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Feeding of livestock accounts for approximately 70% of the total cost of production and energy is the most expensive nutrient, so anything that can reduce this cost will be attractive to the feed producer, the farmer and the consumer

GuanAMINO is converted to creatine after consumption. (Image source: Adobe Stock)GuanAMINO is converted to creatine after consumption. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Energy is supplied in feeds for terrestrial animals, mainly as carbohydrates (cereals and byproducts) and oils (oilseeds such as full fat soya and pure oils and fats). However, the efficiency of utilisation of these energy sources depends on other components being available as well, and one of these components is creatine.

Creatine performs essential steps in the transformation of energy — supplying nutrients such as carbohydrates into the form used by growing cells – ATP. If there is a shortage of creatine, the efficiency of utilisation of energy supplying nutrients is reduced, and animal performance suffers; slower, less efficient growth, higher Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) and potentially more nutrient loss through excretion (meaning more adverse impact on the environment).

Animals can produce some of their creatine requirement themselves, but need supplementation in their diet. Creatine is only found in animal byproduct raw materials. In some countries where such raw materials are not allowed in feeds, this source is therefore unavailable. Even in countries where such raw materials are allowed, the creatine content is extremely variable in all animal byproducts, so cannot be relied upon as a creatine source.

Unfortunately, we cannot simply add creatine to the feed, it is not heat-stable, and will be broken down in the feed manufacturing process.

GuanAMINO from Evonik offers a solution. It is composed of guanidinoacetic acid, the immediate precursor to creatine, and is efficiently converted to creatine after consumption. It is completely heat stable, which means it can be added to feed with no concerns.

Addition of GuanAMINO into diets for poultry has been shown to improve growth rate, increase muscle deposition (as measured by breast meat yield) and improve efficiency, shown as lower FCR.

Furthermore, as GuanAMINO improves energy utilisation, it can effectively replace some of the energy in the diet. Numerous trials have concluded that as little as 600 g/ tonne of GuanAMINO can replace 50 kcal of AME in poultry feeds. This will help to reduce feed cost.

The use of GuanAMINO is currently being investigated in breeder feeds and evidence is accumulating, that hatchability and the number of day-old chicks per bird is increased, as the hatching bird is endowed with enough energy to complete the arduous process of hatching. In addition, the newly hatched chick also contains reserves of creatine, meaning it starts the growing process in a much better manner. Results can be seen all the way through to slaughter or when the pullet reaches the 18-week mark to start lay.