Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Turkey Feed Optimization
This must be called dynamic feed management. The key is having a working amino acid input model to manage the availability of feed choices. This also surely opens the door to a wider variety of feed stocks and it also applies to all animal husbandry.
Since the objective is optimizing the value of the end product and doing so while optimizing the input costs, it is a complex dance and is naturally dynamic.
I am actually surprised this aspect has not been tackled better already, and it may well have been in other sectors. The obvious one is the chicken business. Feedback on this is welcome.
Feed Helps Bird Producers Gobble Up Profits Turkey
ScienceDaily (Nov. 10, 2011) — As feed prices have risen in recent years, feeding turkeys has become more costly than many producers can bear. Satisfying turkeys' hunger accounts for 70 percent of the cost of producing turkey meat. Now, a researcher at the
has produced a cheaper turkey feed, which could fill turkeys' tummies and
producers' pockets. University of Missouri
"Cost reduction is a critical concern in the industry," said Jeff Firman, a professor in the MU
, Food and
Natural Resources. "High feed costs pose long-term problems to the
industry and make it difficult to maintain a competitive edge against other
sources of protein, such as pork and chicken." College
The new feed, known as the
Diet, has the same nutritional qualities as typical pellet feed, but at a cost
of $13 to $25 per ton less, a reduction of eight to 10 percent. If all turkey
producers adopted use of the feed, the industry could save more than $100
million, Firman said. Turkey
Firman said turkey nutrition has changed little over the past 25 years. However, feed costs have increased in recent years. Feed is typically made with corn and soybeans, which have increased by one-third or more in price recently. While such increases have boosted production costs of white meat and giblets, retail price pressure isn't letting producers pass the cost to the consumer.
Firman tested the feed by putting 800 turkeys on the diet. He found that the birds met health targets and reached market weight within 18 to 21 weeks. Firman has tested the feed through several studies over the past three years.
Firman has made the formula available to the industry through presentations and publications. Producers create their own feed based on available feedstuffs with the guidance of computer-formulated diets using data from Firman's lab. In addition, producers change the diet as birds mature to meet the growing turkeys' nutritional needs.