New tests 2: Predicting AME content with NIR

By Claire Percy-Smith

Adjusting feed formulations based on prediction values

In a recent study on feed ingredient assessment, **Rapid Assessment of feed ingredient Quality by P. Flinn and J.L. Black, et al. (link), animal feed consultants John L. Black and Peter Flinn discuss recent developments in NIR technology for predicting available energy content (MJ/kg) and intake (MJ/d) of cereal grains for poultry. Nirperformance talked to the developers about the findings of this study.

Flinn & Black explain that despite the fact that AME intake results are less accurate and less robust than the AME content, they still provide information that is necessary for predicting values used for formulation adjustments.

“Provided other nutrient requirements are satisfied, the rate of broiler production is driven by the intake of available energy (MJ/d), whereas the efficiency of production (kg product/kg feed) is driven primarily by the available energy content of the diet (MJ/kg). Consequently, both measures of energy (MJ/d and MJ/kg) are needed to fully describe the apparent metabolisable energy (Ai\G) value of a grain for broilers.”

The resulting prediction values are used to adjust feed formulations with help from diet formulation software. In the same paper Flinn and Black explain: “Diet formulation software used to combine available ingredients to meet nutrient requirements of animals at least cost does not consider the effects of the ingredients on feed intake. The value of a diet as an energy source to an animal depends on the total amount of energy made available for metabolism in megajoules per day. Total energy available to an animal is determined by the amount digested along the whole digestive tract, when accounting for energy losses from the animal associated with microbial digestion through heat of fermentation and methane, (energy content, MJ/kg) and the total amount of the diet consumed (kg/d). Animal performance and productivity is driven by the intake of metabolisable energy.”
There is much to be gained financially by formulating diets for optimal performance and rapid assessment of feed ingredient quality plays a central role for broiler producers using these technologies to optimise diet formulation, improve bird performance and increase profitability.

Read more

For more in depth information about quality assessment with NIR, read the white paper **Rapid Assessment of feed ingredient Quality by P. Flinn and J.L. Black, et al.

Other aspects

Flinn & Black have a developed a new mixed grain calibration for rapid assessment of AME content that can help broiler producers get feed formulations just right. Read more about the Cereal Grain calibration developed by Flinn & Black here (link to previous article) or read their whitepaper on the subject:
*Separate Cereal Grain Calibrations for prediction of apparent metabolisable energy by Near Infrared Analysis: