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Schothorst releases new layer feedstuff table

Schothorst Feed Research has recently introduced a novel energy table for laying hens. According to the company, it is the first feedstuff table developed specifically for laying hens.

Up till now all energy evaluation tables for poultry were based on digestibility experiments conducted with either adult roosters fed on maintenance level or broilers, says Schothorst.

The major advantage of this table is that all digestibility coefficients of nutrients from feedstuffs used in the equations to calculate the energy content are determined with producing laying hens and at feed intake and calcium levels that are common in practice. Furthermore all digestibilities are determined in the same research institute and laboratory under standardised conditions, f.i. in one experiment 22 feedstuffs were studied and compared. The feedstuff table contains an extensive list of feedstuffs used in the global feed industry.

According to the leading researchers, Kwakernaak and Van der Klis, the age of the birds and the feed intake level have a large effect on the energy utilisation in poultry. In general the laying hen has a better capacity to digest NSP-rich feedstuffs than previously determined in digestibility experiments under other conditions. The high Ca level in the diet exerts a considerable effect on fat digestion. The new AME values of feedstuffs have changed significantly, varying from slightly lower to up to 25% higher. 

Therefore a feed table that is focused on the target animal, the laying hen will enable nutritionist to formulated diets more accurately, closer resembling practical conditions and utilizing the physiological capacity of modern layers. It changes the ranking of feedstuffs in the formulation and also reduces feed cost. Depending on the feedstuff market prices and availability the cost price can be reduced up to 1.00 Euro/tonne of feed. 

The new tables are available for the participants in the Advanced Feed Package program of Schothorst Feed Research.

Natalie Berkhout

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