The poultry industry is undergoing changes based on consumers demand for transparency. The most common trends, highlighted here. One of the trends mentioned, an all vegetarian diet claim, appeals to the consumer’s preference; however, poultry are omnivorous in the wild. In other words, with a proper feeding management, poultry’s nutritional needs can be met with either animal or vegetable protein sources or a combination of both. When combined with the economics of feeding millions of birds, a more flexitarian approach can be useful. So now to the question, should poultry be fed an all vegetarian diet or not?

There are several benefits to using animal protein sources – as described here. These include a complete protein and fat source, source of limiting amino acids, such as lysine and methionine, and repurposing of animal by-products. However, a by-product is a high moisture product and can be difficult to process into a useable ingredient. Typically, there is a very costly drying step involved which may damage nutrient content.

In contrast, plant sourced meals can be used in poultry diets to help reduce the overall diet cost and provide a quality source of nutrients. Plant sourced protein meals are dry ingredients which help to concentrate the nutrients they supply in the diet when compared to high-moisture animal proteins. However, plant sourced proteins need to be processed to be a useable feeding ingredient. To avoid issues with ingredient quality, such as batch-to-batch variation and nutrient damage related to over- and under-processing, special attention should be payed to how these ingredients are processed. Both animal and plant sourced proteins can be improved by using an easy-to-operate and controllable process like high-shear dry extrusion. As with any means of ingredient processing, the ability to control and optimize the process is essential to creating high-quality nutritional ingredients for animal diets.

At Insta-Pro® International, the high-shear dry extrusion and mechanical oil pressing technologies have been optimized for the animal’s nutritional needs throughout all stages of production. With 40+ years of animal research, extruded ingredients provide highly digestible protein and energy for many species. Speak with an Insta-Pro® representative today to learn how mechanical processing of plant sourced and animal proteins can produce high-quality feed ingredients suitable for both all vegetarian and flexitarian animal feeding programs.

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