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Developing VitaFocus organic regime

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Access to organic soya oil has enabled ForFarmers to revolutionise organic layer diets, with its new range of VitaFocus organic feeds. National Poultry Advisor, Andrew Forthergill walks us through how this exciting new feeding regime was developed.

Diet Design

Diets are designed in terms of their protein, oil, minerals, and calories to deliver the daily nutrients required by the bird. According to both her physiological state and productive output.

We begin with the nutrient composition and a prediction of the feed consumption. Two of the key drivers of feed consumption are environmental temperature and calorific density of the diet.

Calorie Requirements

Having established the daily calorie requirement, we then optimise the balance of energy and consumption. We want to optimise the diet to ensure the bird’s capacity to consume sufficient feed evenly and easily, given the feeding time and space available in the daily routine.

Once we know the ideal calorific density, we can then match all the other nutrients to the predicted intake to support the bird’s maintenance and productive requirements.

Selecting Ingredients

The next step is to consider which ingredients are available and their value in terms of their nutrient contribution. Here we use analysis of ingredients, alongside previous performance trials.

For organic feed all agricultural crop ingredients need to be procured from strictly audited sources to ensure they meet organic standards of feed formulation. These ingredients must be segregated throughout their production, handling, and delivery.

Formulating Constraints

We then formulate using computer software that identifies the best use of available raw materials, to deliver all nutrient and individual ingredient constraints that we require for the formulation.

Some nutrients are relatively simple and precise to deliver, such as protein, minerals, and oils. However, there are then fractions and features of the diet which are not so easily described as nutrients, but which have a significant impact upon the bird’s wellbeing, behaviour, and productivity. Here we make sure that we tailor the feed to ensure the correct diet physical structure and dietary fibre.