Enzymes in corn-soy diets

About 2 years ago I submitted a blog on this issue, but I would like to bring it again to the attention of World Poultry's audience to see what readers think of the matter now. In my opinion, this is an important issue for the poultry industry as a ban on the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) is becoming a much stronger possibility in almost all parts of the world.

We are all aware that enzymes have been used in poultry diets over the past 15-20 years. There are so many research publications and industrial reports indicating beneficial effects of enzyme supplementation in improving the nutritive value of diets based on ingredients such as wheat, barley, oats, rye, and triticale, resulting in improved production performance of commercial poultry. 

There are several reports on beneficial effects of adding enzymes to corn-soy diets, although results in this area are not consistent. For example, it has been shown that supplementation of corn-soy diets with exogenous enzymes improved digestibility of nutrients and performance parameters of broiler chickens.

Is the addition of enzymes to corn-soy diets a common practice in the poultry industry of your country? Generally speaking, how do you see the future of enzyme technology?  How far can we go from where we are now?

Please share your experiences here.


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    A combination of good feed supplements including enzymes is the only solution to achive optimum productions against so many unknown challenges, and also an alternative to AGPs. Farmers must select a product of the original manufactures only, instead of going to all products available under 1 roof. In broilers in the Asian countries people have started using fiberous feeds partly replacing corn and soya. A good multi-enzyme only can ensure opening of cell wall and making available traped nutrients along with amino acids and trace minerals. Multi-enzymes must ensure more availability of energy and proteins as both the sources getting costiler. Farmers should change now the strategy of per kg feed cost to quality feed and feed supplements even though it may cost more per/kg. Return of investment will be more than using low cost feed formulations and saving some money per kgs.

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    Robert Gauthier

    The efficacy of NSP enzymes, namely xylanase, in unquestionable in wheat (or related) based poultry feed formulas. There is a lot of confusion on the nature of NSPs in general, mainly in corn and soybean meal. One has to remember that a slight diffence in the structure and quantity of specific NSPs make most of the enzymes non-efficacious. Another factor is the structure of the diet that also has a strong influence on enzyme efficacy. When reading the papers cited in your blog (and many more), one can see that the number of times NSP enzymes were efficacious in C/S diets is extremely limited. The relative importance of protein compared to NSPs with an antinutritive effect in C/S diets is much higher. For the past 12 years we have favoured the use of a specific protease in C/S diets, with a very high level of zootechnical and economical success. Again, one has to learn how to formulate feeds (in relation with the chickens requirements and feed ingredients) when using enzymes, this lack of knowledge leads to an unacceptable rate of failure.

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    Waseem Alshible

    This step is important in the poultry industry and for human safety. It is also important with regards to economic and hygiene factors. It is the fine step to get the whole energy and protein from the feed stuff and get nearer to our aim of 1:1.
    Best Regard
    D.V.M Waseem Alshible

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    In my country, Nigeria, most farmers hardly use enzymes in feed composition because we produce Grade A chicken meat throught the world.

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