It is known that feed costs play a major role in the total production cost in commercial poultry farms. The feed market has become a lot more volatile over the past few years and prices have been rising.
Additionally, there is also strong competition between food (i.e. human sector) and feed industries for using available resources. This situation has increased production cost and added pressure on poultry producers.
Although a combination of corn and soybean meal is usually considered as gold standard (from a nutritional standpoint), wheat and barley are also being used in poultry rations in different parts of the world, including Europe, Canada and Australia. There is currently a tendency in the poultry industry to move toward the use of alternative feed ingredients in the hope that this approach may help to reduce production costs.
Two major determinants when it comes to the use of alternative feed ingredients in poultry rations are cost, and availability. Another important issue in this regard is the lack of well-established information on the nutrient value of these ingredients, which may make diet formulation difficult.
What do you think? Please share your experiences here.
1- Dale, N. 2008. Alternative feed ingredients: an option to combat high feed prices? The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service.
2- Leeson, S. 2004. Future challenges in poultry meat production. Pages 1-7 in Interfacing immunity, gut health and performance. Tucker, L. A. and J. A. Taylor-Pickard., ed. Nottingham University Press, Nottingham, UK.