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Quality Soybeans for Poultry

by 5m Editor
15 March 2005, at 12:00am

URBANA - Poultry producers who feed soybean meal to their chickens face a twin problem. First, the birds do not receive much of the meal's potential nutritional value and, second, the waste can create environmental problems because of high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen.

Quality Soybeans for Poultry - URBANA - Poultry producers who feed soybean meal to their chickens face a twin problem. First, the birds do not receive much of the meal's potential nutritional value and, second, the waste can create environmental problems because of high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen.

But a University of Illinois study is finding ways to, so to speak, kill two birds with one stone.

"The processes that produce soybean meal hold the answer," explained Carl Parsons, U of I professor of animal sciences and a lead researcher in the research project, Niche Marketing Opportunities in Animal Feeding for Small Farms with Soybeans, funded by the Illinois Council for Food and Agricultural Research (C-FAR) through the Sentinel Program administrated by the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station.

"The poultry industry is the biggest consumer of soybean meal among the livestock groups but poultry is also the group with the lowest digestibility of soybean meal."

For poultry producers, a better quality soybean meal that provides more nutritional value for the birds and, hence, less problems with waste would have tremendous economic potential.

A number of processing changes were examined with one in particular offering great promise.

"Some soybeans are processed mechanically rather than with solvents," said Parsons. "The meal and oil are extracted from the beans by extrusion and pressure. This leaves 5 to 8 percent of the oil in the meal as compared to 2 percent in the other process. This increase is attractive to poultry producers because it increases the energy value of the meal."

A key in the process, Parsons added, is temperature. The temperature at which the soybeans are processed is very critical. The study looked at four different processing temperatures and identified the two that were best for optimal meal production.

"We found that if the processors increased the time for processing the beans and the temperature, the digestibility of the phosphorus in the soybean meal would be improved," he said.

The study also evaluated the by-products that are often processed out of soybean meal during production and then blended back in.

"We found that the meal has better nutrition value if these by-products are not put back in," said Parsons.

Parsons said the results of the four-year project offer promise and, perhaps, niche market opportunities for both soybean processors and poultry producers.

"Our discoveries won't cure all of the problems," he said. "But our study points to some promising directions."

Source: ACES News - 11th March 2005

5m Editor