Maize, also known as corn (Zea mays L), has been recognised worldwide as a major energy feed ingredient in the diets of poultry. Its major nutritional limitation has been the low protein content and poor protein quality, which necessitates the use of expensive high‐protein supplements or synthetic amino acids such as lysine in diets containing large proportion of maize. Therefore, extensive research has been conducted by maize breeders on the world maize germplasms collection with the aim of improving its nutritive value, particularly protein quality for monogastric animals. This chapter assesses the genetic upgrading of the nutritional quality of maize protein that culminated in the development of a new class of maize known as “Quality Protein Maize (QPM)”. Various studies on the nutritionally improved maize for poultry as well as future challenges confronting maize utilisation in poultry production are highlighted.
Part of the book: Poultry Science
Poultry production involving farmed avian species (chickens, turkeys and ducks) is globally recognised as a vital aspect of animal agriculture. It contributes greatly to supply of high-quality protein (meat and egg) for humans. The intensification and commercialization of the poultry sector is accelerated and continues to be so as a result of research discoveries in the field of breeding, nutrition, housing management and disease control. However, the explosion in poultry nutrition research, in particular, has significant impact on the success of the poultry sector. The progress in nutritional research is made possible by several advanced techniques reported by researchers in both academia and industry. Nutritional research is mainly geared towards improving knowledge on ingredients good for the growth and health of the bird and of nutritional requirements for various types and classes of birds, as well as the ability to match nutritional requirements of any type or class of bird for variable conditions including that of the environment. This chapter discusses the importance and growth of the poultry sector. Also, nutritional research efforts over the years, achievements, some notable advance research techniques employed, and challenges confronting nutritional research in the 21st Century have been highlighted.
Part of the book: Advances in Poultry Nutrition Research