Supplementation For A Fighting Advantage

Cockfighting remains one of the most popular pastimes in the country. Even today, large-scale derbys bring competitors and spectators in from around the world. While training methods and breeding techniques have persisted over time, giving your fighting cocks that winning edge frequently comes down to nutrition.

All other things being equal, providing a little extra for your fighting cocks in the form of supplementation means that they have the advantage when the chips are down. Supplementation also gives them an edge in recovery, whether it’s from training, or in between fights.

The first concern to deal with is stress. Over the course of growth, development, and training, the fighting cock has a higher than normal exposure to stressors, and a failure to adapt to these conditions means poor performance. Chemical stressors, such as those caused by antibiotics, or feed additives impede development as the body focuses on clearing byproducts or strengthening the immune system instead of muscle growth. Physical stressors encountered during training, such as the normal wear and tear of muscle tissue, or micro-fractures in the skeletal system mean more downtime, and poor athletic performance. Biological stressors such as those innately present in the breed, or those caused by the incompatibility with the environment impact long-term health and fighting ability, and psychological stress encountered in fights, whether in training or the actual bouts can dull a fighting cock’s edge in combat. Supplementation supports the birds by making them more adaptable to different stressful situations, for that fight advantage they need to win.

Ensuring the proper function of the CNS has immediate benefits including improving the animal’s psychomotor performance, enabling them to move exactly as their fighting instincts instruct them, as well as improving their concentration and responsiveness in a fight situation. One of the most important factors in creating an effective fighting cock is training, and better stress tolerance aids in this step as well. Supplementation makes training more effective by increasing the animal’s ability to learn and retain the lessons learned in training, which is a clear advantage in a match. The improvements to the CNS also translate into better functioning under pressure, and when the fight starts, in the loud, dusty environment of the fighting arena, there is more pressure on the bird than just the opponent in front of it. All these benefits to the CNS let your fighter respond to the stresses of a fight like a champion.

One of the most important advantages supplementation delivers is increased physical performance. Correct supplementation also delays the formation of lactic acid in the muscles, which translates into greater function of the fast-twitch muscle fibers and the ability to act and react better. All these create a warrior that’s physically at a higher level than the competition, and one that’s more dangerous in combat.

Finally, supplementation aids in recovery. Both training and real fights do damage to an animal’s body. Supplementation helps detoxify the bird’s body from the byproducts of extreme physical activity so the bird spends less time recovering. It restores the micro-tears that naturally develop in muscle fibers after physical exertion, and increases the rate of protein synthesis and nucleic acid to both repair and build muscle, so your animal can bounce back faster, train harder, and fight more effectively.

To learn about natural, antibiotic-free supplementation programs that will suit your flock, contact your local UBC sales agent, and give your fighting birds the edge in combat.

Using Emulsifiers to Reduce Feed Cost

The current shortage of corn for use in feed production has led to an increase in raw material prices, which in turn cuts into profit margins for many farms in the country. Nutritional requirements still have to be met in order to turn a decent profit, and striking that balance between nutrition and cost can be a difficult task.

There are, of course, options, though some are less attractive than others. There are ways that increase the efficiency of feed, in order to meet the nutritional requirements of the animals while keeping the material amounts the same. Emulsifiers in particular are an excellent way to increase the amount of energy absorbed from the oils in feed.

Oils, which are high in energy, are a great addition to feed for animals when trying to make up for low energy values in feed. However, since oil and water don’t mix, these energy-dense oils don’t easily get absorbed in the mostly water environment of an animal’s  digestive system. While animal (and human) digestive systems have ways to break down and absorb oils, it’s not perfect, and increased amounts of oils can either be wasted, or worse, cause problems in an animal’s digestive system.

Emulsifiers work through a clever molecular trick: one side of the molecule binds readily with water, and the other side binds readily with water. This allows the emulsifier to be absorbed by the watery digestive system, while taking the energy-rich oil with it. This trick also breaks up large droplets of oil into smaller droplets, increasing their surface area, and making absorption easier, similar to how granulated sugar will dissolve faster in water than a single, large sugar crystal. This lets the animal extract the maximum nutritional value from the feed.

Because of their properties, emulsifiers in effect increase the amount of oils absorbed by the animal, which means more energy is available for the animal to use, without actually increasing the amount of raw materials included in the food. While emulsifiers themselves introduce cost to feed formulation, the money saved by reducing feed ingredients more than offset this, giving you net savings.

The Importance of Minerals in Layer Diets

Minerals are a necessary part of any animal’s diet. They are key components in enzymes, the musculo-skeletal system, and egg production in layers. Laying hens in particular have unique mineral needs with greater demands due to the requirements of egg production.

Calcium, a very important mineral in general, is key to a hen’s diet for two reasons: first, for structural integrity of the skeletal system, and secondly to ensure that the hen has enough raw material to create strong egg shells. A lack of calcium not only means weaker egg shells, it also means weaker bones as the chicken’s body leaches calcium from them to form egg shells.

Phosphorus is also an important dietary component. It is important in cellular function, plays a part in egg shell formation, and cell metabolism. 

Zinc is necessary to change raw calcium into a form that’s usable by the animal, and is a key component of the egg shell membrane.

A lack of minerals in a layer’s diet can cause several symptoms, including thin egg shells, misshapen eggs, missing egg shells, and cracked eggs. All of these contribute to poor production and lost revenue.

The obvious solution to the problem of mineral deficiency is to add more minerals to the diet. That’s not all there is to it though. The addition of raw minerals to feed might solve the problem on paper, but it’s very different inside the animal’s body. Minerals in their raw form aren’t easy for the hen’s body to use, leading to wastage, and the persistence of mineral deficiency symptoms. This low bioavailability of some mineral additives may in turn lead to increasing the doses, further increasing cost, and introducing the possibility of mineral toxicity, as well as causing excess, unabsorbed minerals to pass through the animal’s body, polluting the environment.

When addressing problems regarding mineral deficiencies in animals, particularly in mineral-sensitive layers, keeping track of the amount of minerals in the feed isn’t enough. We must also remember that bioavailability, or the ability for the minerals to actually be used, has to be considered.

One Health: A Holistic Approach To Health

One Health is a concept that has been around for some time now, but has only recently been given a name. In a nutshell, One Health looks at the holistic relationship between animals, humans, and the environment we all share.

Whether it’s a farm animal, an animal in the wild, or even companion animals, the current pandemic has made it very apparent that these three factors are deeply connected. We at UBC have our sights set on a future with One Health in mind, in all its aspects.

Antibiotic use, artificial growth hormones, and even pesticides have effects that cross species whether directly or through the environment. Learn about the One Health initiative in this article from the CDC.

Report: Chinese Antibiotic Use in Fish Farming

(Previously posted on the UBC Facebook page)

The local supply of seafood is under threat as China, one of out largest sources of imported seafood, continues to use excessive amounts of antibiotics in fish production. Along with generally high concentrations of antibiotics, a study by the Peking University has found a number of prohibited antibiotics in the waters where the fish are raised, raising greater concerns about the quality of fish we end up consuming locally.

Asis Perez, the former director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Rources (BFAR), has noted that “eating fish with antibiotics is potentially dangerous” especially in amounts much higher than the allowable amount. Imported fish from China include tilapia, galunggong, and pompano.

Local fish farms likewise should be aware of the dangers of antibiotics in fish production as the general public becomes more informed about food safety and antibiotic use in their food. UBC is committed to a future free from antibiotic use.…/chinas-overuse-of-antibiotics-in…/

Pork Tariffs Likely to be Amended

Amid complaints that local pork tariffs unduly hurt local production, negotiations have resulted in an expected amendment to EO 128. Senate President Sotto said that a balance between reducing inflation and protecting the struggling local swine industry had to be struck. This also happens not long after the Senate’s investigation of alleged corruption in the Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Customs and the poor handling of African Swine Fever in the country.

Read the whole report by the Philippine Star here: