Thursday, July 18, 2024
General Agriculture

Methods of Animal Feed Formulation for Various Classes of Farm Animals

Animal feed formulationis the process of quantifying the amounts of feed ingredients that need to be combined to form a single uniform mixture (diet) for poultry that supplies all of their nutrient requirements.

Since feed accounts for 65-75% of total live production costs for most types of poultry throughout the world, a simple mistake in diet formulation can be extremely expensive for a poultry producer. Feed formulation requires thorough understanding of the:

  1. Nutrient requirements of the class of poultry (e.g., egg layers, meat chickens or breeders);
  2. Feed ingredients in terms of nutrient composition and constraints in terms of nutrition and processing, and
  3. Cost and availability of the ingredients.

Most large-scale poultry farmers have their own nutritionists and feed mills, whereas small operations usually depend on consultant nutritionists and commercial feed mills for their feeds.

It is therefore essential that formulations are accurate because once feeds are formulated and manufactured, it is often too late to remedy any mistakes or inaccuracies without incurring significant expenses.

Typical Animal Feed Formulation

Animal feed formulation is both a science and an art, requiring knowledge of feed and poultry, and some patience and innovation. Typical animal feed formulations indicate the amounts of each ingredient that should be included in the diet, and then provide the concentration of nutrients composition in the diet. The nutrient composition of the diet will indicate the adequacy of the diet for the particular class of poultry for which it is prepared.

It is common to show the energy value in metabolisable energy (kcal or MJ ME/kg feed) and protein content of the diet but comprehensive information on concentrations of mineral elements and digestible amino acids are also provided.

Digestible amino acids often include not just the first limiting amino acid, methionine, but also most of the ten essential amino acids. A number of databases are available to provide information on the digestible amino acid contents of various poultry feed ingredients.

For example is a comprehensive amino acid database in the world, providing digestibility coefficients for amino acids based on over 140 raw materials analyses for pigs and poultry.

This includes analyses of total amino acids, standardized ileal digestible amino acids, standardized ileal digestibility coefficients for essential amino acids, proximates, minerals and energy values for pigs and poultry.

Read Also: Animal Feed Milling Machineries and Equipment

Livestock Feed Formulation Methods

Methods of Animal Feed Formulation for Various Classes of Farm Animals

There are about six conventional livestock feed formulation methods identified by Imamidoost, 1992 and Jerry, 2003. These methods include:

1. Pearson Square Method

This method is relatively simple and easy to follow. Some of its merits as identified by Afolayan and Afolayan include: its simplicity of use and secondly its usefulness for balancing protein requirement.

Its disadvantages include, its usability for only two requirements at the same time and secondly, its reduced consideration given to other nutritive requirements especially, vitamins and minerals.

2. Simultaneous Equation Method

This is an alternative method for the square method using a simple algebraic equation. Here, a particular requirement is satisfied using a combination of two feed ingredients. In this method, a ration is estimated, and the nutrient content calculated.

These results are then compared to the nutrient needs of the animal for which the ration is being balanced. Deficiencies are corrected by changing proportions of feeds in the rations or by substituting or adding ingredient.

Merits of Simultaneous Method

The system is easy to use both by beginners and the experienced feed millers. Advantages of simultaneous equation over Pearson method are: Firstly, farmer can balance for both protein and energy.

Secondly, it is useful in considering more than two feed ingredients at once when balancing more complex ration. Finally, as the equation increases.

Limitations of Pearson Square and Simultaneous Method

The limitations includes firstly, it satisfies only one nutrient requirement and uses only two feed ingredients. Another limitation is that the level of the nutrient being computed should be intermediate between the nutrient concentrations of the two feed ingredients being used.

Read Also: How to process Cassava Chips for Animal Feed

3. Two-By-Two Matrix Method

This method solves two nutrients requirement using two different feed ingredients. A 2 by2 matrix is formed a set and a series of equations are solved to come up with the solution to the problem.

4. Trial and Error Method

Methods of Animal Feed Formulation for Various Classes of Farm Animals

This is the most popular method of formulating ration for the swine and poultry. It is a type of feed formulation used in many developing nations of the world (Adejoro 2004). As the name implies, the formulation is manipulated until the nutrient requirements of the animal are met. This method makes possible the formulation of a ration that meets all the nutrient requirements of the animal.

In poultry feed formation, various cases of mineral deficiency such as osteomalacia, rickets and shellessness or soft shell formation may not be properly addressed if care is not taken to comprehensively analyze or calculate the level of calcium and phosphorus of the ration in question.

5. Imami Method

This is an educational way to describe and balance simple rations by a common calculator with a high accuracy for farmers who do not have access to the computer.

6. Linear Programming (LP) Method

This is otherwise called, least cost computerized feed formulation. This method of determining the least cost combination of ingredients using a series of equations which employs Linear Programming methods. This least cost can employed in feed formulation takes basic seven steps. Some of the advantages of Linear programming method include:

Scientific Approach to Problem Solving

Methods of Animal Feed Formulation for Various Classes of Farm Animals

Hence it results in a better and true picture of the problems which can then be minutely analyzed and solution ascertained.

Quality of Decision: LP provides practical and better quality of decisions that reflect very precisely the limitation of the system i.e; the various restrictions under which the system must operate for the solution to be optimal. If it becomes necessary to deviate from the optimal path, LP can quite easily evaluate the associated costs or penalty, it guaranteed the finding of optimal solution.

Evaluation of All Possible Alternatives: Majority of the problems in animal feed formulation are somehow complicated. LP method ensures that all possible solutions are generated, out of which the optimal solution is selected.

Flexibility: LP is flexible mathematical method.

Disadvantages of Linear Programming Method

Although Linear Programming (LP) is a highly successful techniques having wide applications, yet it has some demerits which are as follows:

  1. Absence of risk
  2. Linear Relationship: It can only be applied to situations where the given problem can be represented in the form of linear relationship.

Hence it is based on implicit assumption that the objective as well as all the constraints or the limiting factors can be stated in the form of linear expression.

Many practical problems like feed mix problem can be better expressed with a minimum of quadratic equation.

  1. Constant Value of objective and Constraint Equations: Before a LP technique could be applied to any feed mix problem, the values or the coefficients of the objective and constraints functions must be completely known and be constant over a period of time.

If the values change during the period of study the LP would lose its effectiveness and may fail to provide optimal solution to the problem.

However, in practical sense it is not possible to determine the coefficients of objective function and the constraint equations with absolute certainty.

These variables may lie on probability distribution curve and hence at best, only the likelihood of their occurrence can be predicted. Moreover, the values change due to extremely as well as internal factors during the period of study.

  1. Fractional solutions often have no meaning: There is absolutely no certainty that the solution to a LP feed mix problem can always be quantified as an integer quite often.

It can give fractional answers which are rounded off to the next integer. Hence, the solution would not be the optimal one.

  1. Flexibility Limitation: Once a problem has been properly quantified in terms of objective function and constraint equations and the tools of Linear Programming are applied to it, it becomes very difficult to incorporate any changes in the system arising on account of any change in decision parameter. Hence, it lacks the desired operational flexibility.
  2. Multiplicity of Goal: The long-term objectives of any farm are not confined to a single goal.

Any farm, at any point of time in its operations has a multiplicity of goals or the goals hierarchy attained on a priority wise basis for its long term growth.

In a case where farm manager‘s goals are multiple and conflicting, the LP method fails.

  1. Degree of Complexity: Many large-scale real life practical problems can be solved by employing LP techniques even with the help of a computer due to high complexity and lengthy calculations involved.

Assumptions and approximations are required to be made so that the given problem can be broken down into several smaller problems and, then solved separately. Hence, the validity of the final result, in all such cases, may be doubtful.

Read Also: Definition and Waste Minimization/Reduction Process


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

One thought on “Methods of Animal Feed Formulation for Various Classes of Farm Animals

  • Marwa Harmony

    what is the easiest method of doing livestock feed formulations


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