Poultry International - April 2018 - 28
28 ❙ PoultryInternational
real feed costs
No-antibiotics-ever, slowgrowing and cage-free chicken
labels work as differentiators,
but how do these changes affect
U.S. feed production?
While U.S. consumers educate themselves about the
poultry industry and become increasingly vocal about
their expectations, restaurant and retail buyers have been
No longer a niche, antibiotic-free poultry production,
for example, moved beyond regulatory guidelines
and went "mainstream" in 2015, with large retailers,
restaurant chains and three of the largest U.S. poultry
8 antibiotic-free broiler production do's and
integrators (Tyson Foods, Pilgrim's Pride and Perdue
Farms) vowing to eliminate or reduce the use of
antibiotics in the years ahead.
As poultry producers alter their meat marketing and
production to attract the consumer, feed costs inevitably
go up, and oftentimes the burden of off-setting these
losses falls on the nutritionist and feed manufacturer.
According to WATT Global Media's 2017 Poultry
Nutrition & Feeding Survey, 42 percent of respondents
reported that antibiotic-free production was the greatest
challenge to their feed formulation program and/or feed
costs; 27 percent cited slow-growing broilers; and 22
percent said cage-free production.
"In general, the new production systems require that
we know more about different breeds, housing systems
and production environments to ensure optimal nutrition
is delivered," said Henk Enting, a global poultry
technology director with Cargill Animal Nutrition.
What are the true feed costs when adopting a new
formulation program or production system? It remains
to be seen. The consensus is there are too many
variables to pinpoint an exact figure - especially on an
international scale - so for the purposes of this article,
we'll focus on developments in the U.S. poultry industry.
The decline of antibiotics
According to the recent Food & Drug
Administration (FDA) summary report, "Antimicrobials
sold or distributed for use in food-producing animals,"
the domestic sales and distribution of antimicrobials
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ April 2018