Including a feed ingredient with a high nucleotide content in pre-starter broiler diets for the first seven days can increase 42-day weight gain by 3% and add £45/1000 birds to gross profitability.

According to Jules Taylor-Pickard of Alltech, who recently spoke at Alltech’s feed industry conference in Coventry, such gains have been demonstrated by feeding the functional ingredient NuPro at just 2% of the ration. It is thought to be the result of improved gastro-intestinal development and increased feed intake at a critical stage.

“In modern poultry production actual commercial performance falls below potential and this is because nutrition has not kept pace with the progress made in breeding and other areas,” she said.

“In order to close this growth gap we need to improve nutrition, and this will be most effective at the neo-natal stage.

“A 5g improvement by the seventh day will translate into 40g of extra body weight at 42 days of age, so it really is vital to focus on this period when the animal is under most stress and is required to perform at such high levels.”

NuPro is a functional ingredient with a 45% crude protein content that contains high levels of nucleotides and other functional nutrients such as inositol.

Return on investment in broilers

  • Extra cost in pre-starter diet = £11.30

  • Extra cost per 1000 birds (lifetime) = £2.26

  • 3% increase in weight gain (based on bodyweight of 2.3kg) = 70g

  • Benefit of increased weight gain (70g x £0.68) = £47.60

  • Gross profit per 1000 birds = £45.19