Yegani, M. and Korver, D. R. 2012. Review: Prediction of variation in energetic value of wheat for poultry. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 92: 261–273. Variations in physical and chemical characteristics of wheat can significantly influence the energy availability of this feed ingredient for poultry. These variations can result in inefficiencies in the form of over- or under-formulation of the diets at commercial feed mills or on poultry farms. Therefore, having a clear understanding of the variations is of paramount importance in the formulation of poultry diets as they can have negative consequences for production performance of birds. There are a large number of factors that can contribute to variations in energy availability of wheat for poultry. This review is intended to briefly discuss these factors and also practical approaches that can be used to predict these variations. These approaches include measuring physico-chemical characteristics, in vivo digestibility trials, in vitro digestibility techniques, and near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS). There are limitations associated with physico-chemical and in vivo measurements. However, in vitro digestibility techniques are simple and fast and can provide data for database development and ongoing calibrations of NIRS systems. Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy has enormous potential to predict variations in wheat apparent metabolizable energy, leading to more accurate diet formulation.
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