02 9929 4077

Level 7, 122 Walker Street
PO Box 579, North Sydney NSW 2059




02 9929 4077

02 9925 0627

ABN 24 077 883 026

Evaluation of Sodium Metabisulphite in Sorghum-based Meat Chicken Diets

This project was conducted to investigate whether sodium metabisulphite addition to sorghum-based chicken diets advantages chicken performance.

Grain sorghum is an important feedstuff for chicken meat production in Australia; however, there is a consensus that the performance of chickens offered sorghum-based diets is inferior to their counterparts on wheat. Wheat-based chicken diets invariably contain non-starch polysaccharide-degrading enzymes, which is advantageous, but this is not equally the case with sorghum as it is a ‘non-viscous’ grain. Nevertheless, the possibility remains that alternative feed additives may advantage meat chickens offered sorghum-based diets. 

Several reducing agents, including sodium bisulphite/sodium metabisulphite, have been shown to enhance in vitro pepsin digestibility of sorghum on repeated occasions. Consequently, the inclusion of sodium metabisulphite in sorghum–based chicken diets may have the potential to enhance chicken performance; if so, this would clearly benefit the chicken meat industry.

A free copy can be downloaded from the webpage indicated in the title above.


National Environmental Management System for the Meat Chicken Industry - Version 2

Training materials, workbooks and a powerpoint have also been produced to support training against the new manual and these are available to industry on application to ACMF.

The first version of the National Environmental Management System for the Meat Chicken Industry (Meat Chicken EMS), published in 2003, was developed to enable a co-ordinated approach to environmental standards within the industry. This was achieved by delivering the program to growers through a successful series of workshops at which growers produced their own Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for their farm, while being educated about the best recommended environmental practices for different aspects of their production system. This second version of the Meat Chicken EMS builds upon the earlier work, and addresses new issues that the industry faces, including improving energy and water use efficiency and providing recommendations for free range production systems. Other potential environmental issues identified in the original EMS have been updated to reflect new research and industry practices.

Environmental management plans are now often required for existing and new developments by regulatory bodies.

In reviewing and updating the Meat Chicken EMS, it is clear that to date there has been very little research into benchmarking energy and water consumption on meat chicken farms. This is the first step in improving efficiency in this area. The report referred to below addresses one of these deficiencies.

NB This publication is available via free electronic download only, i.e. no hard copies available for purchase.


Quantifying On-Farm Energy Usage in the Australian Meat Chicken Industry -

Energy is a key input to chicken meat production that is under increasing price pressure. In order to improve the efficiency with which energy is used on chicken farms, growers require data to benchmark performance of on-farm energy use. This will put them in a better position to determine the practicality and cost effectiveness of looking at alternative energy systems, shedding management and design. This project therefore sought to generate data on annual on-farm energy usage at several typical meat chicken farms in south eastern Queensland and the relative contributions that various on-farm components have on annual energy usage. Data from this project can be used by industry to identify opportunities to improve on-farm energy efficiency.

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