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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by shandiane78, Aug 7, 2009.
I use fish meal too, my eggs are fine. I do it for the same reason and it has a lot of benefits.
Fishmeal is an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus for poultry. The ash (mineral) content of fishmeal can range from 10 to 25%. The higher ash content is usually an indication of a higher calcium and phosphorus level. The calcium and phosphorus are in a highly available form, unlike some of the calcium and phosphorus in plant proteins. One of the only minerals in fishmeal that is not readily available to poultry is the trace mineral selenium. The selenium in fishmeal exists in the form of selenoproteins which are not considered to provide readily available selenium to the bird
Fishmeal is a high protein feedstuff often included in poultry diets. It is usually marketed at 65% crude protein, but the crude protein content can vary from 57 to 77%, depending on the species of fish used. Several species of fish can be processed into fishmeal, but the most common is Menhaden. Menhaden accounts for about 90% of U.S. fishmeal production.
Most fish species can not be harvested year-round. As a result, there is seasonal variation in protein content, depending on the species of fish used. The crude protein content of fishmeal is usually highest during the Menhaden harvest. During the month of May, the protein content increases as the Menhaden harvest begins. When lower protein species are harvested at other times of the year, the protein content decreases.
The price of fishmeal varies throughout the year and is a reflection of the seasonal variation in the supply of fish. The price of fishmeal is usually the highest during the winter months when the supply is lowest. The price also varies from year to year depending on the price of other protein sources, in particular soybean and other oil meals.
The moisture content of fishmeal is normally low in order to facilitate storage and transport. If the moisture content remains at the acceptable lower limits the meal will be more likely to have a low bacterial and/or mold count. Antioxidants must be added to the meal to ensure proper stabilization during extended periods of storage.
Fishmeal contains three major nutrients; protein, fat and minerals (ash).
Fishmeal is added to poultry diets as a source of highly digestible, "high quality", animal protein. Protein is added to poultry diets to supply the amino acids required for maintenance, growth and egg production. Animals synthesize proteins from 22 amino acids. However, animals cannot synthesize all 22 of these amino acids. Amino acids which can not be synthesized by animals, and therefore must be supplied in the diet, are classified as essential. Those that can be synthesized by the animal are termed nonessential. Of these, a few cannot be synthesized at a rate fast enough for maximum growth and, therefore, are considered dietary essentials.
The nutritional value of any protein is directly related to the amino acid composition of that protein. A protein that does not contain the proper amount of required (essential) amino acids would be an imbalanced protein and would have a lower nutritional value to the bird. Proteins of cereal grains and most other plant protein concentrates fail to supply the complete amino acid needs of poultry, due to a shortage of methionine and/or lysine. Soybean meal, which is widely used in poultry diets, is a good source of lysine and tryptophan, but it is low in the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine. Fishmeal is an excellent source of all of these amino acids. A well-balanced protein, such as that found in fishmeal, is considered to be of high nutritional value for the bird.
Feedstuffs are combined to meet the bird's need for the most limiting amino acids, as well as other nutrients and energy. This can sometimes result in a higher than required protein content of the diet due to the presence of other amino acids in excess. The excess amino acids are not used for the function of protein synthesis. Instead they are deaminated and their carbon skeletons used as an energy source or stored for use as an energy source at a later time. This method of furnishing excess amino acids is very expensive and is an inefficient overall use of the dietary protein.
Using synthetic amino acids, diets can be formulated which meet the bird's amino acid requirements but with a reduced total protein content. This provides the appropriate levels of essential amino acids while avoiding large excesses of other amino acids.
Fishmeal contains an excellent quantity and profile of amino acids which can also offset the deficiencies of certain limiting amino acids in cereal grains. The protein in fishmeal is an excellent source of the essential amino acids lysine, methionine and tryptophan. It is because of this that fishmeal is often used as the supplement of choice for vegetable protein, especially soybean meal.
Animal Feed Resources Information System > Fishmeal
"....Freshness of fish being processed into fish meal is highly correlated with the quality of the resultant fish meal (25) (AGRIS 81-630691) (Bon, 1980). The oils associated with fish meal contain highly unsaturated and are oxidizes easily. Storing of fish meal is dependent upon the oil content of the meal and how it has been stabilized with antioxidants(6) (AGRIS 1999-085040) (Wilairat-Jaroenjit, 1996)....
....Fish meal can be classified as two basic types; 1) fishery waste associated with the processing of fish for human consumption and 2) fish that are only used for the production of fish meal. The composition of fish meal can vary considerable depending upon the composition (whole fish, fish scraps, etc.) of the substrate that is used to prepare the fish meal. ....
Fish meal that has been produced from materials that has been allow to degrade prior to being processed can contain high levels of histamines and can be toxic (17) (AGRIS 93-031733) (Yuningsih, 1988). Elevated histamine levels (1000 ppm) can cause gizzard erosion and black vomit in poultry (17) (AGRIS 93-031733) (Yuningsih, 1988). Care should be taken to assure that the fish meal being used has not been contaminated with harmful substances (chlorinated hydrocarbons, dieldren, lindane, PCBs, etc.) that have been found in fish meals in the past ...."
Where do you even buy fish meal??? I have looked around and never found it anywhere. But then we're pretty landlocked here.
Does your feed store have other poultry feed? You can use unmedicated gamebird feed, turkey feed, etc... Just make sure it's not medicated if giving to the layers long term. You can also mix this with the layer if it turns out to be too much protein. Some of those feeds can go up to 30% which is a bit too high for chickens. You want to stay down around 20%. I use a 22% gamebird feed. You will need to supplement calcium to the layers if you do that (just put out a dish of oyster shell) but otherwise it will be more nutritionally balanced and less likely to give eggs a weird taste along with being easier than trying to add other things. You can also feed it to chicks without as much worry as using layer feed. I feed all my chicks gamebird feed since I can't get starter that isn't medicated.
Akane, that's a good thought. I haven't checked for other types of poultry feed at my local store, but I did call a town close by and they have a starter/grower that is 20%.
Quote:Mine get fish meal and the eggs don't have fishy taste.
Have you had any personal experience with this happening?
According to my Homesteader's Handbook, the fishy taste comes from overdoing it. If you don't do that, there will be no fishy taste.