adage holds especially true in this case. The most important but highly effective preventive measure can be to purchase high quality and mycotoxin contamination free feeds and ingredients. The second measure is to implement management practices that ward off the spread of mold and mycotoxin formation especially during the feed transportation and it’s storage.
The feed storage and the feeding systems must be regularly inspected to spot any flow problems. Mycotoxins thrive and flourish in decaying, crusted feed in feeders, feed mills, and storage bins. So cleaning them immediately and on a regular basis can have immediate benefits. Keeping the moisture of grain below 12% by sun drying them regularly can help in mycotoxin inhibition.