Future prospects for alternative feedstuffs

The immediate prospects for the use of alternative feedstuffs listed  will be in semi-commercial poultry units that employ some degree of on-farm feed mixing, and family poultry units. In these sectors, where the objective is economic productivity rather than maximum biological productivity, alternative feedstuffs can make a useful contribution to poultry feeding. Before the use of these feedstuffs can be considered in the modern commercial poultry sector, most – if not all – of the limitations identified must be resolved. A number of other possibilities are available for improving the feeding value and increasing the inclusion levels of many of these alternative feedstuffs: i) formulation of diets based on digestible amino acids, rather than total amino acids; ii) use of crystalline amino acids to balance amino acid specifications; and iii) supplementation with commercial exogenous enzymes to improve nutrient and energy availability. The effect of supplemental enzymes on alternative feedstuffs is twofold: first, they eliminate or reduce the action of anti-nutritive factors; and second, they increase digestibility and improve nutritive value

The greatest potential for using alternative feedstuffs is in the feeding of layers, irrespective of the production system. Owing to physiological differences, pullets and layers are more tolerant to high fibre, poor-quality feedstuffs and nutritional challenges than fast-growing meat birds are. Some of these feedstuffs can be included at high levels, but have negative effects on egg production.

Rice bran and palm kernel meal are good examples of this tolerance; both can be used at maximum levels of only 10 percent in broiler diets, but may be safely incorporated into pullet and layer diets at levels of up to 30 percent.
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