It is a rare week when I do not receive an email asking me for a broiler feed formulation or some other aspect of practical nutrition for poultry. Most often, such a request comes from regions where a suitable government office does not exist, or because technical advice is not forthcoming from those who should be attending to such matters at a local level.
Of course, to provide any feed formula or any long-distance piece of advice is a risky proposition; what if the formula or recommendation is not suitable for the farm? After all, the more we know about nutrition, the less confident we feel to recommend generic ideas. But something must be provided, and to this end I have been recommending the following.
- Buy the book by Leeson and Summers (2005) titled Commercial Poultry Nutrition. It is already over ten years old, but the basics are there. It is heavy reading, mostly for professionals, but worth the effort.
- Review information at the following two websites. They are a trove of valuable information, especially for those just starting in poultry nutrition:
- Everything You Need to Know About Raising Broiler Chickens, by Darre at University of Connecticut.
- Poultry Nutrition and Feeding, by Shiba (2014).
- There are several free online guides as above, mostly from Extension Services in the U.S., but not all are applicable in all circumstances.
- For those who want something very advanced, look forward to my next book, Poultry Nutrition Notes, due to appear sometime in 2019.
- Attend a local agricultural exhibition, if possible. As a student, this was one of my primary sources of timely nutrition information.
- Subscribe to Poultry International and Feed International. You cannot imagine how much valuable information experts are willing to share today.
Short of enrolling to a college, the above will provide you with enough information to at least communicate with a poultry nutrition expert at a more advanced level of understanding. Happy reading!