Poultry Nutrition - Animal feed and poultry
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poultry feed

Poultry Nutrition

Poultry Nutrition

We all know the basic components of poultry nutrition: water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. If a diet has these elements in the proper proportions and balanced will sustain poultry’s normal health, growth, production.
With the exception of water, these nutrients are provided by the ingredients that make up the diet. Ingredients are classified as: 

  • Cereals : Cereals, or grains, are members of the grass family (Poaceae) cultivated primarily for their starchy dry fruits


  •  Animal Proteins

Animal Proteins

  • Vegetables Proteins

Vegetables Proteins

  •  Vegetable Fats
  •  Animal Fats
  •  Micro Minerals
  •  Macro Minerals
  •  Vitamin Premixes



Measure as crude protein, which is simply nitrogen x 6.25. Component amino acids are the important part of protein. There are 10 amino acids that are essential to the bird:

  •  MethionineMethionine
  • Lysine
  • Tryptophan
  •  Threonine




Protein and amino acids are supplied by ingredients such as:

  •  Soybean mealSoybean meal
  •  Canola mealCanola meal
  • Cottonseed mealCottonseed meal


All contain toxins that must be destroyed by heat treatment. Other protein sources are from animals, and are generally of better amino acid content, but are expensive:

  • Meat meal
  •  Poultry by-product meal
  •  Fish meal




    The most expensive nutrient in a diet, but is difficult to measure and there is no guarantee with the feed.

Energy is important because it governs feed intake.

  • high energy —> low feed intake
  •  low energy —> high feed intake

Sources of energy – everything in the diet other than minerals.

Units – Calorie, or Kilocalorie

Metabolizable energy = Energy intake as feed minus energy appearing in urine and feces. Therefore can only measure with a chicken trial, therefore expensive ($1,000/assay).


  •  CornCorn & Soybean meal
  •  Soybean meal
  •  Fat
  •  Wheat
  •  Meat meal
  •  Barley

Fiber largely indigestible – cecal microbes?

  •  Influences manure consistency.
  •  Problem with some ingredients such as wheat, barley – enzymes.





All supplied as synthetics.vitamins

  •  Fat soluble – A, D3, E, K.
  • Water soluble – B vitamins eg. Riboflavin, biotin

Cost about $2-5/ tonne Exception is choline, which is added separately. Generous safety factor 2-10x requirement. Storage loss -> time, temperature, humidity





  •  Macro –> Calcium, Phosphorus
  • Micro –> Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Iron, Iodine, Selenium
  •  Salt –> Sodium, Chloride







Not really an essential nutrient, other than linoleic acid (fatty acid).

  • Animal fats – hard, inexpensive. Problems with digestion by young birds.
  •  Vegetable oils – liquid, expensive

Pellet quality, dustiness of feed

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