16 commentsupdate:Dec 17, 2008

Feed processing in the poultry industry

It is known that feed processing techniques alter molecular structure of nutrients in feed ingredients (mainly through physical or heat-based approaches). These changes can have significant effects on nutrient utilisation by the animals, which may consequently improve production performance.

I had the opportunity to attend the 29th Western Nutrition Conference, which was held 23-24 September, 2008, in Edmonton, Canada. Although the majority of attendees were from Canada, we had a very diverse group of speakers from different parts of the world. The meeting was programmed in a way to have separate sessions for both ruminant and monogastric nutrition. I did not have any chance to attend ruminant talks, but I found the monogastric sessions very interesting. In this blog, I'd like to briefly talk about a presentation by Dr Svihus of Agricultural University of Norway. The title of his talk was "The role of feed processing in nutrient utilisation".

It is known that feed processing techniques alter molecular structure of nutrients in feed ingredients (mainly through physical or heat-based approaches). These changes can have significant effects on nutrient utilisation by the animals, which may consequently improve production performance. There has always been a lot of discussion on the optimal level of processing conditions (e.g. time, temperature, pressure), which may affect nutritive value of the processed product. Economical benefits of processing techniques are dependent on animal species as well. Pigs and chickens may not respond in the same way to a specific type of processing technique.

We all know that there are costs associated with feed processing (e.g. pelleting) but my question is: Does this cost always get covered at the end? How does feed processing help us today as feed prices are skyrocketing? Does improvement in digestibility of nutrients/performance of animals offset the associated costs of processing?

I hope that colleagues from the feed industry share their opinions/experiences here.


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    professor dihya alhassani, Iraq

    My opinion is yes, that processed feed is more beneficial & economic especially for poultry than non-processed, so it should offset the extra costs expended on processing. furthermore countries that have a developed poultry industry mostly , they use a precessed feed.

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    Jane Khongoni, Malawi

    Yes processed feed is good but it more expensive in other parts of the world like Malawi so if you are raising poultry for commercial purposes the profit margin is very very small.

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    Idea is very good.In poultry 20/25% of nutrient is going waste(Undigested).If processed feed improves digestibility of nutrients and if it can be co-related with the economic advantage i.e.
    improvement in the F C R with improve performance of the birds, additional cost should not be a problem.

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    KrishnaRao Veeramachaneni

    Yes Mojtaba Yegani, you are right..nutrient is going waste.but processing charges skyrocketing..real time example in India i found personally.Suguna Polutries got king few days back..now it servant..sorry for this..this atmosphere is due to maintanance problems.but not others..if ur top & middle level management is good things going fine..else things going wrong way..

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    Mark Rottmann - GE Water & Process Technologies

    There are new techniques which are allowing for minimized temperature to be used in processing - per Hirpan's note, YES the economic advantage is clear - gentle processing of fish proteins, makes them more digestible - 8-18% Gain/Feed conversion improvements - GE is working with feed mfg's to implement technology, but ONLY when feed users "Pull Demand" will the products be widely available - the history of "false claims" will always make growers skeptical, but that should not stop them from dilegent investigation. mark.rottmann@ge.com +1 (513) 300-0007

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    shaikh Yunus

    Yes by processing the feed it becomes easy to digest completely by the birds and due to the complete digestion weight gain is improved with the low feed input. The processing cost increased in processing is recovered in the form of weight gain and loss in waistage in mash feed is minimised due to processing of feed in palet form.

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    obenobe major, Nigeria

    I would like to know if the sounds eminenting from feed production plant,to a close by poultry, has anything side effect with the growth of broiler birds.

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    Dr.Nanasaheb Durape

    Yes, its very true that the processing help to enhance the nutritive value of the feed. The ingredients which got the heat treatment during the pelletization is helpful in sterilizing the feed. Hence minimizes the chances of feed borne infection. Apart as somebody already mentioned wastage is very less and bird has to eat all essential nutrients in single pellet however incase of mash feed selective feeding is there and birds will pick the grains part only and it is very true that once enery requirement will be fulfilled bird will not eat more and the powder portion which is rich in vitamins and other essential nutrients will be left as it is
    Most important heat treatment help to break the complex bonds hence partially feed is digested during this treatment itself and is easily digested by the bird. Hence bird can save the energy which will be converted into body weight gain

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    Dr.S.S.Chabbra (drsuhendar39@yahoo.com ) INDIA

    As a nutritionist I fully agree for the feed processing improvement and the livestock production benifits.The initial cost of equipments, routine maintenance,pellet die replacement, power(steam/Electricity)costs ,need serious attention of all concerned as to how these loads on manufacturing can be reduced to get maximum economical production.

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    S.P.Gunaratne, Sri Lanka

    Processed feed has many advantages and they were pointed out in previuos comments. One other important point is that to exploit the genetic potential of modern hy-bred animals, good quality feed like process feed is required.

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    Tuvyah Gross

    We've run comparison trials of mash vs. pelleted feed. Mash usually wins. We find that Cobb birds develop a better gut to utilize the feed more efficiently towards the end of the growth period - and they eat the whole mash. In addition everyone ignores the problem of protein (especially vitamin and enzyme) chain destruction by the heat of pelleting.

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    S.T.Selvan, India

    The point about processed feed has been in discussion for ages and has been proved to be better in all ways. With regards to the pellet and mash feed, Pellet feed has its own advantages and the fact has been proved in current broiler production and the final result in terms of profit has also been proven beyond doubt

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    the sole advantage of pellet on mash are the increase feed intake and the decrease feed wastage

    If, by the managment on the farm, we improve the daily feed intake (for exemple by giving a 2 hours per day without feed, no feed left) and we decrease feed wastage by the use of a good equipments; we can reduce the difference between pellet and mash

    This differences can also be reduced in the feedmill, by adding liquids (oils, molasses,...) to the feed to reduce the free fines in the mash and by going à coarse grinding

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    Dr.Iftikhar Ahmad Mashhadi

    Feed processing in poultry industry posesses numerous plus points regarding more digestibility of nutrients regarding low microbial count, starch digestibility uniformity of micro ingredient within a pellet or crumb and less time to consume feed by the birds and chance of left over fines. But the negative impact is the higher prices of power either in the form of electyricity or LPG and gas for boiler operation.When we compare the prices of pellet versus mash feed ,there is too low difference but processing cost is too much and feed manufacturer has to suffer a huge loss.
    In short we have to revise and promote awareness in farmer to mash feed at low cost but keeping in view the ingredient threstening microbilal load.

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    my view heat-based feed also get good quality and microbial count also low.mainly clostidum also nagative.so processing cost also high but in future all feed also like only crouble feed.birds getting good feed intake and no wastage,microbial count also less.so intestin like no problem becase colostridum also negative so heat means only 80c so no problem.mainly in future cost reduction for prepation of feed only crouble feed. mash feed low quality and wastage also high.

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    Richard L. Brummel

    The best feed formula for poultry is soybeans sprouted with whey. (Grandpa's feed formula for the 1930's). The minerals in the whey help the bird get the bones structure right, without the bones right you can't hang a lot of meat on the animal. This principle applies to all animals including pork or beef. (Any animal you consider breeding stock must have proper bone structure but feed makes the breed over the long run.) You can breakdown the enzyme inhibitors in the grain with heat also but that requires more energy input. Sprouting the grain requires more time but not more energy. Chickens need a high protein wet feed that mimics a grasshopper. In the wild the grasshopper is their T-bone steak. The shorter the alimentary canal the more they need the higher protein ffed that is devoid of enzyme inhibitors. If you heat the sprouted grain to minimize bacterias you destroy the active enzymes in the sprouted grain that maximizes the feed value. Supplying some garlic and orange peels into the sprouted mash may activate the immune system properly so the sprouted grain mash does not have to be heated. I will be trying to get these feed experiments conducted at the University of Illinois once I can get the proper funding from any source available.

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