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soybean meal poultry feed

Soybean meal is a major source of protein used by the pig and poultry industries. Manufacturers of companion animal foods, such as dog foods, also use soybean meal in their diets. As well, this versatile protein is being used as a source of protein in aquaculture diets. Soybean meal is an important source of protein for animals due to its excellent amino acid composition and high level of digestibility.Soybean meal is used in food and animal feeds, principally as a protein supplement, but also as a source of metabolizable energy. Typically 1 bushel (i.e. 60 lbs. or 27.2 kg) of soybeans yields 48 lbs. (21.8 kg) of soybean meal.

The first attempts to feed soybeans to animals were unsuccessful with poor growth observed as compared with feeds containing other sources of protein. In 1917, Osborne and Mendel found that good growth could be demonstrated if soybeans were first heat treated before incorporation into the diet for animals. Later it was found that heating resulted in denaturation of protease inhibitors that interfered with digestion.

Because soybean meal is the principal source of protein for the feed industry worldwide, it has become an ingredient that is strategically traded around the globe every day of the year. Feed manufacturers use soybean meal as the standard against which other protein sources are compared. Soybean meal has also become the protein source that determines the price of proteins for livestock feeding.

Throughout the world, the use of vegetable proteins in animal feeds is becoming increasingly important because of consumer concerns about the health and safety of animal protein byproducts and a reduction in fish stocks. This will place further demands upon soybean meal as a source of protein for livestock.

Why is soybean meal a major ingredient in poultry feed (about 30%)? For decades, soy has been known to be an excellent feed ingredient for poultry and other livestock; this is why it will be produced at levels expected to exceed 3.5 billion bushels in 2010. It is a high protein feedstuff (>45% crude protein) and it contains high levels of linoleic acid, an essential nutrient that is required in animal diets. Since it is so useful and available, the poultry industry has little interest in finding alternatives. Therefore there has not been a lot of work on other ingredients that may be adequate substitutes for soy.

Protein 46% min
Fat 2%
Moisture 10% max
Ash 6%
Acid insolubles 0.3% max
Broken pellets and or meal acceptable Upto  80%
TVBN 50mg/100 gms max
Fiber 6% max
Aflatoxin 20 ppb max
Total count 5* 10^5 max
Salmonella Absent in 25 gms
Mould colong 5*10^5 max
E.coli Absent in 0.1 gms

soyabean is the most used vegetable protein feed as an animal feed ingredient. Soyabean is sent for crushing to get oil and cake which is further sent to extraction for removal of residual oil and to obtain its meal. Soyabean meal is considered premium to other meals due to high protein content. The Indian soyabean extraction has a high pro-fat content (49 % – 50 % ) compared to a 44 – 48 % pro-fat content of China and American countries and is very well accepted in the international market. South East Asia, ( Vietnam, Thailand ,Indonesia ,Phillipines, Singapore and Malaysia, etc.)

Soybean meal is typically included in pig and poultry diets with no limitation on the quantity used. When properly processed to denature the trypsin inhibitors, there are no antinutritive factors to consider when formulating diets.


Fishmeal and meat meal form the major component of the aquafeed composition, although there is increasing interest in the use of vegetable sources. Australian aquafeed production is estimated to be 55,000 tonnes, in contrast to the pig and poultry industries that consume in excess of 4.3 million tonnes of feed. As a result, the industry consumes less than 2% of all soybean meal used by the livestock industries.

Dairy and beef

In dairy and beef cattle diets, soybean meal competes with urea and higher fibre oilseed meals. Where a high quality protein source is essential, the economics of supply and demand usually favour those crude protein sources not normally used in pig and poultry diets. Soybean meal, does however, have a role in calf nutrition and may be used in dairy calf milk replacers due to its palatability and digestibility.


Quantities of soybean meal are also used in the formulation of pet foods and is the most common plant protein source used.

Soybean meal is universally accepted as the most important protein ingredient in animal diets.Full fat soybean meal is also a valuable raw material in diets used in the pig and poultry industries. It is not only is it a useful source of protein and essential amino acids, but also makes a significant contribution to the dietary energy requirement.

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