Wenger Feeds utilizes its three research barns to conduct trials on ingredients, feed formulas, management techniques, and breeds. Two recently completed trials led to some changes in the company’s pullet feeding programs.
Pullet Feed Energy
In April 2009, Wenger Feeds completed research to study how energy levels effect the growth of Hyline W-36 pullets. Achieving optimal feed intake and body weight targets during the growing period is a challenge faced by many using high producing, lighter body weight birds. Elevated energy intake has been shown to increase body weight in pullets, and the goal of the study was to compare three different energy levels. During the study, which was held at a pullet research barn, the flock was split into three separate groups of 18,000 birds each.
Results: Performance was excellent for all pullets and livability and body weight targets were met in each group by week 17. The high energy formula yielded the lowest feed intake and best feed conversion to 17 weeks of age. An increased growth rate was also noted in the high energy group during the last 2 weeks. However, this improved feed conversion benefit was offset by a higher cost per ton, and feed cost was equal among the three groups.
Conclusions: Based on this research, it is confirmed that the Wenger Feeds PG line of pullet feeds deliver maximum performance and efficiency at the correct energy levels. This research was conducted in a real production environment to ensure accurate results that can be put to work in your pullet barn.
Pullet Feed Using DDGS
In August 2009, Wenger Feeds completed research to study how Distiller’s Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS) impact performance of a Hyline W-36 pullet. University trials have proven that DDGS may be used in relatively high levels in layer feed without affecting performance; however, the use of DDGS in pullet feed has not been widely researched. This study was held at a pullet research barn, where the flock was split into three separate groups of 18,000 birds each. Three different DDGS levels were fed, and performance and feed cost were evaluated.
Results: At 18 weeks of age, the two diets containing higher levels of DDGS had superior feed conversion and body weight. Livability exceeded breeder standards, and performance was very good in all three groups. As the level of DDGS increased, feed costs decreased. At the time this study was completed, the high DDGS level represented an approximate $0.05 per bird savings through week 18 in lower feed costs.
Conclusions: Feeding increased levels of DDGS to the Hyline W-36 pullet can reduce feed costs through 18 weeks of age. Body weight and livability can be maintained at very good levels. As a result of this research, the Wenger Feeds pullet feeding program has been adjusted to include more DDGS to maximize performance and efficiency.
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