Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Optimising the use of home grown oilseeds and pulses for poultry - LS3607

The main objective of this project is to provide information to DEFRA and to co-funders about the technical and financial aspects of home gown pulses and oilseeds in feeds for table chickens. Through a series of replicated studies, it will identify the optimal and maximum inclusion rate of these raw materials in poultry feeds, enabling feed compounders and chicken producers to make informed decisions about diet formulation and content. In particular it will enable them to evaluate home grown pulses and oilseeds as alternatives to imported soya as the major protein source in poultry diets. As the optimal inclusion of pulses and oilseeds in poultry rations has not been clearly defined, feed industry formulators have traditionally applied very cautious constraints on the upper inclusion rates allowed, and even when price has favoured their inclusion, pulses and oilseeds may be excluded because of arbitrary limits which nutritionists have programmed into feed formulation software. This means that the estimated 600,000 tonne market for dietary crude protein in the UK poultry industry is largely accounted for not by home grown produce, but by imported soya. The project meets DEFRA's strategy of supporting research to protect and enhance the UK agricultural industry.

The problems which poultry feed formulators experience when attempting to replace soya with rape or rapeseed meal are related to a lack of scientific information on the effects of increasingly replacing soya with these products, on performance and carcass quality, and lack of a robust analysis of economic performance under different market conditions. Research has usually been aimed at determining significant differences between treatments having differing inclusion rates, even in work involving multiple levels of inclusion, whereas a more statistically sensitive approach uses response curve analysis. Thus existing data do not lend themselves to analysis of the marginal cost benefits of increasing ingredient inclusion rate versus small performance depressions, all interpreted in the light of the relative prices of poultry meat, versus the price of feed as affected by ingredient inclusion rate. The work detailed in this proposal would aim to redress this. Information arising from the work may be used to alter inclusion constraints for these ingredients in least cost formulation packages. This
will be done through the creation of a series of reference tables which formulators and poultry integrators can use to enable them to make decisions about the quantity of home-grown proteins to incorporate into commercial poultry rations. Samples of the liver and spleen of selected birds will also be taken and analysed for Co, Cu, Mn and Zn. This would assess the accumulation of these elements as a result of the rapeseed/pulse diets.

01. To identify the best fit model for describing the growth responses of table birds to increasing replacement rates of imported soya with rapeseed meal, when using typical and higher than commercial dietary inclusions rates of iodine.

02. To identify the best fit model for describing the growth responses of table birds to increasing inclusion rates of imported soya with partially dehulled sunflower meal, field peas, and field beans.

03. To test the hypothesis that imported soya can be completely substituted with a combination of home grown oilseeds and pulses calculated to give the best nutrient composition.

04. To produce “look-up tables” for calculating the economic optimum inclusion rates of home grown oilseeds and pulses in feeds for table birds

05. To analyse the liver and spleen for Co,Cu, Mn and Zn from samples of birds on each of the test diets. (1 bird per pen)
Project Documents
• Final Report : Optimising the use of home grown oilseeds and pulses for poultry   (153k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2002

To: 2004

Cost: £251,464
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Livestock Farming              
Peer Review              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study