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Nutrition: The key role for optimization of growth and carcass quality in broiler chickens

, : Nutrition: The key role for optimization of growth and carcass quality in broiler chickens. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 14(Special Issue): 148-163, December

Nutrition today has become an integrated science unifying many aspects of the biological sciences including biochemistry, physiology and molecular biology of tissues, cells and genes of animal species. Poultry nutrition has progressed to a refined extent, encompassing precise technology in the basic and applied sciences of feeding, production, behavior and issues of animal welfare. In view of the increasing world population, the supply of sufficient food for human consumption is an issue now and will become more so in the future. With chicken meat now accounting for almost 30% of the worldwide demand for meat, the major issue for consumers to contend with in their choice of meat is that of quality. This paper mainly describes the contribution to date of dietary management in the expanded poultry meat industry, and the possible role of nutritional or dietary modifications in meeting future consumer demands for meat quality, meat safety and animal health, without jeopardizing efficient meat production. Further developments must be made in our knowledge of nutrition and the underlying physiology of chickens, as well as the nutritional and physiological roles of macro- and micro-nutrients, since current recommended requirements have been established for maximizing growth and feed utilization from an economic point of view rather than for maintaining overall health of birds and improving meat quality. These advances, together with exploitation of new feeding technologies for a shortened life span, while aiming for animal health, meat safety and better meat quality, will provide a more balanced growth of the broiler industry. A proper utilization of newly developed feed additives and feedstuffs designed to achieve better performance and carcass quality, may further enhance the development of broiler production. The introduction of gene modification technology may also be anticipated to contribute to the improvement of meat production and meat quality, but along with its introduction the merits and/or disadvantages of the technology and consumers' acceptance thereof must be taken into consideration. Future developments in nutritional and genetic modifications should be harmonized with the aim of producing better quality meat for human consumption. From a scientific point of view, if the definition of animal nutrition is the desirable feed intake for both health and production, then nutritional advances focusing on the quality and safety of products in supporting the healthy state of chickens, will regain "animal nutrition" as a sound and advanced science in the new century.


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