Research update: Calcium and Phytase in pigs and poultry

Published Monday, 23rd October 2017

Dr Mike Bedford discusses the upcoming Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition conference

At this year’s Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition (RAAN) conference, taking place in New South Wales, Australia, from 25-27 October, AB Vista’s Research Director Mike Bedford discussed the negative effects of overfeeding calcium on phosphorus digestibility and phytase efficacy. 

This research is part of a project led by the University of Illinois’s Professor of Animal Science Hans H. Stein:

"The end goal is to establish the requirement for digestible Ca for all groups of pigs," says Professor Stein. "We would then be able to formulate diets based on the requirement for digestible phosphorus and digestible Ca."

"Ultimately, this would enable more precise feed formulation and nutrient supply, resulting in improved phosphorus, amino acid and Ca digestibility – which would positively influence growth performance, skeletal integrity and feed efficiency.”

Dr Bedford’s presentation at RAAN confirmed what the project predicted two years ago is correct - and that most people are overfeeding calcium in their diets:

"When you overfeed calcium, you get very poor phosphorus digestibility in the first place, but also you degrade the ability of the phytase to work fully. So not only are you reducing the nutritional content of your diet, you’re actually reducing the efficacy of your phytase as well." 

Professor Stein presented an update on the research at the third International Phytate Summit in Miami, Florida.

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