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Functional Additives


BASF Natugrain TS minimises the occurrence of wet litter for broilers consuming diets containing wheat, at the same time improves bird performance and welfare

 

BASF

 


Consistent feed quality is a key success factor for the broiler industry. A change in major diet ingredients, e.g. replacing corn with wheat, frequently results in evidently depressed bird performance and wet poultry litter. The key reason for this observation is the nutritive and anti-nutritive values of corn differ significantly from that of wheat (Table 1, Bird 1997 - Enzymes in Poultry and Swine Nutrition).

 

Table 1.  Nutritive and anti-nutritive values (on DM basis) in corn and wheat


 

 

Corn

Wheat

 

Metabolizable energy (kcal/kg)

3350

3120

 

Crude protein (%)

8.5

11.5-14.0

 

Lysine (%)

0.25

0.31

 

Methionine + cysteine (%)

0.37

0.42

 

Threonine (%)

0.3

0.32

 

Tryptophan (%)

0.06

0.4

 

Arginine (%)

0.39

0.61

 

Crude fiber (%)

2.2

3

 

Soluble β-glucan (%)

-

0.7

 

Total β-glucan (%)

-

0.7

 

Soluble pentosans (%)

0.7

1.2

 

Total pentosans (%)

4.2

6.6

 

Natugrain® TS from BASF has been developed specifically for poultry feeds containing small grains, such as wheat, barley, triticale and rye, to achieve improved bird performance through high biological effectiveness . Trials have shown that Natugrain® TS can also be effective in corn and soy diets by releasing additional energy. Its use leads to a number of performance benefits:

  • Natugrain® TS levels variations in nutritional value from different types and batches of wheat and other cereals. The compound feed producer has greater flexibility in the linear optimization of poultry feed rations, since it is possible to feed larger amounts of small grains.
  • Improved feed conversion ratio (FCR) and daily weight gain are achieved through increased feed nutrient utilization.
  • Reducing the viscosity of intestinal contents and improving the condition of faeces positively affect litter quality and general hygiene conditions.
  • The number of dirty eggs from laying hens is clearly reduced.

Natugrain® TS in poultry diets containing wheat can reduce negative secondary effects of high NSP-concentrations, like the occurrence of footpad dermatitis, hock burn and breast blisters by improving litter quality, ultimately promoting animal welfare and increasing the economic efficiency of production.


Hock burn, breast blisters and footpad dermatitis are known to affect not only the welfare of broilers but also the quality of the final product, since any visible dermatitis eventually leads to downgrading of bird quality. This problem can be traced to poor litter quality and may be affected by feed composition. The incidence and severity of these effects are especially expected to rise if feed composition induces increased water excretion and increased excreta viscosity. For example, high inclusion rates of cereals containing high levels of soluble NSPs in the diet can negatively affect the litter quality for broilers and contribute to a higher incidence of these effects in broiler chickens.


The effects of BASF's NSP enzyme, Natugrain® TS (thermostable endo-1,4-ß-xylanase@ 5600 unit/g and thermostable endo-1,4-ß-glucanase@ 2500 unit/g) added to a wheat-based control diet were tested in a broiler study. The objective of this trial was to show the effect of the enzyme formulation not only on performance parameters, but also on intestinal viscosity, litter dry matter and the incidence of hock burn and foot pad dermatitis in broiler chickens.


The broilers were fed three diets. A control diet containing 60% wheat without NSP enzyme supplementation and a diet supplemented with 100 g/ton Natugrain® TS (Table 2). Birds were housed in floor pens with water and feed available ad libitum. The birds were given a starter diet from 0-21 days and a grower diet from 21-42 days. Table 3 shows the composition of the diets. Body weight and feed intake were recorded throughout the entire period, and litter quality was examined on day 42. Daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were calculated. Foot pad lesion scores (0 - good; 5 - bad) and hock burn assessment (0 - good; 5 - bad) were conducted on day 42.


Throughout the entire trial period (0-42 days), results (Table 4) indicate that birds fed the diets containing the enzyme formulation had significantly greater weight gain than birds given the control diet. The enzyme formulation significantly improved FCR and weight gain, while feed intake was not significantly affected by the addition of the NSP enzyme. Gut content viscosity measurements on day 21 showed that the birds fed on diets containing the NSP enzyme had significantly lower gut viscosity than birds fed the wheat control diet (without added enzyme). The effect of Natugrain® TS on gut viscosity by cleaving large NSP molecules into smaller polymers is well described in the literature. This study once again verified the efficacy of Natugrain® TS in reducing gut content viscosity. On day 21, there were no significant differences in analyzed litter dry matter content; however, on day 42 the addition of Natugrain® TS significantly improved the analyzed dry matter content by 8% compared to the control. On day 42, significant improvements were observed in both foot pad lesion scores and hock burn scores with the addition of Natugrain® TS. The effect on measured welfare parameters (Table 5) is parallel to the observed change in litter dry matter on day 42.


In conclusion, the supplementation with Natugrain® TS to the diets containing high levels of wheat reduced the negative effects of NSPs in wheat. The positive effects of Natugrain® TS in diets containing wheat resulted not only in improved broiler performance but also in improved litter quality, thus resulting in reduced incidence of foot pad lesions and hock burns. These findings, therefore, underline the importance of Natugrain® TS as a significant contribution to broiler welfare.

 

Table 2:

Experimental treatments

Treatments Supplemented enzyme activity/kg feed Product/to feed
Control - -
Treatment 1 560 TXU (Thermo-stable Xylanase Unit) and 250 TGU 100 g Natugrain®TS
(Thermo-stable Glucanase Unit)

 

Table 3:

Composition of the control diet (C) fed during the starter and finisher period

Ingredients (g/kg) Starter Finisher
(0-21 days) (21-42 days)
 

Wheat

598.99

613.05

 

Wheat feed

42.69

62.29

 

Rapeseed meal, extracted

25.00

50.00

 

Soybean meal (48 %)

273.87

200.19

 

Soya oil

20.00

40.00

 

Dicalcium phosphate

17.51

14.57

 

Limestone flour

52.00

4.49

 

Sodium chloride (salt)

1.54

1.54

 

Sodium bicarbonate

3.14

3.05

 

L-lysine HCl

3.12

2.79

 

DL-methionine

3.16

2.31

 

L-threonine

0.76

0.66

 

Vitamin & mineral premix

50.00

50.00

 

Table 4:

Effect of Natugrain® TS addition on broiler performance

Parameter Control diet (C)   C + Natugrain®TS
  Starter period (0-21 days)
  Body weight gain (g) 969.7a   986.5b
  Feed intake (g) 1477.2   1474.1
  Feed conversion ratio (g/g) 1.523a   1.494b
  Finisher period (21-42 days)
  Body weight gain (g) 2470.3a   2521.0b
  Feed intake (g) 4732.5   4744.9
  Feed conversion ratio (g/g) 1.916a   1.882b
  Overall period (0-42 days)
  Body weight gain (g) 3440.0a   3507.4b
  Feed intake (g) 6209.7   6219
  Feed conversion ratio (g/g) 1.805a   1.773b
Note: Values within a row without common superscripts differ significantly (p < 0.05)

Table 5:

Effect of Natugrain® TS addition on gut viscosity, litter quality and welfare parameters
Parameter Control Diet (C)   C + 560 TXU/kg + 250 TGU/kg
 

Gut viscosity, day 21 (cps)

3.469a

 

2.517b

 

Litter dry matter,

80.2

 

82.54

 

day 21 (%)

 

Litter dry matter,

69.55a

 

74.91b

 

day 42 (%)

 

Visual foot pad lesions,

2.729a

 

2.250b

 

day 42

 

Visual hock burn,

2.750a

 

2.312b

 

day 42

Note: Values within a row with different superscripts differ significantly (p < 0.05)
 
 

Source:

Feuerstein, D., Ader, P., Knox, A. (2012): Effect of NSP-degrading enzymes in wheat-based diets on foot pad dermatitis and hock burns in broiler chickens. WPC, Brazil, August 5-9, 2012; World's Poultry Science Journal, Supplement 1, 313-316.

 

The original publication is available on request.

Please note that national regulations may vary and need to be considered prior to product use.

 

Contact in Asia:

Dr. Lily Li
Regional Technical and Application Management, BASF Animal Nutrition Asia Pacific
E-Mail:
lily.d.li@basf.com

 

For more of the article, please click here.

      

Article made possible through the contribution of BASF
 
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