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Layer’s learn from broiler sector

To optimise productivity, ABN are helping customers in the layer bird sector by transferring workings and new thinking from the broiler sector.

“Nutrition and feed conversion is closely monitored by broiler producers, but not so much in layer bird production,” says John Thornborrow, ABN.

“There are lessons to be learnt, particularly in three main areas; feed conversion ratio (FCR), providing accurate energy levels in the diet, and the inclusion of phytase enzymes in diets.”

For layer producers, John says the price of feed is often the priority, rather than its nutritional quality and how it is being used by the bird.

“This is a mindset that needs to be changed if bird performance is to be optimised,” he explains.

“Reviewing the nutritional content of feed, and ensuring accurate levels are being provided, will save producers money long-term.

“One important component of the diet is the energy content of the feed, with the bird only requiring a certain level to convert it into egg production. Any excess energy is wasted, so it pays to ensure you’re providing the right quantity in the feed.”

John explains that ABN has used their experience and work from the broiler sector to advise layer producers on how to improve FCR, particularly the efficient use of energy in the diet.

“We use the highest quality raw materials in our feeds,and have defined energy values based on sound scientific knowledge supported by extensive in-house research studies.   This should give the producer greater confidence to use our feeds within their operations, increasing their efficiency and effectiveness of their feed as a consequence.

He adds that in broiler production, producers have included regulated levels of a specific phytase enzyme, which apart from giving significant improvements in phosphorous and other mineral utilisation, have been shown to improve FCR.

“Research has indicated feeding Quantum Blue in broiler diets benefits FCR, and this improvement can be transferred to the layer sector. Quantum Blue breaks down natural anti-nutritional components in the diet, releasing phosphorous and calcium, and improving the digestibility and availability of amino acids.  These actions reduce the energy demands put upon the bird to process and counter these anti-nutritional factors. “We have shown with trials that the inclusion of Quantum Blue in layer bird diets to be beneficial in optimising bird performance, and is something I would encourage producers to consider.

“Looking at the nutritional inputs is an important part of the story when it comes to layer bird performance. If accurate in meeting bird requirements, it ensures birds can reach their potential in line with the farm situation  and  meet the overall business objectives,” John concludes.

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