ALTERNATIVE FEED RESOURCES: Maize and soybean meal are conventional feedstuffs used in poultry diet. However, the various alternative feed resources available in India, which can be used in place of maize and soybean meal, depending upon the availability in the local market, their quality, and cost.
- Cereals: The alternative cereals of maize, which can be used partly to replace maize depending upon availability, are broken/undersized wheat, broken rice, paddy,
bajra, jowar(white, brown, yellow), oat, barley, ragi, foxtail millet, kodo, etc.
- Cereal by-product: The different cereal by-products, which can be used, are rice
kani(broken rice), rice polish, rice bran, rice bran (de-oiled), wheat bran (use may be restricted in poultry diet), hominy feed, maize gluten meal, maize germ meal, maize germ cake, maize grit, rice gluten, dried distillerygrains with solubles (DDGS),etc.
- Oilseed by-products and meals: Soybean meal is the conventional proteinic supplement in poultry diet. However, different proteinic by-products that can be used replacing soybean meal are groundnut oil meal, mustard/rapeseed meal, sesame oil meal, sunflower oil meal, safflower oil meal, neem seed meal, Karanja cake, Kusum cake, linseed oil cake, cotton seed cake, niger cake, coconut meal, mahua cake, palm
kernalcake, guar meal (raw), high protein roasted guar korma, peas, different pulse losses, etc.
- Animal protein sources: Different protein sources of animal origin can be component of poultry feed. The meals/products that can be used to replace soybean meal are fish meal, meat meal, meat cum bone meal,
tarulayeast, blood meal, poultry by-product meal, hydrolyzed feather meal, silkworm pupae meal, dry skim meal, shrimp meal, etc.
- Leaf meals: Different leaf meals can also be used depending upon the type of diet and need. The various leaf meals that are added in poultry diet are alfalfa meal, berseem meal, subabul leaf meal, groundnut haulm meal, etc
- Miscellaneous: The other items, which can be used in poultry diet, are molasses, cassava meal, animal fat (tallow, lard), fish oil, vegetable oil, poultry droppings, coffee waste, etc
|Maize||Can be added at any level to ||72|
|Broken wheat||New wheat is to be restricted, |
|Broken rice||Must be free from moulds||40|
|Paddy||Must be crushed||30|
|Bajra (Pearl millet)||Its use should be restricted in summer||50|
|Jowar (white)||Should be coarsely ground, Kharif |
jowar quality may not always be good
|Jowar (brown)||Should be coarsely ground||30|
|Jowar, (red)||Should be coarsely ground||15|
|Ragi (finger millet)||It is generally costlier and used in |
baby food being a rich source of calcium
|Foxtail millet||May not always be available at|
|Barley||Use is limited, may be used in l|
ow fiber-high energy die
Phase feeding layer programs are based on these types of principles
- Protein: Need 18-19 grams of protein/bird/ day for large egg production. Decreasing protein level by too much will decrease egg numbers as well. Supplementing with artificial amino acids allows room to lower protein and improve amino acid balance closer to the laying hens’ nutritional requirements.
- Amino Acids: Lowering the methionine level and Total Sulfur Amino Acids (TSAA) level in the diet will aid in decreasing egg size.
- Energy: Birds eat for energy so ensure feed/ energy intake meets the need of 280-310 kcal/ bird/day for large egg production. Maintaining caloric intake at levels needed for egg production and body maintenance with little excess will ensure the bird doesn’t over consume energy and put on excessive weight. Birds on the floor require 5-10% more energy depending on pen temperature and flock activity level. Heat stress will decrease feed and energy intake along with egg size and egg numbers.
- Oils/Fats: Decreasing unsaturated fatty acids (like linoleic acid) and total oil/fat levels in the diet will affect yolk size and therefore egg size. Excess oils/fats like linoleic acid are deposited in the yolk, increasing yolk size and egg weight. Most vegetable oils (soybean, canola) are higher in unsaturated fatty acids than fats from animal sources. Adjusting ration levels is difficult for many egg producers that produce eggs from diets with no animal bi-products. A saturated fatty acid like palmitic acid does not have the same effect on egg parameters. Digestion of oils/fats produces less body heat so a higher percentage of energy from oils/ fats should be considered in warmer weather.
- Decrease daily feed intake: Adjust the ration, the open environment, and management practices.
- Increase egg production: Feed mainly used for egg production and body maintenance. Birds that come into production early tend to lay more eggs but of a smaller size.
- Minerals: Four (4) grams of calcium/bird/day are needed for large egg production. As the egg size increases the amount of eggshell laid down on the egg does not necessarily increase. Like a balloon, as the egg size gets bigger the eggshell gets thinner. With a Phase Feeding Program ration calcium levels should increase as the layer ages while phosphorus levels are decreased.
Feed formulations should be related to feeding consumption levels and the stage of the production cycle. When a pullet flock starts egg production the feed consumption/bird/day is around 75-80 g/bird. The first few eggs are usually smaller in size so nutrient requirements aren’t as high. The feed consumption target is to get the daily feed consumption to a level that supports large egg production (56-63 g/ egg weight) usually at about 100-105 g/bird/day and before 30 weeks of age. The challenge is to get the hens eating at the proper level and achieving the large egg size, then trying to maintain these levels of feed consumption and egg size throughout the lay cycle. Checking bird body weight every six weeks allows the egg producers to know if the ration is well balanced and meeting the body maintenance and egg production requirements. Too much increase in body size may be pointing to an imbalanced ration with excess nutrients being consumed.
The phases feeding program for layers should be based on egg size or egg mass not percent production. Minerals in the layer diet like calcium and phosphorus must be adjusted as the laying hen ages, to compensate for the decreases in calcium utilization in aging birds especially after 40 weeks of age. As the egg size reaches or significantly exceeds the target weight switch to rations with lower oils, methionine/TSAA and phosphorus, and increased calcium. When aging layers continue to produce eggs that are at the target egg weight and production level, the ration only needs adjustments in the calcium and phosphorus levels; so egg shell quality can be maintained. With proper monitoring of flock performance and egg product condition, the egg producer has the tools to efficiently produce the egg product the consumer wants with optimum returns. It’s just common sense that less feed and more eggs at a lower cost should stimulate egg producers to improve their husbandry and nutritional skills to benefit from the ever improving layer hen available today.
Recommended rations (per quintal of feed) for various age groups of layers
Composition Unit Chick mash
(0-8 weeks of age) Grower mash
(8-20 weeks of age) Layer mash
|Phase I||Phase II|
|(20-45 weeks)||(45-80 weeks)|
Yellow Maize kg. 29.0 26.0 35.0 40.0
Rice Polish kg. 33.7 43.8 32.1 31.1
Wheat Bran kg. – 2.0
Groundnut cake (expeller pressed) kg. 22.0 13.0 17.0 12.5
Fish Meal kg. 10.0 7.0 6.0 6.0
Lucerne Meal kg. 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0
DL-Methionine gm. 4.0 -15
Molasses kg. – 3.0
Mineral Mixture kg. 2.0 2.0 3.0 3.0
Vitamin A+B2+D3 supplement gm. 20 20 30 30
Vitamin B12 supplement gm. 20 20 20 20
Vitamin K mg. 100 100 100 100
Vitamin E mg. 200 200 200 200
Potassium lodide mg. 20 20 20 20
Manganese Sulphate m. 5 3 3 3
Zinc Carbonate gm. 8 5 3 3
Shell Grit kg. 3.8 4.3
Antibiotic feed Supplement gm. 50 50 50 50
Zinc Bacitracin gm 100,100
Coccidiostat gm 50,32
There is a need to improve the scientific knowledge for utilizing low cost locally available agro-industrial by-products in poultry feed in order to reduce the feed cost. As feed constitutes 60-70 % of the total cost of production, any attempt to reduce the feed cost may lead to a significant reduction in the total cost of production.