Abstract

The potential of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy for the determination of the chemical composition of poultry excreta was investigated, within the framework of studies on heritability of digestive efficiency in broilers. Samples in the calibration and validation databases (DB1 and DB2) corresponded to animals fed with a similar wheat-based diet. A second validation study was performed on excreta samples from animals fed more variable diets, including peas and maize (DB3). Excreta samples were freeze-dried and ground. Near infrared reflectance spectra were taken on a monochromator spectrometer between 400nm and 2500nm. Samples were analysed for mineral matter (MM), gross energy (GE), starch, crude fat (CFAT), total nitrogen (NTOT), uric acid nitrogen (NUA) and protein nitrogen estimated directly (PNTERP) or by difference between NTOT and NUA (PNUA). Depending on the parameters studied, 250 to 700 samples were analysed by reference methods. The standard error of cross-validation (SECV) and R2 of calibrations were: 0.60% and 0.96 for MM, 166 kJ kg−1 and 0.99 for GE, 0.59% and 1.00 for starch, 0.44% and 0.99 for CFAT, 0.25% and 0.89 for NTOT and 0.22% and 0.97 for NUA, respectively. Calibration for PNTERP (SECV=0.07%; R2=0.98) was much more precise than PNUA (SECV=0.21%, R2=0.85). Validation carried out on databases DB2 and DB3 resulted in standard errors of prediction (on DB2) and extrapolation (on DB3) generally higher than SECV, while remaining relatively precise with prediction r2 values from 0.83 to 0.99 and extrapolation r2 from 0.86 to 0.98, with the exception of PNUA for which r2 was 0.22 and 0.64, respectively. For some parameters, the lower validation performance was due to biases, particularly in the case CFAT and NUA for prediction and MM, GE and NUA for extrapolation. Global calibrations made with DB1+DB2+DB3 were more precise (GE, NTOT) or equally precise (all other parameters) than with DB1 alone. These results confirmed the potential precision of calibrations for the major organic compounds in poultry excreta and suggested that their use could be extended to excreta issued from a wider range of diets without losing precision.

© 2010 IM Publications LLP

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