EW Nutrition Seminar held at Camden

EW held its popular industry seminar, followed by the long established golf competition, on October 19 at the Lakeside Country Club, Camden in NSW.
‘Raw materials – Get the most out of your investments’ was the theme.
On the evening of the October 18, many of the participants gathered at Luigi’s fine restaurant in Camden.
The seminar was dedicated to raw materials and how to make the most efficient use of them in feed as costs increase.
Industry experts delivered great advice on how best to maintain good quality materials, formulating tactics, optimum feed conversion and the critical management of ‘raws’ at the feedmill.
David Sherwood, Commercial Director, EW Nutrition Oceania, was the host for the event.
The first speaker at the seminar was Christine Clark, the General Manager of Premium Agri Products and a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney.
Christine has extensive experience in the sales, marketing and application of feed additives in the monogastric feed sector.
Her presentation was ‘Project management – feed hygiene’.
She began her presentation with a discussion of Salmonella – what it is, how it manifests itself and why it causes such problems.
“We have to understand the routes of transmission and how poultry are susceptible to colonisation,” she said.
Critical factors were “bird age, salmonella serotype and initial challenge dose level. Also stress, including environmental, transport and overt or subclinical disease”.
“Also important are the presence of feed additives, both antimicrobials and anticoccidials, competition with gut microflora and the presence of a compatible colonisation site.
“The host genetic background is also a consideration,” Christine added.
When identifying responsibility in critical control points for salmonella risk reduction, Christine mentioned ‘choke points’ in the feed mill where contamination could occur.
Further stages in the food chain to monitor were “flocks/herds of livestock, the slaughter facilities and cutting plants, then in the food end product production,” she said.
“A reasonable practice to identify and minimise salmonella
contamination would be to monitor incoming raw materials and to specifically request suppliers’ Salmonella status.
“In the production of mash feed, the mill hygiene levels become a critical factor so sampling and testing control points in the mill are essential, as is thorough cleaning.
“Organic acids are useful as part of the feed hygiene risk management process,” she said.
“Other areas of risk include rodent infestation and that 80% of Salmonella serotypes isolated during routine monitoring of feeds and feed ingredients were of the same serotypes found weeks later during the monitoring of breeding flocks.
“Further, research (Jones & Richardson 2003) demonstrated that pellet cooler isolation rates were as high as 85.7% in some facilities.”
Exploring effective feed hygiene from research conducted in the UK, US and Australia, revealed interesting results.
In the UK of the 282 samples taken in augers and intake pits, it was revealed that more than 24% indicated the presence of Salmonella.
“Salmonella in commercially manufactured feeds and feed ingredient samples taken in research by Jones and Richardson indicated that cottonseed meal and fish meal presented a
serious risk of Salmonella contamination,” Christine said.
“Acids basics are firstly, that both proprionic and formic acid are naturally liquid so they must be mounted onto a ‘carrier’ to be available in powder form and the inclusion of ‘free acids’ allows for the product to have preservative effects in the feed prior to consumption.
“The inclusion of buffered acid helps to improve the handling and palatability and reduces the corrosive nature of acids, also acid salts inclusion widens the sites within the GIT where the product can have a positive effect.”
Formaldehyde and proprionic acid blend and its application was described as well as its mechanism of action.
Summarising her presentation, Christine stated that “the efficiency of different acids on reduction of Salmonella varied significantly between feed materials.
“Acid treatment of Salmonella in feed is a matter or reducing the number of viable bacterial cells rather than eliminating the organism.
“EU based commercial suppliers recommend a 48 hour treatment of contaminated feeds and if Salmonella free feed is the aim, it will be essential to combine acid treatment with other decontamination procedures.
“Salmonella counts in naturally contaminated feed or feed ingredients are readily available,” Christine said.
Christine’s company recently expanded the range of EW
Nutrition products it distributes, to include Colortek and Xarocol egg and skin colouring agents and for health maintenance, Activo.
Greg Hargreave is well known as a leading figure in the Australian poultry industry.
His long tenure of management positions in Baiada and experience in poultry nutrition, not only for commercial production but in many research projects, gives him a profound knowledge of how to manage nutrition in a constantly changing market.
After retiring from Baiada, he is now an independent consultant. His presentation at the EW Raw Materials seminar was ‘Minimising egg production cost by optimising feed nutrient density’.
The outline of his presentation was how to utilise prediction models to determine energy requirements of a specific flock, then determine feed specification optimisation to minimise bird production costs.
“He discussed the use nutrient density parametrics and their impact on feed composition, then illustrated by showing two examples of optimum feed spec determination, one being from days when energy was cheap, the other from the current raw material scenario.
On the topic of energy requirements of layers (kcal) by ME requirement and temperature correction, input parameters include live-weight, temperature, weight gain, feed energy (Mj/Kg) egg production %, egg weight and egg mass,” he said.
On feed specification optimisation, “the lowest feed cost ($/tonne) does not necessarily equate to the lowest cost of production”.
“As ingredient costs change (and hence the cost of nutrients change) feed specifications required to minimise the cost of production also differ.
“With dynamic raw material market prices, feed specifications need to have some flexibility to reflect the impact of those input costs.
“Laying birds have the capacity to perform equally well over a wide range of feed nutrient density levels,” Greg explained.
After showing more detail on the two examples of feed spec determination, including the current feed price scenario, Greg said “In both these examples, the minimum daily feed cost occurs when the feed cost per unit of energy is minimised.
“The hen will adjust her feed intake in direct proportion to the energy level in the feed.
“Hence the minimum egg production cost occurs at the feed nutrient density level where the least cost per unit of energy occurs.
“At that specific energy level for any given scenario, the daily feed cost per bird is minimised at that optimum energy level,” he said.
Moving to the financial aspects of the example comparisons, Greg revealed that in Example 1, an optimum energy level of 2870 kcal/kg, whereas the current feed cost scenario (Example 2) indicates that the optimum feed energy level is 2700 kcal/kg.
“Operating at the previous energy level of 2870 kcal/kg instead of 2700 kcal/kg, would have the following implications.
“Feed cost per tonne would be $67.60 more expensive (12.2% higher)and feed intake per bird would be 6/7 g/b/d lower (108.3g vs 115g or 5.8 % lower).
“Overall annual feed tonnage (per 100k birds) would be 245 tonnes lower and feed cost per bird would be 0.362 cents per day higher.
“Yearly feed cost would be $1.32 per bird higher so $132,000 per 100k birds,” Greg revealed.
‘To minimise egg production costs, flexibility of feed nutrient density specifications is essential in order to optimise the appropriate feed diet energy level.
“Disproportionately elevated costs of high energy ingredients necessitates that use of those ingredients be minimised where possible.
“Operating with fixed feed nutrient density specifications for any given scenario (irrespective of movements in feed ingredient costs), is detrimental to overall farm profitability of a commercial layer enterprise.
“That approach results in the utilisation of non-economic ingredients, to the detriment of overall farm profitability.
“An important and critical fact to note is that the most economic
optimum feed cost occurs where the cost per unit of energy is minimised,” Greg concluded.
The next speaker was Judy O’Keeffe who owns and operates Sure-Feed Pty Ltd. Judy has vast experience in all aspects of poultry nutrition and has been involved with industry research seminars over many years.
In recent times she has played a key role in developing vegan feed formulations for free range broiler birds that not only satisfied current consumer and retail demands, but also addressed the nutritional needs of birds in these alternative production scenarios.
Her presentation was entitled ‘Spend money to make money when feed cost is high’.
“Sharpen up your raw material database and test, test, test,” was her advice at the start of her presentation.
“In the absence of sufficient testing of raw materials, it is necessary to build a safety margin into the specification of raw materials used to formulate.
“By testing, this need for a safety margin can be reduced,” Judy advised.
“Showing current savings in an early ISA Early Lay Diet, “by increasing wheat crude protein from 11 to 11.5%, savings of $3.00 per tonne can be achieved. Increasing Soyabean Meal crude protein from 46.5 to 47% can save $1.80 per tonne,” Judy stated.
“Harness the data available on offer as supplier companies offer numerous test results linked to the purchase of amino acids or enzymes, such as NIR profiles on crude protein, amino acids, fat, starch, ash, sugar and crude fibre in terms of energy calculations.
“Also, analysis of anti-nutritive factors for Phytate, P and NSP are available,” she said.
“New generation Phytases are now available and in terms of a Hy-Line diet using Feedworks’ supplied Axtra Phy. Diet cost saving of $7/T by switching to the new product are achievable,” Judy revealed.
Next Judy explained the diet ‘space effect’ in two exercises in 17% crude protein layer diets (no meat and bone meal).
In Exercise 1, 36% Ca Limestone was included at 9.5 -10.55% in a layer diet then 38% Ca Limestone in 9-10% layer diet.
In Exercise 2, without enzyme, the Soyabean inclusion rate was set at 17.85% of the layer diet then with enzyme (Phytase + Protease), with Soyabean inclusion at 15% of the layer diet.
“This process creates more space (0.5%+2.85%) to fit more grain in the diet and the extra grain supplies more energy, which in turn reduces the need to add fat or oil to the feed, contributing to significant diet cost savings,” Judy explained.
“The ‘space effect’ saving is over and above the savings due to improvement in digestibility.
“The saving is greatest when fat/oil is expensive and the process is true for all feed enzymes,” Judy added.
In continuing the advantages of the ‘space effect’ in feed formulation, “a shift from more nutrient dense ingredients to those less nutrient dense such as Soyabean meal to Canola meal, or wheat to barley, delivers benefits.
“Increasing the diversity of ingredients in the diet can deliver a more consistent analysis of feed and by increasing the fibre level of the feed can result in reduced incidents of feather pecking and cannibalism,” Judy said.
A golden rule Judy poitned out was “when grain is expensive go for feed conversion, also increase the amino acid density of feed.
“An old rule that applied when key feed ingredients were less expensive, was to spend money on Soyabean meal to save money on grains.
“In today’s conditions, apply feed additives as well, or instead of, expensive grains.
“Improving feed conversion in terms of kg of feed/Kg of egg mass may be seen as an ideal but there is a need to assess a strategy based purely on FCR and ask the question, is it a profitable step to take?” Judy cautioned.
“In the past it may have been wise to spend money on Soyabean meal to save money on grain, but what if protein meals have become expensive?
“In our current feed cost situation, consider applying feed additives as well or instead of high cost proteins.
“Using feed additives to improve gut health can improve resilience/gut integrity, disadvantage bad bacteria and promote the good bacteria, also stimulate immunity and reduce both inflammation and heat stress.
“Where ROI demonstrated by trial work was once 3:1, it may now be a much more favourable ratio given current high feed costs and better returns on eggs.
“Potentially beneficial feed additives include, essential oils, phytogenics/anti-inflammatories, organic acids, probiotics, prebiotics/post biotics, Mannan oligosaccharides (MOS), mycotoxin binders, and organic minerals.
“Choose combinations of products with complimentary modes of action.”
Trials conducted on Lohmann Brown birds in Germany
using Activo at 100g/T, demonstrated a rise in feed consumption per hen per day, a rise in FCR from 2.32 (control) to 2.21 and a reduction in g feed per egg produced from 141 (control to 136) (Activo).
“Invest in your pullets, increase pullet gizzard size to increase feed intake during peak lay period.
“Include fibrous ingredients such as coarsely ground grain and supply part of it as ‘whole’ and consider using a micronised wood product,” she said.
“The nutritionist’s critical aim is to match nutrient intake = nutrient requirement also nutrient intake (Ni) = nutrient density (Nd).
“If feed intake in the pre-peak period is higher, the nutrient density of the diet can be less, which leads to significant savings.
The final speakers, Ricard Sevil (National Feedmilling Manager – Baiada and President of the NSW branch of the Stockfeed Manufacturer’s Council of Australia and Steve Romero, Manager of Baiada’s Beresfield and Carhill feedmills, have a combined feed mill working experience of more than 70 years.
Richard and Steve described in some detail the quality control processes that ensure feed quality and safety for whatever specific feed requirement the combined livestock industry needs.
Genetisists create the modern poultry species that deliver our high performing layer and broiler genetics.
Nutritionalists generate the diets that ensure that the birds reach their production potential.
However it’s the feedmills, in particular those run by our major poultry industry integrators, that produce the feed as directed by the genetisists and nutritionalists.
As consumer and by extension, big retail’s demands have become more specific as to livestock production systems and to the requirement of separate diets according to those specific needs, the feed mill is very much at the heart of our 21st Century livestock production systems.
Not only do our modern mills create feed for poultry production, but a significant proportion of their output goes to other livestock sectors including bagged feed for smaller scale operations.
The detailed information on the vital operation of feedmills deserves a full report which we have included in this edition of Poultry Digest.