Feeding takes a lion’s share in the cost of production in poultry farming. It is important poultry farmers feed in the right quantity and quality; this is why poultry farmers must be conversant with the type and nutritional composition of all poultry feed ingredients used in feed formulation. A feed is of good quality when it contains the essential nutrients in the right quality and quantity


Feedstuff materials are the ingredients present in the feed. These materials are intended to provide specific metabolic functions such as energy, repair of worn out tissues, cell growth, good formation of skeletal bodies etc.; there are some components of the feedstuff that are not good for the chickens; some are actually detrimental to their wellbeing, such as anti-nutritional factors.
However, the efficacy of these feed ingredients varies from one to another. For example, the energy present in feedstuff A can be greatly higher than that of feedstuff B. Also in terms of availability of nutrient, feedstuff A can be readily available compare to feedstuff B. These are special considerations to be considered when choosing the choice of feedstuffs to use in formulating poultry feed.
Here are some conventional poultry feed ingredients used in poultry feed formulation and their individual disadvantages. These disadvantages may not be of importance when these feed ingredients are used at a controlled and minimal level. However, these feed ingredients may cause huge economic damage when any of them make up a major part of the feed.
1. Wheat
Wheat is a good source of energy. It contains about 3200KCAL per KG and 14% Crude protein; it is also an excellent source of vitamin E.
However, the disadvantages of using wheat in feed formulation are:
  • It has high non-starch polysaccharides contents resulting in intestinal digesta viscosity problem.
  • It has high fiber content, which makes it difficult to breakdown by chickens.
2. Sorghum
Sorghum another good source of energy in poultry diet. It has close comparable energy to maize with a Crude protein of 10% and Energy of 3300 KCAL/kg.  The main disadvantage of sorghum is that dark sorghum contains tannin, which is an antinutritional factor that lowers protein and carbohydrate digestibility.
3. Millet
This is another good source of energy in the poultry diet; it can replace 50-65% of maize in animal diet depending on the millet type.
However, it has some disadvantages as well; it has high fiber content and contains tannin, which lower protein and carbohydrate digestibility.
4. Rice Bran
Rice bran commonly used as energy diluents in poultry feed; the disadvantages of rice bran in poultry feed are:
  • Rice has high fiber,
  • It contains phytic acid,
  • Rice has a high degree of rancidity.


·    Good quality can be used at a level of 5-10% in broiler diets and up to 40% in layer diet
5. Wheat Bran
Wheat bran is another energy diluents in poultry feed. The only disadvantage of wheat bran is that it has high fiber content. It can be used at a level of less than 5% in broiler diet and up to 15% in layers diet.
6. Blood meal
This feed ingredients is very rich in protein up to about 80% crude protein but also has some disadvantages:
  • The quality of the protein is very poor, it has a total digestible nutrient (TDN) of just 10%; it is extremely deficient in isoleucine.
  • It contains antinutritional factor called haemagglutinin.
  • It is not palatable to animals because of its bitter taste.


 However, it can be added to an animal diet at all level of less than 5%.
7. Hydrolyzed feather meal
This feed ingredient  also has a high protein content of 75 percent crude protein but the disadvantages of using feather meal in poultry diet are:
  • It is deficient in several essential amino acids; it has low availability of amino acids.
  • It is highly fibrous and contains chitin, which inhibits the digestibility of protein.  


It can be added to animal feed at a level, not more than 5%.
8. Cottonseed meal
It is a source of protein in animal feed; it contains about 38% crude protein, the disadvantages of using cottonseed meal in high quantity are:
  • It has high fiber content. 
  • It contains an anti-nutritional factor called Gossypol, which reduces the digestibility of protein.


Low gossypol cottonseed meal can be used up to 10-15% in broiler diet, limit use in layers diet because of effects the internal quality of the egg.
9. Sesame meal
It is a good source of Methionine and can be used up to 15 percent. The only disadvantage of using sesame meal is that it has high phytate content.
10. Groundnut meal
This is a good source of protein and oil; it contains 45% crude protein and ME of 2600 KCAL/kg. This only disadvantage of using groundnut meal is that it contains antinutritional factors called tannin and Aflatoxin. Good quality can be used up to 15% in the poultry diet.
11. Sunflower Meal
It is a good source of Methionine, also enhance the yolk color in layers. The only disadvantage of sunflower meal is its high fiber content.
12. Palm kernel meal
This is another protein source for poultry diet; however, it has some limitations.  
The disadvantages of using palm kernel meal are:
  • It has high fiber.
  • It has poor texture and low palatability. 


Good quality can be used at level 5-10% in broiler diet and up to 30% in layers diet.
Due to the simple nature of chickens’ digestive system, they find it quite difficult to digest feed with high fiber content. Ruminant animals like cattle, goat, and sheep can digest fiber effectively. It is not as if these feed ingredients cannot be used in poultry feed formulation, you can use them but in a very low concentration as indicated above.
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