November 19, 2008

Research shows benefits of higher phytase levels in poultry feed


Research on new generation, bacterial phytases has shown them to be more effective at releasing plant-bound phytate phosphorus than traditional fungal phytases.


Adding more phytase to feed offers poultry producers an opportunity to overcome these limited supplies of feed phosphates and also allows opportunities for feed cost savings at a time of escalating feed phosphate prices.


As the demand for phosphate fertilisers continues to rise to meet increases in global grain demand, poultry producers face the challenge of sourcing sufficient quantities of feed phosphates to meet bird requirements.


To help poultry producers further maximise value from using phytase, Danisco carried out research investigating the effects of increasing phytase dose beyond the standard inclusion rate of 500 FTU per kilogramme feed to allow broiler producers to replace more inorganic phosphate in the feed.


The 10 broiler trials conducted in universities and research institutes in various parts of the world examined the effect of increasing dose from 500 FTU per kilogramme feed to 1000 FTU per kilogramme feed on nutrient digestibility, bodyweight gain, feed conversion and tibia ash. Increasing levels of phytase were added to broiler diets reduced in calcium and phosphorus and the effects on nutrient digestibility and bird performance were assessed.


Results clearly showed that doubling the dose of phytase in broiler feed (500 to 1000 FTU per kilogramme feed) allowed at least an additional 1.9 kilogramme of DCP to be removed from the formulation, without negatively affecting bird performance. In addition to allowing the replacement of inorganic phosphate, bacterial phytase also reduced the negative effects of phytate as an anti-nutrient in the diet, thereby increasing amino acid and energy availability to the bird.


Traditionally 500 FTU/kg feed tended to be the standard phytase inclusion rate in broiler diets. However, with current DCP prices at about GBP 700 per tonne the economic optimum for phytase inclusion is currently about 1000 FTU per kilogramme feed.


And this inclusion rate will currently reduce broiler feed costs by more than GBP 6 per tonne, resulting in an additional feed cost saving of about GBP1 per tonne compared to the standard inclusion rate of 500 FTU per kilogramme feed.


To fully embrace the greater potential of this new-generation phytase, poultry producers can not only make greater reductions in dietary inorganic phosphorus in their diets, but also consider reaping the benefits of energy and amino acid reductions in the diet, due to the product's effects on phytate as an anti-nutrient. At current high grain, fat and protein meal prices these benefits can potentially be worth an extra GBP 8-9 PER tonne broiler feed.

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