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The Green Book

Nutrition News for 2002

Nutrition News for 2002

Thoughts on poultry rations from Jeff Mattocks of The Fertrell Company
Issue 20, Summer 2002

The best Pastured Poultry Producers are continually looking for improvements in their production models. Given that feed is one of the variables to consider, I like to offer suggestions for ration mixes to those producers who are willing try new ideas or techniques.

During the past year we have experimented with several different options and additions. Most of which turned out to be "Magic Fu-Fu Dust" or "Smoke and Mirrors". Even still, I've found that if you do enough experiments you may catch a winner now and then. Well, this year I believe the one single thing which will make a noticeable difference to you is "Alfalfa Meal".

Alfalfa Meal will provide the following enhancements to your poultry:

1. Extra Vitamin A, to promote a stronger immune system.
2. Contains recognized but unidentified (by the commercial poultry industry) growth factors that aid and stimulate additional growth naturally.
3. Adds Xanthophylls to the diet to enhance broiler skin and egg yolk coloration.
Adds appeal to general diet appearance which will mask any minor feed fluctuations.

Of course as with most things overfeeding Alfalfa Meal will have negative effects. Some of the negative affects you see are:

1. Alfalfa contains higher levels of Saponins and Phenolic Acid.
· Saponins are a sugar group linked to a steroid group. This is probably one of the unexplained growth factors that contribute to better growth and health performance. We should keep in mind that too much of a good thing is bad.
· Not much is known about Phenolic Acids. The little bits of information available link Phenolic Acid with a newly discovered antioxidant Gallic Acid. This is being used to treat cancer patients. This information leads me to believe that Phenolic acid in small quantities is supporting better health.
2. Too much fiber in the diet.
3. Too much color to skin or yolks.
To the right are my recommendations for those willing to try Alfalfa Meal as part of their ration. Keep in mind the negatives, and keep me posted of any observations you have in trying the new mixes.
Ration Suggestions for 2002

19% Broiler Starter/Grower:

1015 lb. Shelled Corn

625 lb. Roasted Soybeans

100 lb. Oats
100 lb. Alfalfa Meal

75 lb. Fish Meal, 60%

25 lb. Aragonite (calcium)
60 lb. Poultry Nutri-Balancer

2000 lb.

16% Pullet Grower:

1215 lb. Shelled Corn 

450 lb. Roasted Soybeans

100 lb. Oats
100 lb. Alfalfa Meal
25 lb. Aragonite (calcium)

50 lb. Fish Meal, 60% 

60 lb. Poultry Nutri-Balancer
2000 lb.

17% Layer Ration:
965 lb. Shelled Corn 

600 lb. Roasted Soybeans

100 lb. Oats
100 lb. Alfalfa Meal

175 lb. Aragonite (calcium)

60 lb. Poultry Nutri-Balancer
2000 lb.

These rations should be processed by the following methods:

-Medium Grind
-Half Ground/Half Cracked
-Roll Processed
*NOT DUST-Powdery Feeds are harder to digest.
Unfortunately some producers are unable to get roasted soybeans.
Ration Suggestion for folks who can't get roasted soy beans.

19% Broiler Starter/Grower:

1090 lb. Shelled Corn

500 lb. Soybean Meal, 48%

100 lb. Oats

100 lb. Alfalfa Meal

75 lb. Fish Meal, 60%
25 lb. Aragonite (calcium)

60 lb. Poultry Nutri-Balancer
50 lb Vegetable Oil

2000 lb.

What Else To Feed Those Chickens?
Jeff Mattocks, The Fertrell Company

The most commonly asked question:
·
I can't find Roasted Soy Beans. What else can I use?

You will need to use either soybean meal with oil added to the ration. Or you can use full fat extruded soybean meal.

· Why should you use roasted soybeans?

Roasted soybeans have higher quality oil are unsaturated and easier to digest. Roasted soybeans have a better smell and flavor; the poultry will eat it better. Roasted soybeans with natural oil will generate heat to digest, which warms the bird. The soy oil that is added back to a ration is a saturated form, harder to digest.

· Other possible grains that may be fed with limitations:

· Small grains

Oats may be fed to a limit of 20% due to an excess of glucan enzyme. Which will cause wet litter and decreased digestion without the inclusion of a beta-glucanase enzyme additive.

Barley may be fed to the same limit of 20% due to same excess of glucan enzyme.

Combination of oats and barley in a poultry ration should not exceed 20%. Barley also release it energy very quickly and may cause wet litter if 20% is exceeded.