December9 , 2022

Raising feed costs: what are the solutions?



Raising feed costs: what are the solutions?

Proper usage of enzymes increases production and delivers cost savings


Covid-19 made an impact not only on travelling, the way we work, but also on the prices of energy, logistics and raw materials for animal feed. The availability of macro and micro ingredients, variance in nutritional value and feed digestibility are other issues that poultry producers are struggling with.


The use of alternative ingredients and byproducts in poultry feed such as DDGS, rice bran, rapeseed meal, canola meal, sunflower meal, palm kernel meal and wheat pollard can save the cost of the diet. However, these materials are highlighted by their composition as they tend to be lower in both starch and protein quality and have higher levels of anti-nutrient factors, e.g. high fiber (arabinoxylans) content and phytate.

So, what are the problems with anti-nutrients?
Increased levels insoluble arabinoxylans produce a barrier for endogenous enzyme activity on storage proteins, starch and fat. They often increase digesta viscosity, slow down transit time, and decrease nutrient digestibility and undesirable shifts in gut microbiota. All this has its impact on animal productivity.

Phytate is another anti-nutrient. It binds minerals, starch and proteins, increasing their resistance to digestion. This can lead to increased ileal amino acid flow which, in turn, provides substrates that can encourage pathogen growth.

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The solution lies with enzymes: as diets become increasingly complex and the quality raw materials more variable, it is generally known that adding enzyme to the diets becomes valuable. They improve animal performance and flock uniformity by increasing nutrient digestibility while counteracting variability in raw materials. Phytase offers a relatively cheap, affordable way to eliminate the anti-nutritive effect of phytate and maximize P and Ca digestibility, which also improves animal welfare by reducing the risk of skeletal problems. The latest Buttiauxella-based phytase offers additional benefits over E. Coli equivalents, including: much higher activity earlier in the digestive tract, minimization of the anti-nutrient effects of phytate and maximization of the time available for nutrient digestion and absorption.

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The combination of enzymes with the right amount of phytase can also radically improve complex diet performance and overall production costs making more nutrients available for growth.
If we look, for example, at combining xylanase, amylase and protease enzymes on top of phytase, the results are dramatic:
• Xylanase (X) breaks down soluble and insoluble arabinoxylans in the feed reducing digesta viscosity in viscous grains and releasing previously trapped nutrients.
• Amylase (A) increases the hydrolysis of starch improving its digestibility and complements the secretion of endogenous amylases.
• Protease increases protein digestibility by hydrolysis of storage and structural proteins. Additionally, it targets other anti-nutritional factors in the diet, e.g. residual trypsin inhibitors and lectins in soybean meal and some other vegetable proteins. Using this combination with a standard dose of Buttiauxella-based phytase, producers can achieve consistent feed quality and body weight/calorie conversion improvements to save between $80,000 to $100,000 per million birds.

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Therefore adding enzyme combinations (e.g. xylanase, amylase and protease) with the new generation of bio-efficacious phytases to the complex diets will be important to ensure that performance and cost benefits are delivered despite volatile market conditions.

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