Feed constitutes more than 70% of live broiler production costs in Australia. The formulation of optimal cost-efficient diets that meet the nutritional requirements is critical and nutrient specifications of feed ingredients must be accurately determined.
Databases used by Australian poultry nutritionists, to determine nutrient specifications, have various sources and cross-checks of each figure contained within a database which is tedious and costly. In addition the determination and use of some nutrients have been constantly evolving (for example, total calcium to digestible calcium) while other nutrients are lacking recent data.
This database will provide poultry nutritionists, industry and researchers with an up-to-date resource compiling 102 nutrient specifications for 42 Australian feed ingredients in the one database. This database also identifies the feed ingredients and nutrients that are currently lacking in sample numbers, or that contain a high variability, and are in need of further analysis and study. It is expected that this database will greatly improve the accuracy of feed formulation, in turn improving the efficiency and profitability of the Australian chicken-meat industry.
Why did you get involved in the project?
As a poultry scientist, I am passionate about providing the industry with accurate and meaningful data to help improve chicken-meat production. Through discussions with industry, I became aware of the issues faced by poultry nutritionists and in particular a lack of resources and insufficient time to compile updated specifications to compare and decide on an accurate figure. This is particularly difficult when Australian data may be lacking. I am excited to provide this resource to industry to improve the certainty around nutrient specifications and help nutritionists to produce more precise diet formulations.