Trusted information & resources for animal nutrition.

Technical Resources

Metabolizable energy of corn, soybean meal and wheat for laying hens

Barzegar, S., S. B. Wu, J. Noblet and R. Swick

Feed formulation using apparent metabolizable energy (AME) corrected to zero nitrogen retention (AMEn) is widely used by poultry nutritionists. Most available tabulated data are from experiments using adult cockerels or growing broilers. Specific values are rarely available for laying hens. A study was conducted to evaluate AME, AMEn, and AMEs (AME adjusted to 50% nitrogen retention) of corn, soybean meal (SBM) and wheat in laying hens using the reference diet substitution and regression methods. Forty eight 42-wk-old Hy-Line Brown hens were used, 2 birds per cage with six replicates per diet. Test diets contained 30% test ingredient (as is basis) and 65.7% reference diet (as is basis) with limestone, other minerals, vitamins, and amino acids held constant across the reference and test diets. Using the reference diet substitution method, AME values obtained for corn, SBM, and wheat were 3,791, 2,621, and 3,565kcal/kg (DM), respectively. The corresponding AMEn values were 3,722, 2,496, and 3,479kcal/kg (DM), and AMEs were 3,784, 2,835, and 3,562kcal/kg (DM), respectively.

Calculation of AME, AMEn, and AMEs of ingredients using regression based on the inclusion rate (DM) of dietary ingredients and reference diet gave identical values to those obtained by the reference diet substitution method. In addition, the measured AMEn values of ingredients using laying hens in this study were close to those calculated from proximate composition using the European Union prediction equation based on adult cockerels.