WATT Poultry USA - February 2018 - 22
22 ❙ WATTPoultryUSA
production's real feed costs
and cage-free chicken labels
work as differentiators, but
how do these changes affect
US feed production?
tems and production environments to ensure optimal
nutrition is delivered," said Henk Enting, a global poultry technology director with Cargill Animal Nutrition.
What are the true feed costs when adopting a
new formulation program or production system? It
remains to be seen. The consensus is there are too
many variables to pinpoint an exact figure - especially on an international scale - so for the purposes of this article, we'll focus on developments in
the U.S. poultry industry.
The decline of antibiotics
According to the recent Food & Drug
Administration (FDA) summary report,
"Antimicrobials sold or distributed for use in food-producing animals," the domestic sales and distribution of
antimicrobials approved for use in food-producing animals decreased by 10 percent from 2015 through 2016,
with a 14 percent reduction in the sale of antibiotics
used in human medicine.
Of the 43 percent of medically important antimicrobials sold and distributed in the United States, only
6 percent was intended for chickens.
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While U.S. consumers educate themselves about the
poultry industry and become increasingly vocal about
their expectations, restaurant and retail buyers have
been paying attention.
No longer a niche, antibiotic-free poultry production, for example, moved beyond regulatory guidelines
and went "mainstream" in 2015, with large retailers,
restaurant chains and three of the largest U.S. poultry
integrators (Tyson Foods, Pilgrim's Pride and Perdue
Farms) vowing to eliminate or reduce the use of antibiotics in the years ahead.
As poultry producers alter their meat marketing
and production to attract the consumer, feed costs
inevitably go up, and oftentimes the burden of offsetting these losses falls on the nutritionist and feed
According to WATT Global Media's 2017 Poultry
Nutrition & Feeding Survey, 42 percent of respondents
reported that antibiotic-free production was the greatest challenge to their feed formulation program and/or
feed costs; 27 percent cited slow-growing broilers; and
22 percent said cage-free production.
"In general, the new production systems require
that we know more about different breeds, housing sys-