Are sulfates in my animal’s drinking water unhealthy?

The average levels of sulfates should be 125 mg/l. Higher levels in excess of 250 mg/l can cause a laxative effect on the animal.  This can result in lower weight gain, lower feed consumption and possible dehydration.

What is the impact of pH in my animal’s drinking water?

The acidity or alkalinity of water is expressed as its pH level. Neutral water (that which is neither acid nor alkaline) has a pH of 7. Acidic water has a pH lower than 7 and alkaline water has a pH greater than 7. Well water normally has a pH in the range from 6.8 to 7.8, although it is not uncommon for the pH to be much higher or lower.  Acidic drinking water in the range of 5 to 6 can have a positive effect on digestion and nutrient uptake. Drinking water with pH levels under 5 that includes harsh acidifiers may corrode watering equipment and may impede the effectiveness of certain pharma products and vaccines.

What happens when I have high levels of sulfate in my animal’s water?

High sulfate in water is usually a natural problem. The primary issue  with excessive sulfate levels in animal drinking water is its laxative effect. Animals given a  source of drinking water with high sulfate levels may experience a temporary laxative effect until becoming acclimated to the water. High sulfate may also impart a bitter taste to water that can result in reduced water intake. Sulfate levels greater than 50 ppm may affect performance when sodium, magnesium or chloride levels are high.

Why are high iron levels in my animal’s drinking water a problem?

Iron will stain almost everything it contacts, and it is a common water quality issue. Iron can promote EColi and Pseudomonas bacteria.  Iron also can impact taste and palatability.  Build-ups of iron in water lines impede water flow and water availability for animals.  While recent studies indicate that iron in the water does not appear to affect animal health, we have seen an increase in water consumption when removing Iron completely. Iron bacteria are more likely to thrive in water with high Iron concentrations. As a result, biofilm buildup can occur, which can obstruct nipple drinkers and promote pathogen proliferation.

What is the impact of hardness in my animal’s water?

Although hard water may cause stains, leave residues, or cause other physical problems in water-handling equipment such as buildup of scale and other deposits, hard water has not been demonstrated to have either a positive or negative impact on livestock performance. Calcium and magnesium salts cause the water to be “hard” and can lead to scale and sludge buildup within water lines. Hardness reduces the effectiveness of soaps, disinfectants and the administration of some medications.  The harder the water, the quicker bio-films and residues from medications will build up.


Why is gut health so important?

The gut contains a majority of the micro-organisms in the body and contains the largest immune organ. The gut accounts for 20% of the energy expended by the animal so it is very important that it operates at peak efficiency.

How will a healthy gut improve the performance of my animals?

Probiotics are essential to providing a healthier balance in the gut. Enhancing the immune system translates to improved disease resistance along with improved nutrient utilization.

How does the use of probiotics effect the performance of my animals?

Probiotics provide a healthy micro-flora in the gut that provides the animal effective tools to fend off stress and disease. Probiotics work to competitive exclude or out compete pathogenic bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella. A healthy micro-flora enhances weight gain and improves survival of the animal.

Is it important to use acidifiers in my feed or drinking water?

Acidifiers lower the pH in the GI tract thereby providing an unsuitable environment for growth of pathogens such as coliforms, which are often responsible for high animal mortality.

Would probiotics and acidifiers provide an alternative to the use of antibiotics?

Absolutely! Producers and consumers are worried about the long term effects of the use of antibiotics as the long term usage could lead to resistance of routine antibiotics. Probiotics and acidifiers provide an excellent alternative to antibiotics by providing a healthier better balanced gut for improved animal performance without the fear of resistance as is the case with antibiotics.


What causes the ammonia levels to be so high in my barn?

Over half of the nitrogen excreted by chickens and turkeys is lost to the atmosphere as ammonia before the litter is removed from the house. Lower ammonia levels in poultry houses results in improved production efficiency, better feed conversion, increased live weights and decreased mortality.

Can high ammonia levels really be toxic to my birds?

Ammonia can do a lot of harm to the animal — especially the respiratory system. Further, it can effect overall animal health and welfare.  As suggested by Joseph B. Hess, Extension Poultry Scientist and Associate Professor in the Department of Poultry Science at Auburn University, “The detrimental effects of ammonia in poultry production have been known for years. Numerous laboratory and field studies have shown how ammonia levels as low as 10 parts per million (ppm) affect bird health and performance.”

What other negative effects do high ammonia levels cause?

Body weight, feed-efficiency, and condemnation rate may be higher in birds exposed to levels of ammonia exceeding 10 ppm. Once the respiratory system is compromised, this effectively opens the door for adverse species of bacteria to grow and populate the gut.

Is it important to use acidifiers in my feed or drinking water?

Acidifiers lower the pH in the GI tract thereby providing an unsuitable environment for growth of pathogens such as coliforms, which are often responsible for high animal mortality.

Should Assist’s litter amendment be applied to clay/dirt floors prior to new shavings being added? if so, how much?

For best results with ammonia odor control, it is highly recommended the clay floors be sprayed prior to spreading any shavings. Spray 1/2 gallon of the litter amendment concentrate per 1,000 square feet of barn space. Dilute the concentrated product per the instructions above and spray directly onto the clay floor.

Can Assist’s litter amendment products be applied when birds are already in the barn to control ammonia?

Yes, these products are OMRI Organic Certified and are safe for use around birds. Applying at a rate of ½ gallon per 1000 sq. foot of barn floor will be safe for the birds as well as provide significant ammonia odor control.

How important is barn and equipment cleaning to my overall biosecurity program?

Whether you are raising cattle, hogs or poultry, hard surface cleaning is critical to controlling the growth of unwanted pathogens and is a critical step in any producer’s biosecurity program. As both hard and soft surfaces collect contaminants such as dust, mold and mildew, bio-film, pathogenic bacteria grow and quickly accumulate on these surfaces. Controlling the spread of these unwanted bacteria protects the overall heath of your animals.

FSSC 22000

Scope: Manufacturing and packaging of liquid animal food products (Swine, Poultry, Beef, and Dairy Cattle).

Assist Natural Products and Services LLC

We partner with some of the world’s largest livestock operators to identify problems with the water animals drink, its impact on animal nutrition, and its influence in production environments.


218 Evergreen Dr., Lena, IL USA