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Economics of Feed Formulation for Broilers

Poultry nutritionist face a variety of different challenges when calculating the best formulation for feed. In the February 2015 issue of WATT Poultry USA, Gary Thorton discusses a recent presentation by Dr. Steve Bolden at the Arkansas Nutrition Conference that explores the challenges poultry nutritionists have in formulating broiler feed for yield and economics.

The article and presentation were directed towards nutritionists, however, I believe the ingredients purchasing personnel and the ingredient supplier should understand feed formulation economics as they relate to the specific objective of the integrator/business.

As presented in the article; low, medium, high or extra high density nutrients program can be matched with the profitability of the business as we understand their objectives.  Dr. Bolden’s tables within the article reveal three main points to consider when deciding which diet will fit your objective:

1- Low density (lowest cost diet) is the best option if the chicken raised for the live bird market (highest Net $ calculation, last column).

2- High density diet is most economical when growing chicken for the processed birds market. (ExPress® soybean meal works well here).

3- Extra high density diet is the most economical for growing chickens for the boneless breast processed bird market (ExPress® soybean meal works well here).

As concluded above, it is important to understand the end-use of the animal when calculating feed density. This article reminded me of a recent visit I took with a prospective ExPress® soybean meal customer to a broiler facility. As we discussed the high quality and uniqueness of ExPress® soybean meal to the nutritionist and commodity purchasing person, they mentioned they are familiar with the facts and they would not hesitate to use ExPress® soybean meal “when the price is right”.

Their bottom line is how cheap can they buy the ingredients. They are looking at the live bird market economics, but neglecting the fact that their main business is in the further processed meat.

Properly processed ExPress®soybean meal has higher metabolized energy, amino acid digestibility and higher dry matter as compared to solvent extracted soybean meal (click here). ExPress® soybean meal fits well with a formulation program based on medium or high density nutrients.

So, the bottom line is that we along with the integrator’s nutritionist and ingredient purchasing personnel need to understand the marketing objective of the integrator so we can realize the value of a high quality and high density ingredient to match his needs.  Furthermore, regardless of the nutrient density formulation, If the integrator’s objective is to produce organic or chemical free chicken, then again, the candidate will be the ExPress® soybean meal based diet.

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