The energy value of a raw material or complete feed can be expressed as digestible energy (DE), metabolizable energy (ME) and net energy (NE).
Research has shown that the NE is the best estimator of the true energy of ingredients and complete feeds. DE and ME underestimate the energy value of feeds rich in fat and starch and overestimate that of feeds rich in protein and fiber.
The NE system is also better for predicting animal performance and carcass quality, particularly when pigs are fed reduced protein or high-fat diets. For that reason, using NE for ingredients and for feed formulation is highly recommended.
The use of NE instead of DE or ME leads to changes in ingredients ranking.
When DE and NE are expressed as percentage of a compounded feed (wheat: 67%, soybean meal: 16%, fat: 2.5%, wheat bran: 5%, peas: 5% …), the feedstuff ranking changes (see table).
The energy digestibility depends on pig body weight and technology (pelleting, enzymes supplementation, etc…). Therefore, EvaPig® proposes energy values different for growing pigs and adult pigs and offers the possibility of giving a bonus to energy digestibility coefficients.
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