In the North American region, we are re-surveying vitamin supplementation trends in several poultry production segments, including broilers, breeders, layers, and turkeys. These surveys, led by Dr. Nelson Ward and Dr. Doug Teitge, will be presented at the Arkansas Nutrition Conference in September 2022 and in print publications as well. A similar survey was conducted in 2014 in US broilers representing > 90% of the industry, and conclusions from the 2014 survey were:
- Average supplementation amounts per vitamin were divided into the upper 25% percentile, lowest 25% percentile, Average, and Average vs. Optimum Vitamin Nutrition (OVN) recommendation. The commercial levels of 6 of the 12 vitamins in the starter phase in the Top 25% were in the range of the OVN recommended levels. Commercial levels of most of the vitamins in the grower phase in the Top 25% were in the range of OVN levels, with the exception of Vitamin A, niacin, folic acid and biotin.
- For each vitamin, Coefficient of Variation (CV: standard deviation divided by the Average times 100%) was calculated. CV’s were highest for biotin and menadione (Vitamin K): 47%. Lowest CV’s were for B2, pantothenic acid, and Vitamin A (24-27%). A high CV means less consensus or agreement within the broiler industry for a given vitamin; low CV means more agreement amongst nutritionists and broiler producers.
Since 2014, several issues have arisen which may affect vitamin survey results in the upcoming 2022 survey:
- Hatchability issues—perceived or not, leads to attention and research within this segment
- Breeder management—related to hatchability and mortality, but an economically important category
- In broilers, more growth on less feed—always an effector of micronutrient supplementation levels, especially when expressed in units per kg of feed—a byproduct of genetic progress!
- 3rd-party vitamin recommendations, such as Aviagen—better understanding of the interaction between genetics and micronutrient requirements or economic responses
- Supply disruptions, such as late 2017/early 2018 in China, logistical concerns—can lead to cost increases, shortages or even outages of some vitamins
- Vastly improved scientific understanding of the interaction of vitamin levels with immunity, performance, product quality, and economic responses
We look forward to the 2022 survey results, available soon.