Feeding regulations regarding poultry litter

14-09-2007 | | |

There has been some confusion in the US concerning the use of poultry litter as cattle feed. Is it allowed, or has the ban been put in place?

Recycled poultry litter, particularly broiler litter, has been used as an ingredient in cattle rations. However, after the discovery of the BSE, the FDA proposed to ban feeding litter to cattle in January, 2004.
A legal feed ingredient
Many producers still believe that feeding poultry litter is banned. This, however, is not the case. The FDA never followed through with the proposed ban and poultry litter is currently a legal feed ingredient, says Dr Matt Poore, extension ruminant specialist and Dr Mark Alley, veterinarian with the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine.
Winter feed programme
New measures are been taken to reduce BSE in cattle in the US, but it very unlikely that a ban on feeding poultry litter will be implemented in the near future. So, cattle producers that have fed poultry litter to cattle can continue to incorporate it into their winter feed plan. It has also been encouraged that cattle producers seeking an emergency feed source, particularly in a drought situation, to consider it for their winter feeding programmes this year.
Good alternative
It would not be recommended in most situations for a cattle producer to invest additional capital in developing a long-term program for processing and feeding poultry litter. However, where poultry litter is plentiful, feeding litter may be a very good alternative feed source.

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