Improving poultry meat quality along with cutting down the cost of production has been one of the major objectives of most farmers and nutritionists. To achieve this objective, several strategies have been adopted, one of which is dietary energy management. Energy is the foremost important and largest part of poultry feed. This energy is either comes from grains like corn, wheat, soy, etc or through fat.
Gross Energy Partition in Poultry
Factors affecting energy utilization
Many Factors are affecting energy utilization like feed quality (mold, moisture, grain size, etc), Processing (particle size, texture, etc), Form (mesh, crumbles or pellet), Composition (energy to protein ratio, Ca & P ratio, etc) and Management (shed temperature, stocking density, feeder placement, etc).
Sometimes, an increase in the cost of poultry feed ingredients (especially energy sources) has forced some farmers as well as feed manufacturers to use poor quality energy feed ingredients. This practice has resulted in poor feed intake, weight gain, FCR, and meat quality.
The high cost of feed analysis makes it always difficult for farmers (especially for small-scale farmers) and feed manufacturers to analyze each batch of feedstuff for its nutrient content. Invariably, they usually rely on feedstuff composition data that have been compiled based on many laboratory analyses like NRC.
Birds usually eat with the aim of satisfying their energy requirement, and once this aim is achieved, the birds will stop eating irrespective of the fact that other key nutrient requirements such as protein, minerals, and vitamins have not been met. This scenario tends to lead to malnutrition, poor performance, increased deposition of excess abdominal fat, or carcass fat in broilers. (Ghaffari M et al. 2007).
Excess energy in the feed and improper nutrient digestion may remain in the body unutilized and can result in suboptimum production, abdominal fat, fatty liver condition, potential disease disposition, and poor meat quality.
Important Consideration While Balancing the Energy in Feed
Note: For details, please refer my previous article “Unseen challenges in balancing fat in poultry nutrition” or the video: https://youtu.be/P8tet1K7iFY.
Ways to Improve Energy utilization in the body
Managing dietary energy intake by controlling the lighting regime: Light is a critical factor used to manipulate feed intake in broilers. By artificially increasing the length of time, the bird is subjected to light, its feed or dietary energy intake can be increased. that intermittent lighting program had a favorable effect on feed conversion and weight gain, with a decrease in fat deposition (Buryse et al.).
Smooth transition of Feed: Changing and replacing energy sources should not be huge and sudden, to prevent digestive upsets and feed intake depression, which will reduce birds’ productivity and production efficiency.
In a nutshell, we can achieve maximum profit by better energy utilization in three steps. First; choose the right Ingredient which has better digestibility, rich in energy, geographically available, with optimum moisture content, and free from molds. Second; Balance the energy in the feed formula by considering age, sex, season, genotype, and interaction between feed ingredients. Third; use the various feed supplements as per the ingredients and feed formula.