Sound Mechanisms for Improved, Consistent Performance
There’s nothing magical or supernatural about putting together a formulation for consistent animal performance. What’s happening is simply supplying the right amounts of individual nutrients and energy for each species at each stage of production to meet a performance goal. Often, a least-cost approach is taken to guide the process, with localized knowledge thrown in for fine tuning – ultimately, to supply nutrients for the production of meat, milk, and eggs.
It all begins with the right ingredients. When you take raw materials like soybeans and corn, what you do next matters tremendously in terms of how useful the final products are as ingredients. The process matters a lot. If animals can extract more energy from the same quantity of an ingredient, often measured as metabolizable or digestible energy, it’s easier to formulate a diet that will meet performance goals. Often, a better ingredient means more room for maneuvering within the formulation exists, and this often translates to lower overall diet costs.
The right process also lets you impart novel characteristics on commodities. And, with novel, definable characteristics, the opportunity for elucidating the mechanisms behind an animal performance response exists.
The following mechanisms behind the performance gains in broilers will be discussed:
- Reduced molecular size of nutrients, thorough gelatinization of starch (>90%)
- An 18% increase in metabolizable energy in corn
- Marked improvement (~1.5-2% units increase vs. commodity SBM; even greater increases vs. mechanical competitors) in amino acid digestibility in soy meal
- Increases in total dietary fat from soy meal (as well as metabolizable energy) which enhance gut architecture, reduce passage rate, and improve the digestibilities of other nutrients.
Notice how some of the mechanisms work together. For example, feeding a diet with slighter high fat content (mechanism #4 above) will enhance the digestibilities of nutrients, like amino acids in proteins, from other ingredients. So, feeding a better-quality soy meal, like ExPress® soy meal, from high-shear dry extrusion could enhance the nutrients available for growth performance from other ingredients. Therefore, I mentioned above that there is nothing magical or supernatural about putting together an animal diet formulation. But what is true is that unexpected, synergistic benefits do, in fact, result from the use of better ingredients. So, while not magical, some of the mechanisms behind the animal performance benefits are difficult to measure.