Project snapshot: Optimising amino acid profiles and energy in reduced-protein diets

  • 6 pages

  • Published: 28 Sep 2022

  • Author(s): Sonia Liu

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Soybean meal, the by-product of the soybean oil extraction process, is the primary protein source in broiler diets. Typical Australian broiler diets contain about 19-23% protein, or 30-33% soybean meal; consequently, there is huge industry demand for imported soybean meal. The price of soybean meal has surged by 80% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is urgent and necessary to develop advanced nutritional strategies to reduce soybean meal inclusion or the crude protein (CP) level in broiler diets.

This project included five feeding studies investigating the importance of individual supplemented amino acids, different ideal protein ratios and possible approaches to optimising diets with severe crude protein reduction. The research team concluded if amino acid balance and density is maintained, it is possible to reduce soybean meal inclusion by 40% without compromising growth performance. Further reduction tended to depress growth performance and feed conversion in Australian wheat-based diets. Dietary energy may be reduced by 0.5 MJ/kg without compromising performance in standard and moderately reduced crude protein diets.