Aflatoxins are nasty contaminates found in feed. No animal is immune from aflatoxins. They are produced by certain molds, like aspergillus flavus. The good news is that feed companies must test for these molds regularly and constantly and we have never had to return feed because of high aflatoxins. We don’t let the testing by our feed supplier be the last test, though. We test four random feed samples on the farm per week. We have often talked about how important it is to do everything possible to insure the health of our birds. This procedure is just one of many steps we take to make our birds stay healthy.
When we test the feed, we grind up a small sample and dissolve it in a liquid solution. We use test strips and two machines that are specifically designed to process and detect mycotoxins. In our case, we are specifically looking for aflatoxin. A small amount of the sample is placed on the test strip and incubated in the first machine. Each strip is placed in the second machine where the aflatoxin would be detected. Anything below 3 ppm is not a concern. As I indicated in the introduction to this topic, we have never had to return feed due to high aflatoxins. Our feed company does a good job and we follow up with double checking our feed at least 4 times per week.
Kate Roulette K.Rollette@pheasant.com and Chris Theisen Chris.@pheasant.com can answer specific questions about our testing for aflatoxins and other bird health and safety questions.