Implementation of a net energy system for the Australian chicken meat industry


Anti-nutrients in the diet affect energy and nutrient utilisation on two levels. First, they affect the digestibility of nutrients and hence energy; and secondly, they increase metabolic heat production as the gut system has to work a lot harder to deal with them during digestion and metabolism. The net energy system, through the measurement of heat production and heat increment, will account for most of these effects. This project will invovle several stages of development as follows: Stage 1. The basics for NE measurement Stage 2. Development of NE values Stage 3. Predicted vs measured NE values Stage 4. Commercial-scale validation trials Stage 5. Effects of feed additives, including antibiotics on NE values Stage 6. Net energy database for industry Finally, if commercial trials are successful, an Australia-wide implementation of the net energy system will occur in consultation with industry.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

University of New England

Objective Summary

Generate a basic database on net energy values using a range of well-defined diets for developing a prediction equation for NE; Determine determined vs predicted NE values of commonly used ingredients in Australia; Conduct semi-commercial and commercial scale experiments to examine whether diets formulated on a net energy basis will give a commercial advantage (better FCR, carcass yield, feed cost or N excretion) to the producer, and if this is proven positive, then Produce an NE database for the industry to use.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Project Completion Date

Friday, May 15, 2015

National Priority

Safeguarding Australia

National Priority

CME-Improve chicken meat production through the whole supply chain