Feather Meal Extruding: Turn Waste Feather into Feed Protein Additive

If you are raising poultry, or running a poultry slaughter house, how to deal with the large quantity of wates feather must be your headache. As a matter of fact, feather can be crushed (pulverixed) into feather meal/powder. Feather meal (powder) is a kind of high-protein feed that can be widely used as an additive for making livestock, poultry and aquatic feed. The protein content of feather meal can be as high as 80%, the amino acid composition is relatively complete; except for its lysine and methionine are lower than fish meal, the other trace elements are all higher than fish meal. And its content of cystine ranks first among all natural feeds, which makes it a good source of protein feed.

feather meal

Feather meal (powder) Nutritional characteristics

Feathery powder is rich in sulphur amino acids, so it is beneficial to the growth and development of the wool when feeding poultry in the spring and autumn hairy season. It also reduces the phenomenon of self bite and feather eating of chicken, ducks, pecking anus, hair jumping, mink, and fox.

Feather meal is all nutritious food. It can improve the health level of fur animal, improve the breeding ability, promote the improvement of fur condition, and make the hair color become healthier and luster. By extruding (expanding), feather meal can have good palatability, high digestion and absorption rate, good safety, eliminating bacterial contamination of feed, improving growth performance and skin quality, promoting growth and development, making the skin fetching time more than 10 days sooner than usual, raising feed reward, strengthening micronutrient components, having significant effect on preventing hoofs disease, self bite, self mutilation and other nutritional deficiency. It can also improve animals’ anti-stress ability and prevent the occurrence of red claw disease, dermatitis, dermatitis, skin keratosis, scab and chap.

Feather meal social benefits

  1. Research and development of extruded feather powder will help to alleviate the shortage of protein feed resources, especially animal protein feed in some countries, like China. As the demand for fish meal in the world continues to grow, and the development policy of marine fish resources protection and sustainable development in major fish meal producing countries, such as Peru and Chile, has caused the shortage of goods and the hype of middlemen also makes the price of fish meal rising and high. At present, the price of imported fish meal has increased by more than 50% over the beginning of the year, which has caused enormous pressure to the small profit feed industry and animal husbandry. Reasonable development and utilization of animal waste materials is an effective way to solve the shortage of animal protein resources. Feather protein content is as high as 75% - 85% (imported fish meal is around 65%). However, the feather protein is made up of horny protein, and the content of hydrophobic amino acids is high. The protein chains are connected by two sulfur bonds to form a solid and dense spatial structure, which can not usually be decomposed into peptides and amino acids by proteases, so they can not be directly used as animal protein feed. Therefore, the feather meal extruding (expanding) technology can destroy the two sulfur bond in the feather keratin and make the structure of the base protein loose and become the high quality protein source which can be absorbed and used by animals. It will help to alleviate the shortage of protein feed, especially animal protein feed.
  2. The utilization of extruded feather meal can reduce environmental pollution. Unprocessed feathers can not be used directly as feed. However, there are even thousands tons of feather leftovers produced from feather industry or poultry slaughterhouses in some countries every year. If they are discarded everywhere without disposal, they will cause serious pollution to the environment. Besides, at present, the common hydrolytic processing of feather meal will also discharge a large amount of pollutants during the manufacturing process, and some government departments have taken measures to restrict or prohibit the manufacturer to produce hydrolyzed feather powder. The extruding/expansion processing technology can on one hand make the feathers' nutritive value greatly improved and be efficiently used, eliminate the source of pollution, on the other hand as the production process is clean and environmental, so the feather powder extruding is beneficial to reduce the environmental pollution.

Economic benefits of extruded feather meal

According to the preliminary calculation in China, the production profit of the puffed feather powder is about 150USD per ton, so in the full price feed production and the breeding, the cost of every 1 ton of feather powder can reduce about 450USD. So the total economic profit of extruded feather powder production and application is about 600USD per ton.
Extruded Feather Meal 
extruded feather meal

Feather meal (powder) extruding technology

The production process of extruded feather powder is to use high temperature, high pressure and shear action in the extruder to suddenly increase feathers’ temperature to 160 degrees centigrade and under the impact of certain catalyst, break the solid space structure of the keratin during the depressing expansion of the die hole, and break the two sulfur bond. The keratin fiber becomes a small protein subunit and a linear array of peptide chains, making it a state that is easily digested and absorbed by animals. This method solves the problem of low digestion and absorption rate of keratin in vivo. (Learn about feather meal extruder machine>>)

feather meal extruding machine

Extruded feather meal features

  • The absorption rate of extruded feather meal reaches 86%, and its quality is stable, aseptic, salt free, no deliquescence, has good palatability and fluidity; its crude protein content even reaches up to 75%-90%, the digestion can reach 3200Kca/kg, and the metabolism can reach 22900kcal/ kg or more.
  • The extruded feather powder is of great significance in the application of livestock and poultry feed raw materials.
  • It can partly or completely replace the fish meal.
  • It can be used in poultry feed to increase the poultry’s anti stress ability and the plump and luster of feather (suitable for fox, raccoon dog and mink feed, which can greatly increase the brightness of the hair).

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