Use of rapeseed in poultry farming
Rapeseed meal is produced as a result of crushing, removal and oil extraction. It is a popular feed for ruminants, pigs and poultry as well, representing an effective protein source.
Rapeseed is a plant with a yellow flower that is a member of the bracicaceae family. Rapeseed meal is produced as a result of crushing, removal and oil extraction. It is a popular feed for ruminants, pigs and poultry as well, representing an effective protein source.
After the rise in prices recently experienced by soybeans, rapeseed meal has become the second most widely used vegetable protein in animal feed in recent years, after soybean meal, and its use in feed formulation has increased.
The main rapeseed producing countries are Canada, followed by China and India.
Rapeseed meal as an ingredient in poultry diet
Rapeseed meal is a common ingredient used in poultry diets in Canada, Australia and Europe.
Dr. Rex Newkirk, associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and the Research Chair in Feed Processing Technology of the Ministry of Agriculture of that province states that “In broilers, it tends to enter the diets with an inclusion of around 5 to 7%, simply due to a space restriction”, and that “broiler diets are high density diets and the feed is high in fiber, so the energy values limit their inclusion”. However, we are beginning to see “more high-oil meal being produced and entering broiler diets at higher levels due to its higher energy content.” Although in the past some genotypes of brown shelled layers fed rapeseed at higher rates produced fishy-flavored eggs in their yolks, this is no longer a problem.
Nutritional values of rapeseed meal
Taking into consideration the progress made using rapeseed meal for poultry diets, Canada-based researchers have shown that rapeseed is a highly nutritious feed that can be valuable in avian feed.
In 2012, in Poultry Science, F. Khajali (Shahrekord University, Iran) and B.A. Slominski (University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada) conducted a study on the factors affecting the nutritional value of rapeseed meal. In addition, they analyzed how the nutritional value of rapeseed meal can be improved by adding food enzymes.
If years ago, the glucosinolate content of rapeseed was very high and this prevented its use in poultry diets, now it represents only one twelfth of the old rapeseed and up to 20% can be included in diets for broilers or laying hens, without affecting animal welfare.
Compared to soybean meal, rapeseed meal contains more amino acids, but is lower in protein, therefore both meals complement each other well when combined in poultry diets.
At the end of the study, the researchers also showed that the development of low fiber rapeseed and the use of feed enzymes have increased the energy and nutritional value of rapeseed meal for avian nutrition.
Khajali F. and B.A. Slominski. 2012. Factors that affect the nutritive value of canola meal for poultry. Poult. Sci., 91(10):2564-2575. doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02332