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In Translational animal science

Designing balanced rations for broilers depends on precise knowledge of nitrogen-corrected apparent metabolizable energy (AMEn) and the chemical composition of the feedstuffs. The equations that include the measurements of the chemical composition of the feedstuff can be used in the prediction of AMEn. In the literature, there are studies that obtained prediction equations through multiple regression, meta-analysis, and neural networks. However, other statistical methodologies with promising potential can be used to obtain better predictions of energy values. The objective of the present study was to propose and evaluate the use of Bayesian networks (BN) to the prediction of the AMEn values of energy and protein feedstuffs of vegetable origin used in the formulation of broiler rations. In addition, verify that the predictions of energy values using this methodology are the most accurate and, consequently, are recommended to Animal Science professionals area for the preparation of balanced feeds. BN are models that consist of graphical and probabilistic representations of conditional and joint distributions of the random variables. BN uses machine learning algorithms, being a methodology of artificial intelligence. The bnlearn package in R software was used to predict AMEn from the following covariates: crude protein, crude fiber, ethereal extract, mineral matter, as well as food category, i.e., energy (corn, corn by-products, and others) or protein (soybean, soy by-products, and others) and the type of animal (chick or cockerel). The data come from 568 feeding experiments carried out in Brazil. Additional data from metabolic experiments were obtained from the Federal University of Lavras (UFLA) - Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The model with the highest accuracy (mean squared error = 66529.8 and multiple coefficients of determination = 0.87) was fitted with the max-min hill climbing algorithm (MMHC) using 80% and 20% of the data for training and test sets, respectively. The accuracy of the models was evaluated based on their values of mean squared error, mean absolute deviation, and mean absolute percentage error. The equations proposed by a new methodology in avian nutrition can be used by the broiler industry in the determination of rations.

Alvarenga Tatiane C, Lima Renato R, Bueno Filho Júlio S S, Simão Sérgio D, Mariano Flávia C Q, Alvarenga Renata R, Rodrigues Paulo B


graph models, max-min hill-climbing algorithm, metabolic energy, probability distributions