Egg Industry - January 2018 - 23
Once the decision has been taken to formulate a low-protein diet, the next question
becomes how to affect this through the feed
formulation software. And, to make things a bit
more interesting, how much is enough? Or, in
other words, how low can crude protein be lowered? The answer is easy, but it takes some work
to accomplish. Having a robust feed formulation
program is a must, and the following assumes
as such. Then, the following list should serve
as a rough guideline for educational purposes. When
it comes to real, commercial feed formulas, a highly
qualified nutritionist should be assigned the responsibility to ensure nothing goes amiss.
■ We begin by formulating a typical diet that meets
the nutrient requirements of the animals in question
(say a broiler starter feed) using only wholesome ingredients, such as corn and soybean meal and all the
necessary micro-ingredients. We must avoid using
any and all of the available feed-grade amino acids,
such as L-Lysine HCL, etc.
in feed formulations:
cation. We begin with lowering protein by 2 percentage points, for example from 21 percent down to 19
percent. We also add in our available ingredient list
some feed-grade amino acids. Most likely we will
need to add lysine and/or methionine. We again run
the feed formulation program, and the newly balanced diet will now include some feed grade amino
acids. This is our first low-protein diet. Usually, this
is where most should stop. That is, 2 percentage
points is a risk-free level. But, feel free to experiment more.
■ As an advanced step, we
can reduce the above crude
protein maximum by another
2 percentage points, say from
19 percent down to 17 percent.
We will now need to add more
feed-grade amino acids, most
likely threonine and tryptophan. Again, we balance the
new formula, and now we have a very low-protein diet
with 4 percentage points lower than a normal diet. If
we used only common raw materials, then this is again
a rather safe formula, but if the feed contains "exotic"
ingredients there are a number of checks and balances that need the hand and eye of an experienced nutritionist to ensure everything remains as it should be.
■ Going below 4 percentage points is not recommended.
In fact, it is strongly advised not to do it. It is an exercise to be attempted only by the most qualified nutritionist as valine, histidine and other amino acids (depending on species and age) need to be checked. Other
AN UNBALANCED DIET, LOW in protein
or not, is always a clear waste of money.
■ In our formulation program, we set a minimum for
all amino acids (total or digestible makes little difference for this exercise, but use what you normally
have) according to the nutrient specifications we are
following. Such information is available either by genetic houses or scientific bodies such as the National
Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) or the
National Research Council (NRC). We next run the
formulation program, and when the diet is rightly
balanced (it takes a few runs), then we note down the
crude protein level. Say this is 21 percent crude protein - this is the normal protein level.
■ Now we set a maximum to the crude protein specifiJanuary 2018 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com
EggIndustry ❙ 23