Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sorghum v Corn in poultry feed may lead to more colouring additives

Scott Beyer, PhD, a researcher at Kansas State University in the US has found that grain sorghum varieties compare favourably to corn in low-cost feed formulations. Old varieties of grain sorghum contained relatively high amounts of the anti-nutritional compound, tannin. The presence of tannin in poultry feeds is known to suppress growth and performance of all types of poultry. Tannins bind to proteins and render them less available for metabolism.

Over decades of research, sorghum varieties that contained various levels of tannin were used to compile tables and other references for the feeding value of sorghum compared to corn. Many nutritionists continue to think of it as a lesser grain although new varieties have been introduced with high relative nutrient values. Some varieties of grain sorghum containing significant quantities of tannin are still around but varieties are grown for animal feed that are 99 percent free of tannin.

The nutrient profile of sorghum is complementary to protein sources typically used in poultry rations anywhere in the world, and is very similar to corn. Amino acid digestibility compares favourably with corn. The fat content of grain sorghum and the energy value for poultry is slightly lower when compared to corn. However, this difference can be balanced in rations with other sources of energy.

The big drawback with replacing corn with sorghum is that it contains smaller quantities of yellow xanthophylls required for egg yolk pigmentation – which means that even more egg farmers will resort to adding colouring additives to enhance yolk colour.

1 comment:

Andy Alex said...

An informative article which compares sorghum with corn when used as poultry feed.Corn, soybean, wheat or barley are normally used feeds.Grains, nuts, vegetables, fruits, fish or meat are all good chicken food. Different types of poultry feeds are also available as bulk or bagged mixes.