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Technical Resources

Leveraging a dynamic feed composition database in diet formulation

Dilger, R.

The process of formulating diets for poultry species requires accurate knowledge of the nutrient composition of available feedstuffs. One of the most important sources of information on feed composition for poultry species has been the nutrient composition tables published in the Animal Health and Nutrition series by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM; formerly the National Research Council or NRC). The last version of the consensus study report for poultry species was published in 1994, but a currently convened committee is working on an updated report that will leverage dynamic feed composition tables developed in coordination with the National Animal Nutrition Program (NANP). The NANP is a National Research Support Project (NRSP-9) supported by the USDA that is specifically focused on curating large databases containing analytical and performance data useful in feed formulation and modeling outcomes pertinent to animal agriculture. The NANP feed composition tables are freely available through the NANP website. The current NANP feed composition data were derived from a systematic literature review covering ~30,000 peer-reviewed articles (1995-2018) in 20 scientific journals focused on ingredients and feedstuffs pertinent to poultry nutrition. The NANP feed composition database allows a user to access verified compositional data on more than 120 feedstuffs with more than 250 analytical targets as generated from an excess of 2 million individual records, all in a mobile-friendly format. More broadly, the database can be easily filtered to display composition data for a feedstuff given a specific range of nutrient inputs, published within a given timeframe, and originating from various data sources (peer-reviewed literature, academic laboratories, and commercial analytical laboratories).

Having the ability to generate customized reports of nutrient composition by dynamically filtering the database per specific user inputs will serve to improve nutrient delivery to poultry species through precision diet formulation. Forthcoming database features will include the ability to directly integrate the NANP feed composition database into third-party applications and automate the routine importation of verified nutrient composition data from both the peer-reviewed literature and analytical laboratories.