The formulation of organic diets for poultry will be tightened from December 2017 onwards. Will egg farmers be in trouble to comply with the new feed ingredient rules?
The stricter rules means non-organic protein sources will no longer be allowed in diets for organic poultry in the EU. In the past, poultry farmers were allowed to include a maximum 5% non-organic material in rations. In addition, in the EU the use of synthetic amino acids in organic diets is prohibited.
According to Wageningen UR Livestock Research in the Netherlands, the main dietary challenge in European organic egg production is to fulfil the protein requirement, especially the methionine (Met) requirement of the hens.
Wageningen UR Livestock Research published a review paper in which several strategies to fulfil the EU requirements are discussed. The first strategy is to use protein rich ingredients with a relatively high digestible Met content. High contents of digestible Met often are found in products from animal origin, e.g. casein, fish meal, and milk powder. In the group of feed ingredients of plant origin, expelled sunflower seed has a relatively high digestible Met content, and this ingredient is also commonly available. Met content of plant ingredients can be increased by selection of high Met varieties and by specifically breeding on high Met content, e.g. by crossing different breeds.
Source: Wageningen UR