AgriFutures Chicken Meat Program RD&E Snapshot
As we head into a new research, development and extension (RD&E) period for the Australian chicken meat industry (2022–2027), it is timely to reflect on...
Published: 12 Jan 2015
Author(s): Selle, Peter H
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Grain sorghum is an important feedstuff for chicken meat production in Australia; however, there is a consensus that the performance of chickens offered sorghum-based diets is inferior to their counterparts on wheat. Wheat-based chicken diets invariably contain non-starch polysaccharide-degrading enzymes, which is advantageous, but this is not equally the case with sorghum as it is a ‘non-viscous’ grain. Nevertheless, the possibility remains that alternative feed additives may advantage meat chickens offered sorghum-based diets.
Several reducing agents, including sodium bisulphite/sodium metabisulphite, have been shown to enhance in vitro pepsin digestibility of sorghum on repeated occasions. Consequently, the inclusion of sodium metabisulphite in sorghum–based chicken diets may have the potential to enhance chicken performance; if so, this would clearly benefit the chicken meat industry.
This project was conducted to investigate whether sodium metabisulphite addition to sorghum-based chicken diets advantages chicken performance.