[Truncated] There is growing interest in quail production worldwide because, compared to broiler chickens, they are fast-growing, healthy, easy to handle, and have a high feed conversion ratio (FCR). Australian quail have a large body mass and therefore the potential to be some of the best meat-producing quail in the world, but Australian quail producers have been experiencing unprecedented increases in feed costs, mostly driven by the price of imported soybean meal. Feed is the biggest cost (70%) of total quail production, so there is great interest in replacing soybean meal.
One possibility is to replace soybean meal with Australian sweet lupin meal because they have similar contents of protein and energy. However, lupin meal rarely comprises more than 5% of commercial poultry diets. This is mainly because 35% of the lupin kernel is composed of complex non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs). The main NSP in lupin is pectin with branched side-chains of xylan.
Non-starch polysaccharides are indigestible in monogastric animals because they do not secrete the required enzymes to break them down. The digestion of lupin meal is thus very limited with several adverse consequences: i) accumulation of undigested NSP or pectin increases the viscosity of the gut, reducing digestibility of dry matter and growth performance; ii) undigested pectin in the gut increases the water intake, resulting in wet droppings (wet litter), causing odours, coccidiosis outbreaks, soiled eggs; iii) undigested nutrients are excreted into the environment.
|Unpublished - 2015