Reducing protein and energy rates in feed while maintaining broiler zootechnical performance: Case study of Nor-Spice AB® supplemented feed

By Amine Bernabia and Sebastien Tessier

The genetic improvements in broilers achieved in recent decades has allowed for significant increases in zootechnical performance and improved productivity (Hocking 2014). However, the expression of this genetic potential depends on optimal feeding and livestock condition. Determination of the required amount of energy and protein in feed is probably the most important decision to be made when it comes to feed formulation for broiler producers. Providing a well-balanced feed in order to meet the needs of broilers in terms of protein and energy while reducing feed cost is a real challenge. Furthermore, broiler producers, in order to meet sustainable agriculture standards have to optimize the use of resources in feed formulations and reduce the use of antibiotics as growth promoters. Energy and protein comprise more than 70% of the total cost of feed. The challenge facing broiler producers is how to optimize feeding costs and maintain performance in order to be competitive.

Nor-Spice AB® is a citrus concentrate containing a set of well characterized phytochemical compounds: citroflavonoids, pectic oligosaccharides (POS), organic acids, limonene and citrus essential oil. Several trials demonstrated that feed supplemented with Nor-Spice AB® contributes to improved zootechnical parameters over breeder feed recommendations.

Variability of raw materials, their cost and/or scarcity can lead to the formulation of unbalanced feed. As a consequence, broilers fed may have difficulty expressing their full genetic potential. This trial investigated the effect of Nor-Spice AB® supplementation in a “low-cost” feed reduced in protein and energy – the most expensive inputs. Here, the aim of this study was to answer the question whether it is possible to reduce protein and energy and still achieve optimal zootechnical performance by supplementing feed with Nor-Spice AB®.