Poultry feed supplier Wynnstay says it has adapted rations to reduce the amount of phosphate excreted by the birds.
Changes to Wynnstay poultry diets have shown a 13.4% reduction in poultry phosphate excretion can be achieved through simple changes, which lower the requirement for monocalcium phosphate (MCP).
Wynnstay head of poultry Jim Turner says feed rations were adapted after concerns around phosphate pollution from poultry farms. Rations were adapted to reduce phosphate requirements, thereby reducing potential excretion, he added.
A triple dose of a phytase enzyme was added to all layer diets, with a 10.4% reduction in total phosphorus content in the diet – and a 13.4% reduction in phosphorus excretion per bird per year, said Mr Turner.
This was achieved by birds mobilising bound phosphorus from the raw materials. As a result, the inclusion of MCP could be reduced – helping to save producers money while being good for the environment.
“It’s important to have an alternative option that doesn’t affect the cost of the ration or the performance of the bird, and therefore the most economic and sustainable option is to increase the dose of the phytase enzyme.”
Premier Nutrition poultry nutritionist Eloise Lawlor worked alongside Wynnstay to change the rations. A proportion of phosphorus found in poultry diets is in the form of phytate phosphorus which is indigestible and an anti-nutritional factor, she said.
Anti-nutritional factors can influence nutrient utilisation, so reducing MCP levels and incorporating a triple dose of a phytase enzyme where suitable can increase calcium and phosphate availability and utilisation.
“This results in improved feed efficiency and reduces the amount of phosphorus being bypassed and excreted by the bird,” explains Ms Lawlor.
With MCP being a finite resource and phosphate pollution high on the agenda, changing feed rations is seen as a win-win. It can increase efficiency while protecting bird health, welfare and the environment.