Considerations In Using Alternative Feedstuffs

Although alternative feedstuffs may offer an opportunity to reduce feed costs, they can present many challenges in their use. For one, many alternative feedstuffs are infrequently available. Composition of an alternative feedstuff can vary considerably. Many alternatives are very perishable, especially high-moisture products. Many alternative feeds can contain toxic substances, disease organisms, and other contaminants. The alternative should not be fed unless the deleterious factor(s) can be eliminated or neutralized inexpensively. In addition, alternatives may require special handling, processing, and storage.

Accurate identification of alternative feedstuff is important, as there is a large database of information on alternative feeds, some of which have already been mentioned. The Association of American Feed Control Officials'8' gives detailed descriptions and nomenclature of many feedstuffs and this listing is updated annually.

Some alternative feedstuffs are illegal to feed to some species (i.e., meat and bone meal from ruminants to ruminants) and some are regulated (i.e., feeding of kitchen waste and plate scraps to pigsā€”for further information, refer to Westendorf'9'). Also, some pesticides used in crop production may not be cleared for feeding of the crop residue to livestock.

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