AgriBusiness

Optimising Chicken Nutrition – New App Helps Farmers Get Feed Mixes Right

A free mobile app for chicken farmers is set to make optimal poultry nutrition easier, while also helping farmers save money and improve profits.

The new FeedMixer App is designed by poultry nutrition experts at the Poultry Science Department at the University of Georgia in the US and funded by the World Poultry Foundation, to address a major challenge chicken farmers face. Many self-mix their chicken feed due to rising commercial feed costs and limited supply of certain grains, but often find it difficult to achieve the right balance of nutrients.

Maureen Stickel, Director of International Program Development at the World Poultry Foundation, says: “When feeding birds, it’s about nutrients, not just quantity of feed. With the right feed mix, they will be healthier and more productive. The FeedMixer app guides farmers on feed mixes for layers, broilers, and dual-purpose birds at various ages. We specifically worked to include a large library of feed ingredients, with their nutritional values, to guide farmers.”

Users simply click on the type of chickens they are feeding, and select the ingredients they have available to them, in the proportions they intend to blend. The app will indicate whether their chosen mix delivers adequate energy, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals to nourish the birds without wastage. Users can also input the cost of the ingredients they use, to calculate whether their feed mix is cost effective.

Prof. Sean Chen, Assistant Professor/Extension Specialist at the Department of Poultry Science at the University of Georgia, says: “The FeedMixer app is designed for ease of use by people with a basic poultry background – including backyard and emerging chicken farmers. With the app, we are trying to make it simple for farmers to use local ingredients to formulate a diet that meets basic poultry nutrition requirements and achieve their basic production goals.”

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