Assess variability in the chemical composition of rapeseed meal produced from UK-grown rapeseed cultivars and examine the feed value of these products for broilers.
Protein rich soybean meal is generally imported for poultry feed formulation. Price volatility in the soybean market and concerns regarding the environmental impact of soybean cultivation has reinforced the need to develop alternative and sustainable protein feed sources (Weightman et al, 2014). Rapeseed meal (RSM), a co-product derived from the production of rapeseed oil contains favourable levels of protein, thus offers a local and viable alternative to soybean meal. The presence of anti-nutritive factors has traditionally limited inclusion of RSM in poultry feed. However over the past few decades the phenotypic properties of rapeseed have been substantially modified and modern cultivars often contain low levels of antinutrients (Wittkop et al., 2009). Variability in the chemical composition of RSM produced from UK-grown cultivars is unknown and the feed value of these products for broilers has yet to be determined.
This project aims to actively address these gaps in the literature and also to assess the functionality of endogenous enzyme supplementation in order to improve the feed value of RSM for broilers. Knowledge of this type would be invaluable to the broiler production industry and could improve profitability and sustainability of the poultry and oilseed industry.
Weightman, R., Garland, P., Phelps, E., Clarke, S., Hazzledine, M., and Berry, P. 2014. Nutritional value of oilseed rape and its co-products for pig and poultry feed: potential improvements and implications for plant breeders. Research Review No. 80. Cambridgeshire
Wittkop, B., Snowdon, R. J. and Friedt, W. Status and perspectives of breeding for enhanced yield and quality of oilseed crops for europe. Euphytica, 170 (1/2), pp. 131-140
Harper Adams University