The effect of humus (humus acid in combination with fulvic acid) on animal health

PrimeHumic and PrimeFulvic are products made up of humus (humic acid together with fulvic acid). Humus is the top layer of the soil and is very fertile. Its appearance is much like compost, but humus is decayed even further. 

Since humus is a collection of organic materials, the term “humic substances” is often used.

PrimeHumic and PrimeFulvic are products made up of humus (humic acid together with fulvic acid). Humus is the top layer of the soil and is very fertile. Its appearance is much like compost, but humus is decayed even further. Since humus is a collection of organic materials, the term “humic substances” is often used.

Humus occurs naturally in both soil (mud/peat, brown coal (lignite), sediments) and in water. Humic substances are formed by the biodegradation of dead organic matter (plant and animal residues), a process known as humification. It is a very slow process, much slower than, for example, the decomposition of plant and animal residues into compost. It takes at least 6 to 12 months to make a humus-like substance such as compost, but in nature the formation of a layer of humus can take much longer. A natural humus layer may be as much as 40 million years old. The age and location of the humus layer determines its quality. Humic acid and fulvic acid are extracted from humus for their health-promoting properties for cows, pigs and poultry. A large number of positive health effects are attributed to humic acid and fulvic acid, such as anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, binding to mycotoxins in animal feed, the reduction of stress and improved intestinal health. Fulvic acid and humic acid can be found naturally in regular animal feed as well, but through the use of fertilizers, pesticides and overmaturity of agricultural land, the humus layer in the soils that grow animal feed crops has all but disappeared. This causes a much lower intake of fulvic acid and humic acid through regular animal feed.

Humus applications (humic and fulvic acid)

Firmer stools in piglets and calves with stress

BioAg has studied the effect of fulvic acid on rosé veal calves from 2 to 11 weeks old. During this period, 188 calves were given 0.50 ml of fulvic acid per day added to their feed. The control group of 176 calves were on their regular feed without any additions. The weight of the calves was measured at the beginning and the end of the period, and the measurements from the test group did not significantly differ from the control group at either times of measurement. However, the difference in weight between the animals in the test group was smaller than between the animals in the control group; in other words, the calves who were supplemented with fulvic acid were more homogeneous in weight. In addition, it was observed that the calves receiving fulvic acid produced firmer manure more quickly. This suggests that fulvic acid has a beneficial effect on animal diarrhea caused by stress.

Improved feed conversion in cows, pigs and chickens

The effect of humic acid and fulvic acid on the intestine and the intestinal flora promotes the absorption and utilization of nutrients from animal feed. This leads to an increase in weight of the animals without having to adjust the amount of feed. Nowadays, many supplements are added to animal feed in order to improve the nutrient uptake, growth and health of the animals, such as antibiotics. However, bacteria are growing increasingly resistant to antibiotics, which leads to progressively strict rules for their use. Humic substances may be a good replacement for antimicrobial growth promoters.

Reduced milk acidity

A too high level of acidity is demonstrated by the number of individual fatty acids in the milk, which can be caused by damage to the fat globules. Milk acidity can, among other things, be influenced by the feed rations and the treatment of the milk (pumping, cleaning milk machine tubes, cooling, etc). 

Generally, milking cows by milking robot has a negative influence on milk acidity. Our own research shows that adding humic acid to animal feed can reduce the acidity of the fat in the milk. In a stable of 70 cows, adding humic acid led to a decrease in acidity from 0.7 to 0.4 mmol/100 grams. This percentage then remained constant throughout the test. 

The addition of three grams of humic acid per day to the feed is sufficient to show a demonstrable result within a few weeks. When the humic acid is added directly to the feed in the milking robot, milk acidity wil be distinctly lower within as little as ten to fourteen days. When added to feed in the feed mixer, the effect will be measurable within four weeks.

Improved LM meat quality in pigs, redder meat and a thinner layer of back fat 

Humic acid has the capacity to bind to minerals (copper, iron), which allows better absorption of these minerals. This may be an explanation for the redder meat color after supplementing with humic acid. In addition, it was shown that the LM meat quality was improved in pigs after addition of humic acid to the diet, and that addition of fulvic acid in the diet may reduce the thick layer of back fat.

Reduced stool odor/reduction of ammonia emissions

Various studies show that humic acid can contribute to reduced ammonia emissions in livestock . ??? investigated the effect of different humic substances on the emission of ammonia. Ammonia emission was reduced by 3 to 18 %, and was most effective in pigs who received a supplement containing a high content of humic acid. One explanation for this effect could be that humic acids bind ammonia in the gut and therefore reduce the smell of ammonia.

Binds mycotoxins

Humic acid can bind to zearalenone and aflatoxin and thereby potentially reduce the adverse health impact of this mycotoxin in piglets and chickens. But, probably due to the low binding capacity of humic acid with deoxynivalenol, the effect of humic acid on animal health is less with this particular mycotoxin.

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PrimeHumic and PrimeFulvic are products made up of humus (humic acid together with fulvic acid). Humus is the top layer of the soil and is very fertile. Its appearance is much like compost, but humus is decayed even further. Since humus is a collection of organic materials, the term “humic substances” is often used.