The South African Branch of the World’s Poultry Science Association’s (WPSA) 35th Scientific Day was hosted on 1 November 2017 at the CSIR Conference Centre, Pretoria, following the AFMA Symposium on 31 October. The theme was Unlocking the Nutritional Potential of Poultry Feed and was attended by approximately 360 delegates from the local and international poultry industry. The association’s annual general meeting was also held on this day.
Lessons from the experts
Marthinus Stander, chief executive officer of Country Bird Holdings, set the scene for delegates by giving an overview of the current conditions in the local poultry industry.
He was followed by prof Mingan Choct from the University of New England, Australia, who discussed the latest developments on net energy systems. There has been a lot of talk of the benefits that net energy systems could have for broiler production that includes a smaller environmental footprint and commercial advantages. Net energy systems allow a new way of approaching poultry diets and feed formulation, overcoming the inherent limitations of the current reliance on digestible energy, or apparent metabolisable energy (AME) value.
Prof Gonzalo G. Mateos from the University of Madrid, Spain spoke in detail about the energy evaluation of ingredients in practice. He also presented a second talk in the afternoon on factors affecting the nutritive value and quality control of soya bean meal in poultry feed.
Prof Julian Wiseman from the University of Nottingham, UK, whose research focuses on the evaluation of materials for monogastric animal feed, gave an overview of how the animal feed industry can extract the full potential from fats and oils in feed formulations.
Michaël Roualt, global product manager at Chr. Hansen in Denmark, who discussed the use of probiotics in broiler production, said: “It is not a matter of if South Africa will move away from antibiotic use in poultry production, but when.” According to Roualt, in only two years poultry production in the United States has moved from 9% antibiotic-free production to 40%.
Supporting future experts
This year the WPSA was able to provide two students with the Barnard-Gous Scholarship. The bursaries were awarded to Julia Tlou form the University of Pretoria and Mmokela Mashiane from the University of KwaZulu-Natal who will each receive R15 000 towards their postgrad studies in the field of poultry science. –Ursula Human, AFMA Matrix