Alternative Feed Ingredients for Broiler Diets

av3Dr. Venkatesh
Senior Technical Service Manager Nutrition

Poultry Industry is facing with a new tsunami of high feed prices mainly due to the increased soybean meal price in last one month period. Customers are looking for alternative ingredients options to reduce the feed cost, but unfortunately most of the other protein source price also got increased due to the price increase of soya. To manage this situation we don’t have choices other than using alternative ingredients, but the challenge will be sourcing of quality ingredients at acceptable price.

AVIAGEN INDIA LOGOIn India we have a range of alternative ingredients and their feeding value has been well researched here locally. The commercial use of these ingredients, however, has been limited due to constraints imposed by nutritional, technical and socio-economic factors. But, knowing the limitations of different alternative ingredients and also its inclusion level in feed, poultry producers are left with only few options to try.

The below table (Table 1) gives an overview on the suggested maximum inclusion level of various alternative ingredients in broiler diet when common ingredients become scarce or during volatile market situation or when there is increased pressure to reduce feed cost

Table 1: Recommended maximum inclusion levels of alternative ingredients in broiler diet


The above recommendation is based on Aviagen internal references, although there is an extensive list of raw materials of plant or animal origin that can be used in broiler feed, we suggest to go with your own practical experiences using those alternative ingredients.

Further, while selecting the alternative ingredients the nutrient matrix values are equally important. So the focus should be on nutritional composition (complete proximate values), digestible amino acid values, metabolizable energy and anti-nutritional factors.

To know whether using such alterative ingredients is cost effective or having any economic advantage, we can estimate the Relative Value of those ingredients.

Relative Value (Table 2) is an indicator by which we can determine the nutrient value of ingredients for Crude Protein, metabolizable energy and digestible amino acids in comparison with the commonly used Energy & Protein source ingredients like Maize and Soyabean Meal. By doing this analysis we can able to find out the cost parity i.e cost per unit of nutrient. But this value does not consider the inclusion levels of alternative ingredients.

Table 2: Relative Value calculation analysis by nutrient sources – An Example


From the above table, the green colour dots indicate a cost effective alternative raw material to include. For Ex, If Broken Rice is available at Rs 15.50 per kg, based on the unit cost value for 100 K.Cal of Energy, it is cost effective to use as an alternative or partial replacement for Maize (At Rs 17/kg). Similarly, in case of Soyabean meal, based on the unit cost value for protein level, the raw materials like Rapeseed Meal, Sunflower Meal, Maize Gluten Meal and animal protein sources like MBM and Fish Meal found to be cost effective and can be tried as an alternative protein option for Soya (Again it’s not based on volume, but only on unit cost to protein value). Similarly, the digestible Amino Acids relative value can also be compared.

Another consequence of increased feed ingredient prices is that it makes feed additives and micro-ingredients more attractive for diet optimization (see from above analysis in Table 2). For example an increase in the use of synthetic amino acids and enzymes has occurred due to the differences in amino acid digestibility of alternative ingredients in order to meet the bird requirement and hence performance can be maintained or even improved.


POULTRY PUNCH incorporated in 1984 and we are in poultry media since last 36 years and publish Poultry punch – English Monthly Magazine. Mr Balwant Singh Rana prior to laying the foundation of Poultry Punch magazine was still involved with renowned Indian poultry companies and It was there that he had the vision of doing something exceptional for the Indian poultry industry and then he stepped into the poultry media.

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