Disadvantages Of These 12 Feed Ingredients In Chicken Feed

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 chicken feed ingredients used in feed formulation.

Chicken feed is of good quality when it contains the essential nutrients in the right quality and quantity. Poultry feed ingredients are intended to provide specific metabolic functions such as energy, repair of worn-out tissues, good formation of skeletal bodies, etc.; some components of poultry feed contain anti-nutritional factors that are detrimental to their well-being.

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 the availability of nutrients, feedstuff A can be readily available compared 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 poultry feed ingredients used in chicken feed formulation and their 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.

feed ingredients

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 polysaccharide contents resulting in intestinal digesta viscosity problems.
  • It has a high fiber content, which makes it difficult to break down by chickens.

2. Sorghum

Sorghum is another good source of energy in a chicken feed. 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 chicken feeds; it can replace 50 – 65% of maize in chicken feeds depending on the millet type.

However, it has some disadvantages as well; it has high fiber content and contains tannin, which lowers protein and carbohydrate digestibility.

4. Rice Bran

Rice bran is 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 feeds and up to 40% in layer feeds.

5. Wheat Bran

Wheat bran is another energy diluent in poultry feed. The only disadvantage of wheat bran is that it has high fiber content. Wheat bran for chickens can be used at a level of less than 5% in the broiler feeds and up to 15% in the layers feeds.

6. Blood meal

Blood meal is very rich in protein up to about 80% crude protein; it can be added as one of the protein sources for animal feed. The disadvantages of blood meal in chicken feed are:

  • 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 an antinutritional factor called haemagglutinin.
  • It is not palatable to animals because of its bitter taste.

 However, blood meal can be added to animal feeds at all levels of less than 5%.

Related: Advantages And Disadvantages Of Blood Meal In Livestock Feed

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 chicken feed are:

  • It is deficient in several essential amino acids; it has a 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, of not more than 5%.

Related: Feather Meal: Usage And Nutritional Benefits In Animal Feeds

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 a 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 feed because of affects 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. The only disadvantage of using groundnut meal is that it contains antinutritional factors called tannin and Aflatoxin. Good quality can be used up to 15% of the chicken feeds.

11. Sunflower Meal

It is a good source of Methionine and also enhances 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 chicken feeds; 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 levels 5-10% in the broiler feed and up to 30% in the layers feed. 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, goats, 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.

This may be helpful too: Top 8 Feed Formulation Software for Animals

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