Canadian Poultry Magazine

Features 100th anniversary Technology
No more leg weakness – A new cure

October 1930


October 4, 2012
By Canadian Poultry

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A formula for a milk-derivative whey-powder, which is likely to prove of considerable importance in disease resistance and health maintenance among poultry, particularly in the control of coccidiosis among chickens, has been discovered by F.H.Clickner, professor of Nutritional Research of Rutgers University and research chemist of Kraft-Phoenix Cheese Corporation.  The provision of mineral salts in correct balance in the diet is as important to the health of poultry as to human beings, Professor Clickner has found in his experiments.

Professor Clickner’s extensive research in poultry feeding began in 1925 when a brood of 1200 baby chicks at the Green Brock Poultry Farm, a New Jersey State certified farm, were started on a mash feed containing 15 per cent of the whey-powder developed in the Kraft laboratories.  The entire brood was permitted to run on soil heavily infected with coccidiosis organisms.  The result was that 93 per cent of the fowls were raised to the age of 10 weeks – the danger period – without the signs of coccidiosis.

Eliminated in Ten Days

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First experiment with the use of the milk-whey remedy fro coccidiosis were conducted by Professor Clickner at the Smith Brothers Farm near Vineland.  The maximum time required to arrest and eliminate acute coccidiosis infections was 10 days.  These cases were treated with a mash, using 25 to 30 per cent of the whey-powder.

Coccidiosis and leg-weakness, the two chief diseases among poultry, were found to yield with miraculous speed to the use of whey-powder.  In all cases under experiment, not only was the disease situation completely controlled by the use of whey-powder, but uniformly superior chicks resulted; chicken with a high degree of pigmentation, yellow shanks and beaks.

The major ingredient of this new compound is milk-lactose or milk-sugar, constituting 75 per cent of the product.  Heretofore 50 per cent has been considered the maximum milk-sugar content of milk derivations which could be obtained.

The function of milk-sugar is to produce sufficient lactic-acid in the intestine of the bird to combat the bacteria.  After a few days of feeding milk-sugar, sufficient acidity is produced in the ceca of the bird to destroy the parasite of the coccidiosis, Professor Clickner’s report shows.