When formulating diets for animals, some things are more lasting than others. There will always be a finite list of quantity-limited ingredients to choose from, and it is these ingredients that must be assembled in the right proportions to meet nutrient requirements. For example, animals require a certain amount of usable energy to maximize growth or production, a certain amount of digestible lysine to optimize protein building (like muscles), and a certain amount of each B vitamin for proper metabolism, to name a few of the requirements.
It is the job of the nutritionist to formulate the most-appropriate diet for each stage of production – not easy considering that about 70% of the total cost of animal production is related to the feed, which has a major impact on the productivity of the farm.
The job of the nutritionist is made easier when ingredients are high-quality and consistent. I’ve documented that even ingredients considered commodities vary more in digestible nutrient content than anyone would like to admit (see here). So, as an ingredient producer, making high-quality ingredients that have consistent quantities of digestible nutrients should be the ultimate goal.
All too often, the thought process of ingredient selection devolves into the “cheap enough to feed” mindset. This is not a situation to be in as an ingredient producer or animal nutritionist. Low prices are often negatively correlated to the nutritional and quality characteristics of ingredients. From an animal nutritionist point of view, it’s no good to lower diet costs if animal performance suffers much at all. After all, the goal is to produce as much quality meat, milk, and eggs as you can in order to feed people, not just make a dirt-cheap diet.
This is where quality equipment and processes enter the picture. High-shear dry extrusion and mechanical oil pressing from Insta-Pro® have been used for decades to make high-quality, consistent ingredients for animal nutrition. Often, these extruded ingredients can command a premium over commodity pricing in the marketplace because of how they displace inferior ingredients in the diet, and animal performance is often enhanced (see here and here).
So, whether you’re making or buying ingredients, don’t play the petty price game. Focus on high-quality extruded ingredients that your customers will want you to continue making or including in the diet. Speak with us for help.