Here is a look at the main ingredients used in poultry feed formulation:-
Corn and Soybean Meal: There are various grains and cereals that can be used in poultry feed formulation but corn and soybean meal are by far the most popular. In Europe, wheat will be substituted for corn. Corn and soybean meal are also the lowest cost sources of energy and proteins.
Fishmeal and Meat Meal: These make for great sources of protein as well as amino acids. They also contain bone meal which makes for a great source of minerals such as Calcium and Phosphorous. Depending on their prices, these should make up anywhere from 2% to 5% of the diet being formulated.
Calcium and Phosphorous: These are the main minerals that should be included in the poultry feeds. Plant Phosphorous is likely to contain non-phytin factors. Consider that only about 30% to 40% of the plant Phosphorous is a non-phytin P. It is therefore advisable to increase the proportion a bit or supplement the organic P with inorganic sources of P.
Salt: Salt is an integral part of most poultry diets. It should make up 0.2% to 0.5% of the poultry diet.
Supplemental Lipids: These can make up to 5% of the poultry diet. The importance of the lipids in the poultry diet is that they will increase the energy utilization in your poultry by reducing the passage rate. They can also reduce the heat increment that can affect production.
Yellow Pigmentation: It is advisable to use as much yellow pigmentation as possible in your poultry feeds. A good source of yellow pigmentation for poultry feeds is yellow corn or yellow maize. You can also use other poultry feed ingredients that are great sources xanthophylls like an alfalfa meal or even corn gluten meal. The yellow pigmentation in the poultry feed will contribute to the yellow coloration of the chickens; feet, shanks, egg yolks and skin which are quite popular with end consumers.
Non-nutritive additives: The non-nutritive additives can be added to the poultry feed for a number of reasons. For example, the antibiotics can be added to control diseases and stimulate the growth of the poultry. The nitrofurans and arsenicals can be added to improve the performance of the poultry. Other non-nutritive additives that can be added in the poultry feeds include antioxidatives, antifungal compounds and antiparasitic compounds.