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Variability: The nutritionist’s nightmare - Advancia Academy

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Emmanuel Nwaotule Emmanuel Nwaotule
Higher Diploma In Animal Health and Husbandry
November 28, 2019
Truly speaking, variability of ingredients should not be too major challenge to experienced nutritionist. Since they are aware of what they want or wish to accomplish in the various livestocks, then, it is their responsibility to now combine all the necessary ingredients that would give or release the most needed nutrients for growth, production,improved immunity e.t.c,to the targeted livestock.
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Steffen Hansen Steffen Hansen
Animal Nutritionist
November 28, 2019

Emmanuel Nwaotule what do you specifically do to minimise the effect of nutrient variability on animal performance? Nutrient variability in most feed ingredients varies a lot and if you just use table values you are certainly risking to reduce animal performance significantly. It is a big challenge to obtain exact information about the batch of raw material you are using for the feed. For example, incorrect sampling of the raw material and analytical errors provide the feed formulator/nutritionist with incorrect information. As a result, the formulated diets are nutritionally skewed resulting in lower animal performance.

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Emmanuel Nwaotule Emmanuel Nwaotule
Higher Diploma In Animal Health and Husbandry
November 28, 2019

Steffen Hansen
Hansen many thanks for your question. From practical experience, it is a practical observation on the performances of the animals that would determine how the feed formulator or nutritionist should adjust all the various ingredients at her disposal in order to arrive at the desired results or expectations. It is only the animals that would tell you if your feeds are good or bad.

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Muhammad Farooq Muhammad Farooq
M Sc (hons) Animal Nutrition
December 19, 2019
Emmanuel Nwaotule yes to synchronise things developing data with RND
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December 5, 2019
Regrettably, intra-population variability is an intrinsic property of all living things, including both the sources of feed ingredients, and the responses of animals to blends of them. If the ultimate target of the nutritionist is to optimise performance while minimising variability in the animal populatioin at slaughter, understanding the causes of the variation in both ingredients and animal responses is essential. In a nutshell, the ability to exhibit phenotypic variability, even when parents are more or less completely homozygous, is highly adaptive in nature, since having at least some progeny able to compete well under the full range of likely environments the population may exist in is the only way genes can reproduce themselves.

Outcrossing is a common way to achieve this, but most crop species are highly inbred in nature. Most successful cereal species have evolved a complex of anatomical and physiological mechanisms that ensure both morphological and biochemical variation between seeds within a single plant, leading to inescapable variability for the technologist to deal with. Understanding the nature of the variability within a sample of grain can help the technologist to predict the likely performance of animals consuming it as part of a diet.

Production species have evolved to function well iin a social setting, including mechanisms to allow competition between individuals. In broilers, this includes the capacity to exploit seemingly miniscule differences in behaviours associated with competition for feed, that quickly amplify differences in growthrate, etc. This is the key cause of the variability between individuals at slaughter, and advances in efficiency require development of tools to limit the impact of bullying on access to feed.
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