Water Purification, The next arms race in poultry farming feed conversions

A new and disruptive technology may soon be available for the broiler poultry industry that will reduce cost of production while at the same time improving quality. This innovative system has its roots in some of the most obscure writings of Nikola Tesla, a Serbian-American inventor of the 20th century, whose work studying the characteristics and effects of magnetic fields and electric induction theory have led to the development of many of the most important electro-mechanical devices in use today. This new device, a hydro-oxygen generator (“HOG”) is patented and has been the subject of some university-based trials on a limited scale that have provided very positive looking results showing significantly improved feed efficiency.

The effects of oxygenated water in the raising of broiler chickens has been studied by numerous scientists which have shown very favorable results. One of the most comprehensive studies done to date (D. Shin, “The Effects of Oxygenated or Hydrogenated Water on Growth Performance, Blood Parameters and Antioxidant Enzyme Activity of Broiler Chickens”, Poultry Science, Volume 95, Issue 11) determined that numerous positive results occurred when oxygenated water was supplied to broilers throughout their growth cycle. A second study (B Jung, “Oxygenated Drinking Water Enhanced Immune Activity in Broiler Chicks and Increases Survivability against Salmonella Gallinarum in Experimentally Infected Broiler Chicks”) indicated that broiler chicks provided with oxygenated water were more likely to resist disease resulting in an increased survival rate.

Here is a summary of their findings with respect to the use of oxygenated water:

  • Increased final body weight and weight gain. (Shin)

  • Improved feed intake and feed conversion. (Shin)

  • Reduced fat to body weight ratio and reduced abdominal fat. (Shin)

  • Improved blood parameters including triacyglycedride, total cholesterol and LDL. (Shin)

  • Significantly enhanced immunoglobulin. (IgG and IGM). (Shin)

  • Significantly improved antioxidant effects. (Shin)

  • Increased survival of chicks infected with Salmonella Gallinarum. (Jung)

Even though there are known advantages to supplying oxygenated water to broiler poultry, there has been no known commercial application to date, primarily due to the cost of oxygenating the water. Additionally, simply adding oxygen to raise the dissolved oxygen levels in water, has proven to be a very short-lived phenomenon, as the oxygen off gasses relatively quickly and is very hard to keep in solution.

The HOG takes advantage of known science that passing an object, in this case a stream of water, through a magnetic field produces an electrical current which can act on the water to break down the size of the water clusters into much smaller units as well as actually hydrolyzing some of the water molecules, breaking bonds between the hydrogen and oxygen atoms that make up a water molecule. It is believed that some of the hydrogen gasses off and the resultant free oxygen is left in the form of nanobubbles which are trapped between the remaining water molecules. We can see the nanobubbles being formed as they turn the water an almost opaque white. It is believed that since the oxygen nanobubbles are so small, their buoyancy forces are not sufficient to overcome the friction necessary to escape the remaining water clusters.

While the precise elements of the internal reactions have not been measured with certainty, empirical results are strong and consistent. Hundreds of tests involving passing water with a low percentage of oxygen saturation through a HOG, results in significant increases in the percentage of saturation of dissolved oxygen. If the water is recirculated so that it can be treated several times, water with no to very little dissolved oxygen will have oxygen levels raised to nearly or at 100% saturation.

Additionally, the increased oxygen levels do not diminish rapidly and can stay in solution for an extended period, sometimes days, depending on the environment after treatment. Moreover, indirect proof of reduced cluster size is indicated in numerous experiments using treated water in reverse osmosis devices. These trials have resulted in pressures required to push treated water through the semi-permeable membranes being significantly less than that required for untreated water, sometimes up to one-third less. Similarly, field water penetration tests have yielded similar results with treated water penetrating compacted soil significantly faster than untreated water.

While previous studies have used oxygen from various sources, the most recent one used the hydro-oxygen generator itself. This study, conducted by a nationally recognized university, analyzed 504 birds, half using treated water and half being control group. The study recorded body weight, feed consumption and mortality. While the study showed an insignificant difference in total body weight and mortality between the control groups and the treated groups, there was a significant difference in the food consumption rates (FCR) between the two. The control group FCR was determined to be 1.801, while the FCR of the treated groups was determined to be 1.703. Said another way, the birds consuming HOG treated water consumed approximately 0.5 lb. less on average than the control birds. While more and larger studies need to be conducted, it appears that this device could save as much as 500,000 lbs. of food per million birds processed. At $400/ton for feed, these savings could amount to $100,000 per million birds processed. Given that the top 20 producers in the U.S. process over 175 million birds per week, the savings could be staggering. As we further study this technology and conduct more and larger trials, we will continue to update the industry on our progress.

If you would like further information or would like to participate in upcoming trials, please contact Bowman Garrett bgarrett@aequion.com

Article above from American Poultry Farmer magazine, c/o AmericanPoultryCompany,Inc
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