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Nutrition 1

Can increasing dig M+C ratio (90-95%) in low protein and dig Lysine help to reduce feather loss and mortality during production?

You can increase the ratio of M+C and check if that helps feathering development but do not lower dig lysine. If one amino acid is insufficient in the diet, protein synthesis will not occur.

Could you please share the adjustment of crude protein in breeder diets?

You could probably adjust protein, lower or higher to help you formulate with amino acids. For example, grower specification is 14.5%, and it can go as low as 14% and as high as 15%.  Do not go lower than 14% formulated because your minimum values will drop below 13% protein and you can start having issues like feathering problems, poor fleshing condition in some flocks.

When we adjust our feed, how long does it take to see the response? Is the time it takes for the response similar between the amount of feed intake or energy level or protein / amino acid level?

The response will depend on the level of adjustment or the change you have done, 2 g vs 5 g for example will be different. Yes, it depends on the level of nutrition. In theory, the change in the animal is quick, the feed is digested and metabolized the same day of feeding to a maximum 2 days. However, our scales at the farms and the variability at selecting birds to weigh can shift the results. Our tech expert says it takes 1-3 weeks to see a change in body weight.

Nutrition 2

How can overweight problems be addressed during the growing phase to maintain uniformity?

If you already use our recommendations or are close to them, gradings with different pens containing different weights can be used. This will help to allocate the feed volume and improve uniformity. Trying to control weights just with formula won’t help and will cause more problems.

What is recommended feed cleanup time during growing, production and for males?

The practical guideline of cleanup time each period is as follows

  •  Rearing period (around 8-10 weeks): Crumble is around 30-40 mins and mash is 1 hr.

  • Production period:  Crumble feed 1.5-2 hrs and mash feed is 3 hrs.

  • Male: 20-30 mins

Other factors also effect cleanup time, not only from feed form. Cleanup time is also impacted by feeding equipment, feed size, etc. You can consult our Technical Team for further details.

What is the crumble size recommendation?

In general, crumble size is 1.0-2.8 mm and control the percentage of oversized pieces (bigger than 2.8 mm) to no more than 25%-35%.  You can adjust it depending on the mesh size you have in feed mill and reevaluate cleanup time on the farm.

Nutrition 3

What are the factors affecting energy intake?

Energy intake in broiler breeder can be affected by house system (floor and cage), environmental temperature and feed form. The guideline to adjust energy intake include:

  1.  Increase energy content in mash feed by 50-100 Kcal/Kg feed.

  2. For typical house set up, we may consider decreasing energy intake per day by average of 2.0 kcal/1°C temperature rise from 21 to 26°C range. Whereas, energy intake per day will be increased by average of 5.5 kcal/1°C temperature drop from 21 to 16°C range. Example of a 5°C temperature decreasing will require a feed increase of 9.8 g or 27.5 kcal per day in a standard 2,800kcal/kg diet. 3) Decrease energy by 10-15 Kcal/day for bird in cage.

The basic approach is to measure average daily temperature and calculate from there, then deduct some wind chill by natural wind factor if any. However, bodyweight progress along with production will need to be monitored too. This is because birds will also end up taking more protein when we increase feed amount and it is not ideal to control energy levels by using feed alone in a much lower temperature environment. Heating is recommended if temperature drops below 18°C. Alternatively, birds will typically take less feed due to hot environment and eventually lose their productivity when temperature goes above 27°C without windchill effect.

Which feed form do you recommend using mash or crumble/pellet for broiler breeders?

It depends on your operation. If Salmonella control is a priority or very important for the operation, then use crumble feed. If cleanup time is too long versus our recommendations, you could try pelleted feed, but it’s not widely used, and you have to be careful that cleanup time doesn’t drop below 30 minutes. If Salmonella control is not an issue, then using mash feeds (nice and uniform coarse corn/wheat particle size, 1200 – 1500 um) are the best way to feed hens. But majority of cases, crumble feed in preferred.

What about the Crude fiber content? Why isn't it considered?

Fiber is not considered as an essential nutrient like the amino acids. The components of fiber including manans, B’glucans, etc. could provide benefits but it isn’t completely clear at this time.

Nutrition 4

Is there any benefit to use organic acids in the feed of broiler breeders?

Generally, organic acids are used in breeder chicken due to functions such as;

-Anti-mold, organic acids particularly propionic acid in combination with other organic acids have been used to control mold growth in feed.

-Pathogen control in feed. Formaldehyde has been generally used in breeder feed to control Salmonella. However, formaldehyde has been prohibited to use in some area. So, organic acids particularly formic acid is considered a viable replacement to formaldehyde-

-Gut health particularly butyric acid. It has been reported that the benefits of butyric acid include increasing intestinal cell proliferation resulting enhancing nutrient utilization and strengthen tight junction between epithelial cells.

Can we take maximum benefit from carbohydrase by using them in corn soya diets?

Non-Starch Polysaccharides (NSP) is the one anti-nutritional factor in poultry feed which is present in a large amount in wheat, barley, sunflower meal and etc. It can increase intestinal viscosity and consequently affects bird health. Carbohydrase is beneficial in diets that contain viscous grain such as wheat and barley whereas corn contains small amounts of NSPs which do not cause viscosity problems. Soybean meal also contains some NSPs but the levels are relatively low. There are some studies that show carbohydrase application in corn-soy diets improve nutrient digestibility, but results are not consistent.

When is the best time to use probiotics or prebiotics?

The best time to use probiotics or/and prebiotics is in the early age of the bird to resist pathogenic bacteria and promote colonization with beneficial bacteria at an early age as the microbiota in healthy gut can be influenced by environmental bacteria. Another option is using treatments at specific times such as after antibiotic treatment or mild gut issues.

Nutrition 5

What is the current Calcium and available Phosphorus ratio for tropical zones in Cobb broilers for pre-starter, starter, grower and finisher?

We still recommend the same Ca and av. P in tropical zones for all stages of feed. If you have issues, supplementing with vitamin D3 can help more than changing Ca or av. P in broilers.

What happens to the amino acids profile when reducing the energy density? Reduce in line with ME? Not too lose any FCR?

Amino acids stay the same. Don’t lower them because broilers are more efficient on using amino acids for meat production. The concept of amino acid/ energy is not used anymore. We are still evaluating individual responses. Reducing energy may or may not affect FCR. What we recommend is to test in your operation what’s the level you can reduce, and besides FCR you also need to evaluate profit. Higher energy can be very expensive and FCR may or not pay for that investment.

What is the standard degree of starch gelatinization in feed?

There is no standard degree in starch gelatinization in broiler feed. It generally ranges between 15-20% depending on moisture, ingredients and temperature to test in that time.

Nutrition 6

The recommended particle size is based on average of feed or corn particle size?

Particle size recommendations are 700 – 1000um at 1-21 days, and 1000 -1300 um at >21d (these recommendations are specifically for mash feeds, for pellets we are still investigating the best range but it’s definitely higher than 700 um). This is for corn or any main cereal used as main source of energy in broiler feeds.

When should probiotics be used?

The condition of probiotics depends on strains and type of probiotics. Normally, do not use probiotics in chlorinated water, heat treatment and antibiotics. Before you use it, please check with probiotic supplier about this issue as different probiotics have different sensitivity with conditions.

Must each breed of chicken have a specific feed formula to reach the best performance, or can a formulator make one formula for all?

Formulas should be based on recommendation in each breed to achieve the best performance as different breeds have different nutrient requirements. However, in practice, there could be slight differences from the recommendations because it may affect feed mill production efficiency, logistic and farm management depending on ingredients used, manufacturing process, etc. Nutritionist/formulator should find the optimal specification for each breed with minor adjustments from the recommendations. 

What kind of strategy do you suggest reducing feed costs but still have the adequate amount of nutrition that birds need when we face high soybean meal prices?

Few suggestions to handle this issue are
- Find an alternative protein ingredient to replace soybean meal such as single cell, rapeseed/canola, DDGS, sunflower meal.
- Use synthetic amino acids to fulfill amino acid levels. Please check L-Valine as well because this amino acid can reduce feed costs when soybean meal prices are up. However, also check the real value for these amino acids.
- Most alternative protein ingredients have low digestibility and contains high fiber. Please consider enzymes to enhance digestibility and reduce feed costs.

What's the effect of fat used on pellet quality?

Generally, total fat content in broiler feed ranges between 3 and 6% and the inclusion of oil in broiler feed is around 1 to 3%. If inner fat is higher than 4%, starch gelatinization can reduce the conditioning process and consequently effect on pellet quality (low PDI, hardness and high dust). However, please discuss with the feed mill team about the optimal fat content in the mixer because different equipment has different optimal inner fat.

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