EFG Broiler Optimiser
Broiler nutritionists are accustomed to using least cost formulation programs to formulate feeds for their broilers, but until the advent of simulation models, such as the Broiler Growth Model produced by EFG Software (Natal), they were not able to predict the biological and economic consequences of using those feeds in commercial broiler operations. Our latest development is another huge step forward in assisting nutritionists to optimise the feeds and feeding programmes for commercial broilers. This demo provides you with information about our optimisation software that will enable you to maximise profitability for the enterprise by assisting you to design the best possible feeding programme for the broilers under your control.
This optimisation software combines a feed formulation program (see Formulating a feed with WinFeed 3), a broiler growth model (see EFG Broiler model) and an optimisation routine (see Optimisation principles), to assist the nutritionist in determining the optimum nutrient density and the optimum concentrations of amino acids relative to energy in each feed in a feeding programme, as well as the optimum amount, or length of time, that each feed should be fed. These are problems that involve both nutritional and economic decisions, which cannot be solved without the use of specialist software. The three programs have been integrated to make the optimisation process both simple to implement and efficient to use. Outputs include excellent graphics and summary tables, and data are also exported to spreadsheet files, making further manipulation of the results simple and straightforward. No other software is available that can perform these functions.
Broiler Nutrition Optimiser
Flow of information in optimising the feeding programme of a broiler chicken
In essence the method combines these three programs. The flow of information is very simple. The optimiser defines nutritional constraints for practical broiler feeds. These are passed to the feed formulation program, where the least-cost feed that meets these constraints is determined. The characteristics of this formulated feed are then passed, as input, to the broiler growth model. The performance expected from this feed when given to a defined flock of broilers in a given environment is predicted by the model, and this predicted performance is then passed to the optimiser to complete the cycle. The next cycle starts by the optimiser modifying the feed specifications, moving, according to some in-built rules, to an optimum point. The objective function to be optimised can be defined in terms of any output from the broiler growth model, but realistically would be an economic index of some sort. Examples are margin over feed cost, margin per m² per annum, or maximum breast meat yield at an age.
The optimisation tool that has been developed by EFG Software (Natal) is a commercial product, but the methods used are open and the work is presented as part of the scientific development in this field.