WATT Poultry USA - February 2018 - 43
6 alternative energy ingredients
to feed broilers
Corn and wheat are staple
energy sources worldwide, but
not necessarily always the most
profitable ones as local and
opportunity ingredients can be
used at advantage.
It is widely known that chickens will eat everything, and
this was one of the major reasons why every farm house
had its own chickens to feed kitchen scraps in exchange
for eggs and meat. Modern broilers, however, cannot
grow to their maximal genetic potential, or be as efficient,
with mere kitchen scraps. But alternative feed ingredients
abound, and although they take some knowledge to be
used properly, they can lower feed costs for an industry that
measures profitability in cents instead of dollars per head.
Corn and wheat are the two major sources of energy
for broilers, worldwide. Corn is as "inert" an ingredient as
possible to exist, with its only problem being the production of soft and yellowish carcass fat, which is not always
a problem, and can even be a desirable trait for some
markets. On the other hand, wheat does not have this
problem, but it contains less energy and a good measure
of undesirable non-starch polysaccharides that are best
addressed by adding enzymes that further increase cost.
Thus, even staple energy sources are not without their
problems, but we have learned to live with them.
Quite often, alternative energy sources become
available, either through commerce or as an opportunity.
Agro-industrial industries abound, human food industries produce subpar (for humans) batches of otherwise
superb ingredients and oversupply often causes a plethora of ingredients to be disposed of at bargain prices.
February 2018 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com
Cassava is a starch-rich ingredient that is underutilized
in commercial animal feeds. Pixbox77 | Dreamstime
In order to take advantages of such opportunities, either
occasionally or on a permanent basis, two basic conditions must be observed. The first is a relationship of trust
with your supplier. This is true for all business transactions, but when it comes to alternative ingredients, it
is not recommended to buy from anyone but the most
reputable sources. Second is the employment of a nutritionist with considerable experience in using alternative
ingredients. The advice offered freely by the supplier is
often inadequate (think about the relationship you have
with your doctor versus your pharmacist, and in this
case it is not about a simple headache but for a serious
issue). In other words, to best use alternative ingredients,
one must address this issue, yes, as an opportunity, but
also as a challenge. True savings come at a cost, and it is
the balance that determines profitability.
Using alternative energy ingredients
To further this discussion, I am presenting six alternative energy sources that I have found of considerable
value through experience with my own customers,
worldwide. Not all are possible to be used at each farm,
and indeed, some are to be excluded when others are
available. But the wide coverage of possible ingredients
serves as an idea of what can be found in the market.
It should be finally noted that quite often absolute