Alternatives to Antibiotics in Factory Farming: Exploring Sustainable and Safe Practices

The society we live in today relies a lot on meat consumption. Yes, vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise, but meat is still in high demand. Numerous farms all over the world excel in manufacturing meat. Some farms produce so much meat that they are named factories. Factory farming is a term that has been around for a while and with a good reason. Many farms produce millions of livestock during the year. Before we receive the end product, these animals need good care and need to be healthy above all.

Due to a need to produce healthy meat many meat factories use antibiotics for animals. In the same way, antibiotics have a positive effect on humans, they have the same on animals. But, as we said, production on some factory farms counts in millions so administration of antibiotics is more frequent than in humans. With years of usage, the first problems have started to emerge. Many animals have developed resistance to antibiotics and factory farming has started to suffer due to this resistance. A change in approach is needed. So, what can be done? There are a few things that can be done, and in this article, we will discuss alternatives to antibiotics in factory farming.

In-feed Enzymes


In terms of animal growth various enzymes can be of help. The best way to add these is through the feeding process.  In-feed enzymes will aid animals to better digest food they digest, helping them to grow faster and bigger. It can be a great alternative in this department to the antibiotics that the animals have become resistant to. Furthermore, they can also be used in preventing various animal diseases and not only as an aid in growth.


Another amazing alternative. As you probably know we are talking about live cultures here. Probiotics are often used with humans when we have digestive issues. The situation is identical with animals. The only difference is that animals are fed probiotics before any issues arise to improve their digestive culture and aid in the work of the gastrointestinal tract.


Here, we might be talking about a term that is not known to the wider audience.  In the same way as probiotics, we are talking about organic compounds. For example, you can look at them as a certain type of sugar that will positively affect an animal’s gut and help their microorganisms break down and aid others to grow. Just like with antibiotics, the only goal is to help the animal feel better, grow in the process, and produce a healthy and high-quality end product.

Antimicrobial Peptides


Many farming factories are on a search to aid their livestock by finding a better alternative to antibiotics when it comes to the growth of their animals. One of the solutions that could be permanent certainly is the antimicrobial peptides. They are great at both preventing diseases and stimulating growth in animals. They work ideally when put against bacteria, most of which are deadly, thus promoting healthy living in animals and natural growth.

Organic Acids

In this paragraph, we are talking about a promising alternative to both antibiotics and other examples we have in this article. The same as some of the alternatives above it works great in both instigating growth and preventing any possible diseases. They promote growth by killing bacteria that can be harmful to the animal. These acids can be added through both food and water.



In terms of simply providing protection and healthy life to animals, vaccines can be a great alternative to antibiotics. This is not a new solution, to be clear. vaccines have been administered to animals for decades now. They are a great means to protect animals from known diseases and viruses. When animals are vaccinated properly and on time they can provide excellent protection to animals. With this said, you can understand why they’re not only an alternative to antibiotics, but they also come first. With proper usage, they could potentially make antibiotics surplus to requirements.

Immune Modulators

Medicine, both for humans and animals, is advancing even as we speak. We live in an advanced society, and veterinarians are more equipped to treat animals better than ever before. This is where immune modulators come into play. They work on the principle of causing a passive immune response through the transfer of antibodies. This is what makes them an ideal alternative to antibiotics in terms of disease treatment and prevention alike. They work on principles that are different from those that the vaccine has. Immune modulators are a stimulator to the immune system of the animal. This is what makes them an ideal weapon against various types of pathogens animals can encounter.

Endolysins and Lysozymes


By the name of it, you can say that these two substances are dangerous. They are, especially if you’re a bacteria. Both of these enzymes are known as hydrolases. What this means is that they can penetrate and degrade substances such as peptidoglycans. If you’re not familiar with what peptidoglycans are, we are talking about bacterial building blocks. By being able to destroy them, you understand that Endolysins and Lysozymes are what can protect a living organism by destroying the bacteria attacking it.

Phage Therapy

Are you familiar with the term? Probably not. Nonetheless, it has a long history. We are talking about viruses that can infect bacteria. This approach to treatment was first seen more than a century ago. The reason why you haven’t heard a lot about this therapy is the emergence of antibiotics. But, as animals started to develop resistance to modern antibiotics due to their frequent usage, phage therapy could be back on the table. You could argue that it already is. It could have two-sided benefits to animal antibiotic resistance. First of all, it is an amazing alternative. Secondly, it could give animals a rest from antibiotics and lower their resistance which is increasing.  The best part is that phages are less expensive than antibiotics. Also, when faced with more bacteria they are quick to multiply which makes them interesting cures and preventive means to animal health and growth issues.

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