Main research question/goal
How can we adapt the amount of phosphorus (P) in poultry feed to the needs of the chicken and how can we increase the use of the phytate-P (PP) to result in an economically, nutritionally and environmentally favourable feeding strategy? Because the phytate-P (PP) of the vegetable raw materials is only used from 0 to 50% by poultry (in function of age and their metabolism), (mineral) non-phytate-P (NPP) is added to the feed. This ensures that the chickens have a sufficient (but sometimes excessive) amount of digestible P for their optimum growth. However, phytate-P also forms complexes with other nutrients which results in a reduced availability of these nutrients. The aim of this study is to optimize the P in the feed to correspond to the P needs of poultry, ultimately resulting in less residual P in their manure.Research approach
We carry out empirical feeding trials to test whether adjustments to the feed by 1) phase feeding and 2) supplementing additives (phytase, vit. D3) can result in a more efficient use of P and reduced excretion. Based on the obtained results, we develop new strategies to respond to the problems related to excess P in chicken manure: economical, nutritional and ecological (soil eutrophication). Relevance/Valorisation
ILVO participates in a European working group whose goal is to evaluate and harmonize the knowledge of P research. Some of the goals are to obtain a definition of "available phosphorus" or a standardized way to determine phosphorus availability. The working group hopes to achieve correct NPP and Ca levels for poultry feed, accounting for all factors that may affect Ca and P availability. This should result in a more efficient use of P, less expensive poultry feed (mineral P is expensive) and a further decrease in P excretion in poultry.
ILVO - Instituut voor Landbouw-, Visserij- en voedingsonderzoek