There has recently been a slight decrease in the price of feed ingredients in China, but prices are still relatively high compared with the same period last year. Facing such high prices is a real challenge for feed producers. How can they reduce feed costs, while stabilising or enhancing feed production performance?
BY SUN ZHILIANG, WANG JIANMIN, YANG XIAOFEI, BAI XIUYUN, ZHANG WEI, SHANDONG ONGCHANG ANIMAL HEALTH
This article contains a list of cost-reduction solutions from the perspectives of ingredient selection and formula optimisation:
Maize alternative: energy materials Cereal wheat, barley, sorghum, broken rice, imported corn,
cornflour (imported maize with a carrier) and cereal by-product polished powder, rice bran (oil bran), sugar residue, etc. After substitution, some nutritional indicators need to be balanced by adding functional additives (such as enzymes and bile acids).
Soybean oil alternatives: lipid-rich ingredients Lipid-rich ingredients such as rice bran, DDGS, molasses,
phospholipids, rice bran oil, palm oil, food scraps, fat residue, meat and bone meal, etc., can significantly contribute to replacing oil.
Advantage: Make full use of locally available cheap grains, grain by-products and protein according to protein complementation for lower formula costs.
Lower feed cost: make full use of locally available material and by-products.
Disadvantage: increase risks such as anti-nutritional factors and mycotoxins, decreased palatability and quality of starch and protein sources, affecting feed digestion, absorption rate and intestinal health.
Low protein diet technology
The protein level of the feed can be reduced by 2 – 5%. To make up for this, synthetic amino acids and relatively low priced energy feed ingredients can be added to balance the amino acid level in the diet.
Advantage: energy saving and emission reduction, reducing the use of soybean meal.
Disadvantage: higher requirements for achieving an amino acid balance.
Protein-energy balance technology
Currently, high protein but low energy is common in the feed formula. To get a more reasonable and scientific balance of protein and energy, the crude protein content in the formula will be appropriately reduced for a better protein absorption rate while the fat concentration should be increased.
Advantage: reduce the decomposition of non-protein nitrogen, increase protein deposition rate, as well as feed digestion and absorption utilisation.
Disadvantage: the risk of fatty liver and lowere meat quality due to increased crude fat content.
Precise nutrition technology
Precisely design nutrition and optimize the formula according to different breed, stage, mode and market needs.
Advantage: Make feed nutrition more accurate to meet the needs of animal growth, reduce unnecessary waste, and reduce the cost of formula.
Disadvantage: Formulators must carry out a great deal of research. They must be extremely familiar with the farm site, have deeply knowledge of breeding species and market needs and know a lot about the nutrition indicators of the ingredients used. The formulators also need to have comprehensive
knowledge of husbandry and animal nutrition.
Use of functional feed additives
Make full use of the functional additives; reduce or remove additives with similar functions to avoid waste. For example, emulsifiers can improve the utilisation of fat, so that the amount of fat can be safely reduced. Enzymes can increase the digestibility and utilisation of starch and protein materials, so that the nutritional indicators can be adjusted appropriately. Acidifiers, microorganisms and plant extracts, etc., can reduce the use of drugs.
Advantage: reduce the repeated use of additives to save costs, improve the digestion and utilisation of raw materials, reduce the damage to animals caused by anti-nutritional factors and mycotoxins, improve animal immunity and intestinal health, promote animal growth, reduce FCR, improve meat quality
and reduce breeding costs.
Disadvantage: Formulators have to comprehensively learn about the techniques and effects of each additive and deeply understand complementary effects among additives.
Improving fat utilisation
Recently, the price of feed oil in China and Southeast Asia has been rising. Additives to improve fat utilisation, such as bile acids, emulsifiers, lipases, etc., can appropriately reduce the metabolic energy level of the formula and reduce costs. Meanwhile, by increasing the use of fat, the utilisation of pigments and vitamins is improved so that the addition of pigments and fat-soluble vitamins can be moderately reduced and feed costs can be reduced.
Advantage: This can maximise the use of fat nutrition and improve the absorption and utilisation of fat-soluble substances such as pigments and fat-soluble vitamins, and reduce formula costs.
Disadvantage: Formulators need to fully understand fatty acid compositions in different fats and from fats made by different factories, and their uses in different species.
There are various solutions that can be used to reduce feed costs. To select feasible solutions, local feed ingredients and price fluctuations must be taken into consideration. Do not only reduce the formula cost, but also ensure feed production performance. Objectively making an analysis and comprehending
advantages and disadvantages among solutions; sometimes we can’t lower the cost by adjusting the formula due to limited feedstuffs. In this case, by optimising the formula and using additives without increasing the feed cost, the animal production performance still can be improved, which is also the value of cost reduction. Cost reduction, energy saving, production optimisation and consumption
reduction are permanent aims of feed producers.