July 5, 2022

Utilising feed additives to manage costs and quality of India's animal feed production

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India's broiler feed production last year was around 12.5 million tonnes and layer feed production was around 13 million tonnes.

The main feed additives used in broiler and layer feeds are enzymes (phytases, fibre degrading enzymes and proteases), antioxidants, emulsifiers,  anticoccidials, choline chloride, prebiotics, probiotics, toxin binders, organic trace minerals and liver tonics. Synthetic amino acids like lysine, DL-methionine, tryptophan and threonine are also used.

The penetration of the phytase enzyme is almost 80%. Due to higher raw material prices, the penetration of other enzymes is also increasing. Using enzymes will lower the cost of production due to the use of matrix values.

In broiler feed production, there is little chance to replace maize and soybean meal with other ingredients. It is therefore practical that the use of synthetic amino acids will improve the flexibility of formulation.

Poultry feed millers in India prefer organic trace minerals compared to inorganic types, as they require less input in diets and are better in absorption. Additionally, both the government and poultry industry are keen to reduce the use of antibiotics in diets.

Considering those factors, the use of essential oils, organic acids, prebiotics, probiotics, stimbiotics and postbiotics are now on the rise in maintaining the gut health of birds.

Herbal feed additives are also used in India by broiler and layer feed producers.

As for India's cattle feed production, it amounted to around 13 million tonnes last year. The penetration of cattle feed is around 12%.

This year, milk production is expected to be around 210 million tonnes. Within the sector, local farmers have spent more money on treating animals than preventing diseases.

The key feed additives used in cattle feeds are yeast, rumen buffers, bypass fats and toxin binders. The use of feed additives has increased in recent times as many organised farms are emerging in India's north, west and south. Feed additives are added either in cattle feed or directly in total mixed rations.

Meanwhile, as the production of silage is growing, the sales of silage inoculants are also increasing. 

For aquafeed, production was around two million tonnes. The main feed additives used are antioxidants, pellet binders, mould inhibitors, yeast, probiotics, immunostimulants and enzymes.

Feed additives — specifically, pond minerals, probiotics, immunostimulants and ammonia binders — are used by local aquaculture farmers.

- Dr. Dinesh Bhosale

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