Feather Meal

Quoted in its entirety from Feedipedia


Feather meal results from the processing of the feathers obtained after poultry slaughtering. Feather meal is used as a source of protein for farm animals and as a fertilizer. Feathers are a byproduct of broiler, turkey and and other poultry processing operations. Feathers represent 3-7% weight of the live bird, therefore producing a considerable mass of protein (Soni et al., 2017Collins et al., 2014).

Feather meal is a protein source of poor quality because its protein is deficient in amino acids that essential in many livestock species, notably lysine, methionine, histidine and tryptophan (Crawshaw, 2019Baker et al., 1981). Another issue is that keratin, the main component (80-100%) of feather proteins, is poorly digestible when raw (Moran et al., 1967). This highly polymerized protein contains about 8% cysteine, a sulphur amino acid that makes strong disulphur bonds between each other within the primary structure and contributes to the folding of the chain into secondary structures (alpha-helix and beta-sheet in a ratio of 2:1). While this makes raw feathers light, durable, and unable to stretch (unlike hair), it also makes feather keratin undigestible (digestibility < 5%) (Papadopoulos, 1985Kornillowicz-Kowalska et al., 2011).

For that reason, it is necessary to hydrolyze feather meal in order to transform it into a valuable source of protein in animal feeding (El Boushy et al., 1990 ; Papadopoulos, 1985). A thorough hydrolysis under controlled conditions (see processes below) destroys disulphur bonds between amino acids and convert feathers into hydrolized feathers. Hydrolized feathers are then dried to 8% moisture and ground to produce a valuable uniform hydrolized feather meal. All feather meals produced within the EU are reported to be hydrolized (Crawshaw, 2019). Variability of feather meal between batches and between plants can be quite high due to differences in processes.


Feathers are produced worldwide. According to FAO, about 24 billion chicken were produced in 2018. Assuming that a chicken weighs 2 kg and that the average percentage of feathers is 5%, the overall amount of chicken feathers in 2018 can be estimated to be 2.4 million t. Other poultry productions (ducks 1.12 billion heads, turkeys 466 million heads and geese 365 million heads) yield an additional 0.42 million t of additional feathers, resulting in a total amount of feathers up to 2.8 million t in 2018 (FAO, 2019).

Feather meal, like other processed animal proteins, cannot be used everywhere to feed all species: see Potential constraints and recommendations per species below.



There are several ways to hydrolyze feather keratin and many patents have been registered. A unfavourable effect of thermal and chemical methods of keratin hydrolysis is the destruction of some amino acids, including cystine (Papadopoulos, 1985Papadopoulos et al., 1986).

Pressure cooking

Pressurized cooking is the primary method of processing used to make feather meal. Feathers are first cooked under steam pressure (for instance for 30-40 min at 143 °C under 3 atm) and then dried (90-110°C for 5 h) (Strzetelski et al., 1999). Increasing steam pressures of 204, 276 or 345 kPa during 30 min, at pH 5.7 or 9, have resulted in increasing pepsin digestibility but also in a lower cystine content of feather meal (Latshaw, 1990). However, it was suggested that sulfur content and bulk density (respectively positively and negatively correlated to nutritive value in poultry) should be used to monitor feather meal quality as there was no indication that high pressure was detrimental to feather meal quality (Moritz et al., 2001). 

Acid hydrolysis

Acid hydrolysis of keratin can be done with hydrochloric acid (HCl) or sulphuric acid (1% hydrochloric acid solution, sodium thioglycolate). It is neutralized with salts or gypsum which may result in a product with a high salt content. Acid hydrolysis many not be able to hydrolize more than 54% of keratin (Coward-Kelly et al., 2006).

Alkaline hydrolisis

Alkaline hydrolysis of keratin can be done with sodium hydroxide (NaOH), sodium sulfide or calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2). Feathers in mixture with NaOH were boiled and the mixture at pH 12 was neutralized with HCl to pH 6. During this process, the cysteine was degraded in lanthionine and the hydrolized feather had reduced nutritive value (Csapo et al., 2018). When adding lime (calcium hydroxide) to feathers at 100°C or 150°C, the resulting hydrolysate was rich in amino acids and polypeptides and the hydrolysis of keratin was very effective (95% hydrolysis after 3h at 150°C). Its composition was similar to the protein in soybeans and cotton seeds, and the hydrolysate was reported to be suitable as a diet supplement in feeding ruminants. It was not recommended for monogastric animals due to its low content of arginine, histidine, lysine, methionine and threonine (Coward-Kelly et al., 2006).

Enzymatic hydrolysis

Some bacteria are able to produce feather-digesting enzymes that will convert the protein fraction into a digestible form (Shih, 1993). Three strains of Bacillus (Bacillus subtilisBacillus flexus and Bacillus endophyticus) were reported to degrade chicken feathers at rates of 59%, 68% and 47% respectively (Thazeem et al., 2016). A strain of Bacillus aerius was able to degrade efficiently white and black feathers from chickens, ducks and pigeons (Bhari et al., 2018). Fungal keratinase, alkaline protease, or specific microorganisms can be used to hydrolyse feather keratin (Kornillowicz-Kowalska et al., 2011).


Feather meal should have a high nutritional value, with guarantees regarding its amino acid profile and protein digestibility, regardless of the quality and origin of the starting material. Pepsin digestibility is used as a method of assessing the quality of feather meal. A pepsin digestibility value of 75 % is considered to be a minimum value to ensure that the feather meal has been adequately processed (Vanoverschelde et al., 2018AAFCO, 2002).

Environmental impact 

Feed vs. waste and environmental impact

Transforming huge amounts of poultry feathers into feather meal allows the disposal of feathers which are otherwise an environmental burden. The Life Cycle Assessment of steam-processed feather meal shows that it has a better environmental impact (lowest CO2 emissions and lowest abiotic depletion measured in Sb equivalent) than poultry fat and poultry by-product meal (Campos et al., 2020).

Nutritional attributes 

Feather meal is primarily a protein source. It contains typically about 85% DM of protein, with some fat (9%) and minerals (6%). Unlike many other animal-based products, its protein profile is highly deficient in lysine (about 2.3% protein vs 7-8% for a fish meal, 4-6% for a meat and bone meal, and up to 10% for a blood meal. It is rich in cystine (4.6% protein) but poor in methionine (0.7% protein), histidine (0.9% protein) and, to a less extent, tryptophane (0.6% protein). The protein profile also depends on the extra material present in the feather meal (such as blood), and on the amount of amino acid degradation caused by hydrolysis.Potential constraints 

Ban on processed animal protein (PAP)

In 2001, after the BSE (Bovine spongiforme encephalopathy) outbreak, processed animal protein (PAP) including feather meal were banned from animal feeding in the European Union and other countries like Brazil (ABRA, 2020; EU, 2001). Since 2013, PAP from non-ruminant livestock has been approved in the EU for use in aquaculture and pet food. At the time of writing (September 2020), a new relaxation of rules ban is under discussion, which would concern the use of swine PAP in poultry diets and poultry PAP – including feather meal – in pig diets. A prerequisite for this would be the effectiveness of controls based on analytical tests to verify the identity of particular types of PAP (FEFAC, 2019).

Quality control

Feather meal needs to be tested (pepsin digestibility) to ensure that it has been processed properly. When formulating diets, additional protein sources should be used to supplement the poor amino acid profile of the feather meal.Ruminants 

Feather meal is a rather inexpensive protein source, with high rumen undegradable protein (RUP). It is important to note that, at the time of writing (September 2020), its use in ruminant feeding is banned in the European Union (Regulation EC n° 999/2001, Annex IV) and in other countries such as Brazil (ABRA, 2020).

Degradability and digestibility

Values of in situ protein ruminal degradation of feather meal range from 40 to 60% (Mora-Luna et al., 2015Habib et al., 2013Scholljegerdes et al., 2005Moreira et al., 2003; Loest et al., 2002; Bargo et al., 2001Hernandez et al., 1998England et al., 1997Chiou et al., 1995Blasi et al., 1991). Hydrolyzed feather meal was found to have a lower crude protein (CP) degradability than soybean meal (Mora-Luna et al., 2015) and than sunflower meal (Bargo et al., 2001). Protein from feather meal has a high intestinal true digestibility (Branco et al., 2006de Oliveira et al., 2003Rodriguez et al., 2003Strzetelski et al., 1999Lee et al., 1997Calsamiglia et al., 1995). In wethers, at similar intake, hydrolyzed feather meal resulted in similar portal and hepatic nitrogenous nutrient flows (alpha-amino nitrogen, ammonia and urea) as other protein sources (soybean meal, corn gluten meal) (Branco et al., 2004).

Feather meal is an effective source of metabolisable protein and of sulfur amino-acids, mainly consisting in cysteine, while only very little methionine is available and could be limiting.

Dairy cattle

Feather meal can be an effective supplemental protein source for lactating dairy cattle in certain conditions. In mid-lactation Holstein cows, feather meal at 3% of DM intake was beneficial for milk production with maize silage diet at 14% CP but not at 18% CP; feather meal at 6% of DM intake, had no effect on DM intake and milk fat percentage, but reduced CP digestibility and milk protein concentration (Harris et al., 1992).

Indeed, despite a high level of metabolizable protein, the amino acid profile in feather meal can be limiting for milk production. Iso-metabolizable protein substitution of a balanced protein source by feather meal resulted in a decrease in DM intake, milk yield, milk protein content, and to a higher milk fat content (Stahel et al., 2014). Feeding hydrolysed feather meal above 6.7% of dietary DM decreased DM intake, leading to a linear decrease in milk yield and in milk protein concentration (Morris et al., 2020). When cows were given feather meal, the deficiency in specific amino acids compromised the increase in milk and protein yield in response to increasing the frequency of milking, as observed with a better amino acid balance (Yeo et al., 2003). In lactating dairy cows consuming a diet of grass silage and a cereal-based supplement containing feather meal, response of milk production to infusions of histidine revealed that this amino-acid is first limiting (Kim et al., 1999). In contrast, when associated to other protein sources to support metabolizable Met and Lys supply, feather meal gave comparable milk production than heat- and lignosulfonate-treated canola meal (Johnson-VanWieringen et al., 2007). A combination of feather meal and blood meal can be used as supplemental protein to support high milk production (>37 kg/day) in early lactation (Johnson et al., 1994). Feeding a combination of feather meal and blood meal was also found to increase milk production in dairy cattle (Grant et al., 1998).

In several cases, higher rumen undegradable protein supply provided by feather meal is not limiting for milk production, e.g. for cows on pasture producing less than 22 kg of milk (Bargo et al., 2001). In lactating beef cows fed ad libitum on brome grass hay, supplement as feather meal-blood meal combination had only little effect on body weight, condition score, milk production, or calf body weight compared to vegetable supplements (Encinias et al., 2005)

Beef cattle

At similar DM intake, feather meal led to higher or similar daily weight gain compared to other protein sources (urea or soybean meal) in crossbred (Charoles/RedAngus/Nelore) castrated calves fed sorghum (Vargas et al., 2003). In calves fed iso-metabolizable protein and energy diets based on 40% sorghum silage and 60% of concentrate, feather meal provided lower weight gains, higher intake and lower feed:gain ratio than the fish meal, soybean meal being intermediary (de Oliveira et al., 2002). Compared to soybean meal given at 1 kg/d from 45 days prior calving to the end of the breeding season in Brahman pregnant heifers, hydrolyzed feather meal induced lower body weight and condition score, but pregnancy rate was not affected (Mora-Luna, et al., 2014).

The lack of a response in protein efficiency to ruminally protected methionine and lysine suggested that feather meal as primary supplemental protein was adequate in these amino acids for growing calves (Klemesrud et al., 1998), but in a further experiment feather meal promoted a gain response equal to only 50% of the response obtained with rumen-protected Met (Klemesrud et al., 2000). The replacement of a traditional grain by feather meal higher in metabolizable arginine (56 to 175 mg/kg body weight), did not affect weight gain in grazing growing Limousin heifers (Johnson et al., 2019). When feather meal was incorporated into liquid supplements to replace a portion of the CP provided by urea, average daily gain and reproductive performance was improved in mature beef cows (Pate et al., 1995). Feeding a combination of feather and blood meals resulted in the best growth in calves (Blasi et al., 1991).


In lambs, supplementation with feather meal had no effect on straw digestion in lambs (Thomas et al., 1994). In contrast, feather meal increased daily gain when it replaced soybean meal and urea or soybean meal alone (Thomas et al., 1994Punsri, 1991). In wethers, substitution of soybean meal/urea by hydrolyzed feather meal produced an increase in protein intake and nitrogen retention, but also in feces and urine nitrogen excretion, while the digestibility of nutrients was reduced (Branco et al., 2003). The nitrogen utilization of diets was comparable when soybean meal was replaced by feather meal and blood meal (Viswanathan et al., 2009; Cozzi et al., 1995). In a diet containing 70% concentrate and at least 13% CP, differences in amino acid profiles among blood, corn gluten, feather, fish and soybean meals did not impact rate or efficiency of growth in crossbred (Boer x Spanish) wethers (Soto-Navarro et al., 2004). Wool fibre diametre and sulfur content of wool did not differ in lambs fed feather meal vs. soybean meal (Thomas et al., 1994).


The use of hydrolyzed feather meal with blood meal in dairy goats improved the nutritive value of the diet and milk quality (Andrighetto et al., 1994). Hydrolyzing the hard tissue (feather and bone) and coextruding it with soybean hulls resulted in a palatable by-product meal for meat goats, supporting nitrogen metabolism similar to that of traditional protein sources (Freeman et al., 2009). West African Dwarf goats fed 12.5% feather meal plus 12.5% rice husk showed encouraging results in terms of DM intake, and nutrient digestibilities (Belewu, et al., 2009).Pigs 

Hydrolysed feather meal is often referred to as a valuable protein source for pigs (Rojas et al., 2012). It is important to note that, at the time of writing (September 2020), its use in pig feeding is banned in the European Union (Regulation EC n° 999/2001, Annex IV) and in other countries.


The digestible energy value for feather meal is highly variable: ED values range from 15.2 MJ/kg DM (Fialho et al., 1995) to 21-25 MJ/kg DM (Sulabo et 2013).

Amino acids

Standardised ileal amino acid digestibilities (SID) for hydrolyzed feather meal can be highly variable. Low values (< 50%) as well as high values (> 70%) have been recorded. In one experiment, the SID values of two samples for lysine, isoleucine and tryptophane were compared to NRC values (56, 76 and 63% respectively): the first sample was much lower and the second was much higher. (Kerr et al., 2019). Values of SID obtained in China for an enzymatic feather meal were much higher than NRC values with 77% for lysine, 85% for isoleucine, and 85% for trytophane; it was attributed to the process (Pan et al., 2016).


Conventional feather meal

It was possible to feed 18 kg piglets on 3% feather meal as a replacer of soybean meal without impairing daily weight gain, feed intake and feed-to-weight gain ratio (Chen et al., 2019). Earlier experiments had inconsistent conclusions. No difference in performance was observed when up to 4 % feather meal was fed to piglets 0-4 weeks of age and up to 8 % could be fed to the 4 to 8 week old age group (Khajarern et al., 1982b). A quadratic decrease in growth rate and gain:feed ration was observed with increasing feather meal from 3% to 6% at starter stage (Apple et al., 2003).

Enzymatic feather meal

Feeding 11 kg piglets with 1.5% (dietary level) enzymatic feather meal or spray-dried porcine plasma yielded similar growth rate and similar intestinal health parameters. With enzymatic feather meal, stool consistency was improved in the same way as with plasma (Pan et al., 2016).

Growing and finishing pigs

Conventional feather meal

Trials in Thailand have found that average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) declined when feather meal replaced soybean meal in pig diets (Sinchermsiri et al., 1989). Levels of 5 and 7.5 % of dietary feather meal decreased DM and CP digestibility, loin-eye area, FCR and feed intake (Buaban, 1988). In a later experiment, inclusion of feather meal up to 10% in the diet did not affect DM or CP digestibilities of the diet but decreased the Biological Value of the dietary protein (Buaban et al., 1989).

Feather meal fed at 3 or 6% dietary level had no effect on animal performance during the grower phase I and had positive effect during grower phase II (Apple et al., 2003). Another experiment recommended to include feather meal at 8% dietary level in growing pigs diet. Feather meal had no effect on pig performance and feed intake at 8%, but significantly decreased weight gain and feed intake at 10%. There was a trend for backfat to increase with increasing level of feather meal and the lean gain was reduced at 10% inclusion. At high inclusion rates, N excretion was increased quadratically and P excretion was reduced. Including feather meal reduced odourous compounds in faeces (van Heugten et al., 2002).

When finisher pig diets were formulated with feather meal (9.7 % dietary as-fed) to totally replace soybean meal (iso-nitrogenous diets with supplmented with different amino acids), pigs fed on feather meal diets had lower feed intake, lower indispensable amino acid intake, and they grew slowlier. Increasing the number of supplemental amino acids in feather meal diets improved amino acid intake, meat colour, meat, firmness and marbling, but it was not possible to totally replace soyabean meal with feather meal (Divakala et al., 2009). An earlier experiment included feather meal at 9% (dietary DM) without impairing growth rate feed efficiency or carcass traits (Chiba et al., 1996).

Meat quality

The inclusion of feather meal at 3 or 6% in growing pig diets increased growth rate and the meat content of taurine, an amino acid with health benefits (Seo et al., 2009).

In growing-finishing pigs rations, feather meal could provide up to 25 % of the dietary protein without significantly affecting performance (Khajarern et al., 1982b). Feather meal inclusion at 3 or 6% increased ham leanness. Other effects of feather meal level on meat quality were not consistent. It was concluded that up to 6% feather meal could be included in grower-finisher iso-lysinic diets without compromising meat quality (Apple et al., 2003).

In an attempt to reduce feed intake, average daily gain and fat deposition in barrows, feather meal was included at 10 and 20% in their diet. The reduction of feed intake and fat was reported to be effective only if feather meal was fed from the early fattening stage when barrows had only 36 kg BW. Further introduction (between 60-86 kg BW) of feather meal in pigs diet had no effect on carcass leanness (Ssu et al., 2004).

Other feather meals
Feather meal and blood mixture

A process consisting in adding blood to hydrolyzed feather meal prior to drying has been assessed. It was reported to contain more amino acids and less fat that feather meal alone. However, the addtion of bloood did not improved digestion parameters: digestible energy and metabolizable energy were lower, SID of amino acids is slightly lower and digestiblity of P is also reduced (Rojas et al., 2012). This mixture of hydrolised feather meal and blood could completely and satisfactorily replace soybean meal in finisher pigs provided they were given adequate amino acid supplementation based on the content of SID amino acids in the feather meal (Brotzge et al., 2014).

Bacillus-inoculated feather meal

Bacillus-inoculated feather meal and conventional feather meal were compared as partial (10 or 20%) replacers of soybean meal in finisher pigs during 70 days. Bacillus-inoculated feather meal included to replace 20% of soybean meal yielded higher weight gain, improved feed conversion ratio and the proportion high quality carcass (Kim, 2005).

Enzymatic feather meal

Enzymatic feather meal could entirely replace fish meal (at 3% dietary level) in growing pigs dietsI and economically efficient (Li et al., 2012).

Lactating sows

Feather meal included in lactating sows diet as a potential source of valine at 2.5% (dietary level) was not effective in reducing sow weaning weight loss when the daily gain of the litter was over 2.17 kg/day. In sows with litter with a lower daily gain, inclusion of feather meal had no effect on sows and litter performance (Southern et al., 2000).Poultry 

The high protein content of feather meal make it potentially valuable in poultry feeds, provided that feather meal has been hydrolyzed. It is important to note that, at the time of writing (September 2020), its use in poultry feeding is banned in the European Union (Regulation EC n° 999/2001, Annex IV) and in other countries.

The nutritional value of feather meal is highly variable, because of the variability of the raw material and the variability added by technological treatments. Particularly, pressure cooking can degrade amino acids and the digestibility of amino acids of feather meal is generally lower than that of other animal byproducts (Park et al., 2019). Rapid in vitro tests (such as pepsin protein solubility) are not well correlated with the true nutritive value of feather meal (Papadopoulos, 1985).

The amino acid profile of feather meal is unbalanced, with a low level of essential amino acids such as lysine, methionine, histidine and tryptophan. It is quite high in cysteine, threonine and arginine. Digestibility is very variable according to the processing method, and should be considered for a proper feed formulation.

The energy value of feather meal highly depends on fat content and technological treatment and thus digestibility. On average ME value is about 12.5 MJ/Kg DM.


Many trials on the use of feather meal in broilers have been published since the 1940s. The experiments based on the simple substitution of other protein sources with feather meal often led to poor performance because of the amino acid deficiencies due to the imbalance of feather meal protein. The limiting amino acids are, in this order, methionine, lysine, histidine and tryptophan (Baker et al., 1981). The negative effect was higher when diets were low in crude protein (Morris et al., 1973). When synthetic amino acids are added, performance can be maintained. Good quality feather meal does not decrease feed intake or feed efficiency, and performance could be maintainted at 5-10% inclusion rates (Baker et al., 1981). However, this is not always the case and some authors observed a decrease in growth performance at levels above 2.5% (Daghir, 1975). Young animals seem to be more affected than older broilers (Morris et al., 1973).

Some authors proposed to associate feather meal with other animal protein sources such as broiler offal or fish meal in order to improve the amino acid profile of the diet without relying too much on synthetic amino acids (El Boushy et al., 1990). The results on broiler performance were positive, with better growth performance than with feather meal alone (Isika et al., 2006Daghir, 1975).

Given these results and the variability of the products, it can be recommended to limit feather meal incorporation to 2.5% in broilers, and use feather meal at 5% only for very good quality meals. The most important point is to formulate feeds with adequate values for amino acids content and digestibility. It these values are uncertain, feather meal level should be limited and safety margins should be raised for potentially limiting amino acids.


Several studies showed that the inclusion of feather meal in layer diets without adequate amino acid supplementation led to degraded laying performance (El Boushy et al., 1990). However, these negative effects were solved with lysine and methionine supplementation, resulting in laying performance at 2.5% to 5% dietary level equivalent to that obtained with control diets (Senkoylu et al., 2005). In case of balanced diets, feed intake, egg weight and feed efficiency were maintained. Another formulation possibility was to add other raw materials rich in essential amino acids such as poultry offal meal and blood meal (Daghir, 1975).


Several studies showed that inclusion of feather meal in young turkey diets can decrease performancesignificantly, especially at inclusion levels above 8% (Balloun et al., 1974Eissler et al., 1996Potter et al., 1978). In older animals, feather meal can be used at moderate levels (5%) with adequate amino acids supplementation (Balloun et al., 1974El Boushy et al., 1990). Feather meal treatment with NaOH treatment instead of thermal hydrolysis let to growth depression (Loyra et al., 2013).

From these results it is advised to avoid feather meal in young turkeys up to 4 weeks of age, and to limit inclusion to 2.5-5% in older animals, with adequate feed formulation.


The use of 5% hydrolyzed feather meal in local growing ducks allowed growth performance similar to control diet (Pertiwi et al., 2017). Similarly feather meal was successfully used in growing and laying ducks in substitution to fishmeal (Suksupath, 1980).Rabbits 

Hydrolyzed feather meal was used with success to replace soybean meal, peanut meal or meat meal in balanced diets for growing rabbits (Fekete et al., 1986Ayanwale, 2006Trigo et al., 2018). The inclusion level used with success in experimental diets was generally 3-6% but not higher than 10% (Adejumo et al., 2005Tag El Den et al., 1988).

However it must be noticed that in some experiments (digestibility trials) feather meal was incorporated up to 30% of the diet without trouble in adult rabbits (Fekete et al., 1986). Feather meal is a source of protein, rich in sulphur amino acid (mostly cystine) but strongly deficient in lysine : ~40-45% of requirement of growing rabbits. In some experiments the presence of feather meal in rabbit diets reduced significantly growth performance (feed intake, growth rate), but in this case the imbalance in amino acids was not taken in account (Trung et al., 2017).

Digestibility of feather meal is a little bit better than that of meat meal for organic matter as for nitrogen (Trigo et al., 2018). A direct determination provided a digestible energy value of 19.5 MJ/kg DM and a digestibility coefficient of 76% for nitrogen (Fekete et al., 1986).

It must be noted that, included in complete pelleted formulas, feather meal has a poor contribution to physical pellets quality (Thomas et al., 2001).Fish 

Feather meal is a valuable source of protein that can replace costly fish meal in many fish species. Its nutritive value depends on the way feathers are hydrolyzed but many other factors in the process may influence feather meal quality. The use of feather meal in fish feeding is generally authorized by regulations.


Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

In juvenile rainbow trout could be fed with four different feather meals (2 steam-processed and 2 enzymatic feather meals) that provided increasing levels of arginine (10 g/kg; 13.5 g/kg, and 15 g/kg), enzymatic feather meals had a higher protein digestibility and resulted in 10.5-11.5% higher growth rates than steam-processed feather meals. It was suggested to feed enzymatic feather meal at no more than 100 g/kg diet to limit arginine level at 13.5 g/kg, level over which arginine was found to be detrimental to fish growth (Pfeuti et al., 2019).

In an attempt to reduce fish meal in juvenile trouts, 40 g of feather meal was fed at 200 to 400 g/kg diet. Increasing feather meal content decreased feed intake and halved growth performance. This decrease could be itself halved by supplementating lysine or a mixture of lysine and methione, suggesting that amino acid deficiency was not the only issue with feather meal. Feather meal had also a deleterious effect on feed conversion ratio and increased fat deposition at the expense of protein retention (Pfeffer et al., 1994).


The apparent digestibility coefficients of feather meal measured on Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) (101 g BW) were reported to be : 58% for dry matter, 77% for crude protein and 70% for energy. It ranked fourth after soybean meal, rapeseed meal and meat and bone meal (Jiang et al., 2010). Feather meal could replace up to 33% fish meal and 66% soybean meal in Nile tilapia fry (2.3 g) diet (containing 30% CP and 19.7 MJ/kg gross energy) without compromising growth and protein utilization (Suloma et al., 2014). Former results on fry (12.3 g BW) had however reported that replacement of 66% fish and bone meat by feather meal resulted in lower growth parameters (Bishop et al., 1995).

Juvenile red hybrid tilapia (37 g BW) could be successfully fed during 16 weeks on feather meal at up to 15 % dietary inclusion as a replacer of fish meal in a diet containing 29% digestible protein. Fish fed on feather meal had better weight gain, specific growth rate and feed conversion ratio than fish fed with the control diet, which contained fish meal, soybean meal and corn gluten meal as protein sources (Yong et al., 2018). Another trial on younger red tilapia juveniles (24 g BW) during 84 days concluded that the optimal level of feather meal was 9% dietary inclusion as it resulted in the highest survival rate, unchanged growth rate, feed intake and carcass composition (Nursinatrio et al., 2019).


Common carps (Cyprinus carpio)

In common carps, the nutritive value of feather meal was found to be intermediate between that of poultry by-product meal and that of blood meal (Trzebiatowski et al., 1982). In juvenile (20 g) carps, up to 40% fish meal could be replaced by hydrolyzed feather meal without impairing growth rate and feed conversion ratio. Supplementation of feather meal with lysine, methionine, tryptophan and histidine were beneficial to feed conversion ratio (Meske et al., 1990).

Pengze crucian carp (Carassius auratus var. Pengze)

In Pengze crucian carps, feather meal was used to replace 15% to 60% of fish meal (isonitrogenous at 35% crude protein) during 70 days. Fish growth remained unaffected up to 45% fishmeal protein replacement. However at this level, hydrolyzed feather meal reduced the body protein content and affected fillet quality through a significant increase in springiness, gumminess, chewiness and/or resilience. At 60% replacement, feather meal had negative impacts on absorptive capacity of intestine by decreasing its absorptive area. It was suggested not to replace more than 30% fish meal to maintain optimal growth performance, fillet quality and intestinal health parameters (Yu et al., 2020).

Indian major carp (Labeo rohita)

In Indian major carp (Labeo rohita) fry, feather meal could replace up to 50% fish meal and be included at up to 20% in the diet without compromising growth and feed conversion ratio (Hasan et al., 1997).

Turbot (Scophtalmus maximus L.)

In juvenile (37.5 g) turbots, enzymatic feather meal and steam-processed feather meal were used to replace 50% fishmeal. At 24% dietary level, enzymatic feather meal yielded better growth performance than steam-processed feather meal. However, over 8% dietary inclusion, enzymatic feather meal, supplemented or not with lysine and methionine, resulted in lesser performance than that obtained with the control diet. It was suggested to partially replace fish meal with 8 % feather meal without amino acid supplementation (Cao et al., 2020).

Seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.)

In seabass juveniles, replacing 76% of fish meal with hydrolyzed feather meal resulted in lower protein digestibility and thus higher N losses but it also increased phosphorus digestibility and reduced P losses. Feed intake, growth performance, feed conversion, body composition and health parameters not were affected. It was thus suggested that up to 76% fish meal could be replaced by feather meal in seabass diets (Campos et al., 2017).Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Feather meal

Main analysisUnitAvgSDMinMaxNb 
Dry matter% as fed922.679.696.4135 
Crude protein% DM85.56.269.798.1156 
Crude fibre% DM1.42.10.310.624 
Neutral detergent fibre% DM7.3   1 
Acid detergent fibre% DM5.52.8210.68 
Lignin% DM0     
Ether extract% DM9.23.41.516.365*
Ash% DM5. 
Insoluble ash% DM0. 
Starch (polarimetry)% DM0   1 
Starch (enzymatic)% DM0     
Total sugars% DM0.3 0.20.64 
Gross energyMJ/kg DM23.50.922.326.926*
Amino acidsUnitAvgSDMinMaxNb 
Alanineg/16g N4. 
Arginineg/16g N6.80.94.610.638 
Aspartic acidg/16g N6.70.267.231 
Cystineg/16g N4. 
Glutamic acidg/16g N10.51.18.312.232 
Glycineg/16g N7. 
Histidineg/16g N0. 
Isoleucineg/16g N4. 
Leucineg/16g N80.66.99.539 
Lysineg/16g N2. 
Methionineg/16g N0. 
Methionine+cystineg/16g N5.20.646.433*
Phenylalanineg/16g N4. 
Phenylalanine+tyrosineg/16g N7.50.86.410.327*
Prolineg/16g N9. 
Serineg/16g N11.11.3813.533 
Threonineg/16g N4.70.63.3740 
Tryptophang/16g N0. 
Tyrosineg/16g N2. 
Valineg/16g N7.31.24.810.639 
Fatty acidsUnitAvgSDMinMaxNb 
Myristic acid C14:0% fatty acids1. 
Palmitic acid C16:0% fatty acids334.324.3356 
Palmitoleic acid C16:1% fatty acids6.20.266.45 
Stearic acid C18:0% fatty acids12.92.38.3146 
Oleic acid C18:1% fatty acids38.82.633.640.16 
Linoleic acid C18:2% fatty acids54313.26 
Linolenic acid C18:3% fatty acids0.5   1 
Calciumg/kg DM13.*
Phosphorusg/kg DM8.94.61.625.628*
Potassiumg/kg DM1. 
Sodiumg/kg DM1.320.350.892.2612 
Chlorineg/kg DM2. 
Magnesiumg/kg DM0. 
Sulfurg/kg DM18.20.617.4196 
Manganesemg/kg DM1667218 
Zincmg/kg DM138201061578 
Coppermg/kg DM1027147 
Ironmg/kg DM5362022468337 
Seleniummg/kg DM0. 
Pig nutritive valuesUnitAvgSDMinMaxNb 
Energy digestibility, growing pig%78     
DE growing pigMJ/kg DM18.4    *
MEn growing pigMJ/kg DM16.5    *
NE growing pigMJ/kg DM10.2    *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig%78     
Poultry nutritive valuesUnitAvgSDMinMaxNb 
AMEn cockerelMJ/kg DM12.4    *
AMEn broilerMJ/kg DM12.4    *
Ruminants nutritive valuesUnitAvgSDMinMaxNb 
OM digestibility, ruminants%76.84.17282.76 
Energy digestibility, ruminants%81.8    *
ME ruminantsMJ/kg DM13.2    *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants%74.15.96985.26 
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%)%36    *
a (N)%18314226 
b (N)%251710486 
c (N)h-10.1210.1050.0020.256 
Dry matter degradability (effective, k=6%)%291016415*
Dry matter degradability (effective, k=4%)%31    *
a (DM)%15310195 
c (DM)h-10.1260.1250.0020.275 
Rabbit nutritive valuesUnitAvgSDMinMaxNb 
DE rabbitMJ/kg DM23.8    *
MEn rabbitMJ/kg DM22.1    *
Energy digestibility, rabbit%100    *
Nitrogen digestibility, rabbit%39.7    *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


ADAS, 1988ADAS, 1990Aderibigbe et al., 1983Adewolu et al., 2010AFZ, 2017Allan et al., 2000Anon., 2001Bandegan et al., 2010Bargo et al., 2001Barrows et al., 2015Bryan et al., 2019Bryden et al., 2009Chiou et al., 1995Church et al., 1982Dewar, 1967England et al., 1997Fialho et al., 1995Furuya et al., 1988Garcia et al., 2007Guimaraes et al., 2008Hajen et al., 1993Hegedüs et al., 1990Howie et al., 1996Huston et al., 1971Jongbloed et al., 1990Kamalak et al., 2005Kellems et al., 1998Knabe et al., 1989Knaus et al., 1998Latshaw et al., 1994Lee et al., 1997Marghazani et al., 2013McDowell et al., 1974Miner, 2005Munguti et al., 2009Nengas et al., 1995NRC, 1994Orskov et al., 1992Pansri et al., 1987Papadopoulos et al., 1986Papadopoulos, 1986Petit, 1992Quilici, 1967Schang et al., 1982Swanek et al., 2001

Last updated on 31/08/2020 10:38:33References 

AAFCO, 2002. Official publication. American Association of Animal Feed Control Officials
Associação Brasileira de Reciclagem Animal, 2020. Feather meal. ABRA (Associação Brasileira de Reciclagem Animal), Brasilia, Brazil
Adejumo, D. O. ; Onifade, A. A., 2005. Effects of graded levels of feather meal as a dietary protein source on growth performance, haematology, serum chemistry and clinical enzyme activities in rabbit. ASSET: An International Journal (Series A), 5: 129-138
Andrighetto, I.; Bailoni, L., 1994. Effect of different animal protein-sources on digestive and metabolic parameters and milk-production in dairy goats. Small Rumin. Res., 13 (2): 127-132
Apple, J. K.; Boger, C. B.; Brown, D. C.; Maxwell, C. V, 2003. Effect of feather meal on live animal performance and carcass quality and composition of growing-finishing swine. J. Anim. Sci., 81 (1): 172-181
Ayanwale, B. A., 2006. An evaluation of hydrolysed feather meal as a protein source in rabbit diets. Res. J. Biol. Sci., 1 (1): 32-35
Baker, D. H.; Blitenthal, R. C.; Boebel, K. P.; Czarneckil, G. L.; Southern, L. L.; Willis, G. M., 1981. Protein-amino acid evaluation of steam-processed feather meal. Poult Sci., 60 (8): 1865-1872
Balloun, S. L. ; Khajarern, J. K., 1974. The Effects of Whey and Yeast on Digestibility of Nutrients in Feather Meal. Poult. Sci., 53 (3):1084-1095
Bandegan, A. ; Kiarie, E. ; Payne, R. L. ; Crow, G. H. ; Guenter, W. ; Nyachoti, C. M., 2010. Standardized ileal amino acid digestibility in dry-extruded expelled soybean meal, extruded canola seed-pea, feather meal, and poultry by-product meal for broiler chickens. Poult. Sci., 89 (12): 2626–2633
Barber, R. S. ; Braude, R. ; Mitchell, K. G., 1965. The value of feather meal as a protein supplement for growing pigs. Anim. Prod., 7 (1): 103-110
Bargo, F. ; Rearte, D. H. ; Santini, F. J.; Muller, L. D., 2001. Ruminal digestion by dairy cows grazing winter oats pasture supplemented with different levels and sources of protein. J. Dairy Sci., 84 (10): 2260-2272
Belewu, M. A.; Muhammed, N. O.; Ajayi, F. T.; Abdulgafar, D. T., 2009. Performance characteristics of goat fed Trichoderma treated feather meal-rice husk mixture. Anim. Nutr. Feed Technol., 9 (2): 203-208
Bhari⁠, R.; Manpreet Kaur⁠, M.; Ram Sarup Singh⁠⁠, R. M.; Pandey, A.; Larroche, C., 2018. Bioconversion of chicken feathers by Bacillus aerius NSMk2: A potential approach in poultry waste management. Bioresources Techn. Reports, 3: 224-230
Bishop, C. D.; Angus, R. A.; Watts, S. A., 1995. The use of feather meal as a replacement for fish meal in the diet of Oreochromis niloticus fry. Biores. Technol., 54 (3): 291-295
Blasi, D. A. ; Klopfenstein, T. J. ; Drouillard, J. S.; Sindt, M. H., 1991. Hydrolysis time as a factor affecting the nutritive value of feather meal and feather meal-blood meal combinations for growing calves. J. Anim. Sci., 69 (3): 1272-1278
Branco, A. F.; Coneglian, S. M.; Mouro, G. F.; Dos Santos, G. T.; Zeoula, L. M.; Bumbieris, V. H., 2003. Hydrolyzed feather meal in sheep diets. Rev. Bras. Zootec., 32 (6): 1454-1460
Branco, A. F.; Mouro, G. F.; Harmon, D. L.; Rigolon, L. P.; Zeoula, L. M.; Maia, F. J.; Coneglian, S. M., 2004. Protein sources, feed intake and splanchnic flux of nutrients in sheep. Rev. Bras. Zootec., 33 (2): 444-452
Branco, A. F.; Coneglian, S. M.; Maia, F. J.; Guimaraes, K. C., 2006. True small intestinal protein digestibility of ruminant feeds. Rev. Bras. Zootec. 35 (4): 1788-1795
Brotzge, S. D. ; Chiba, L. I. ; Adhikari, C. K. ; Stein, H. H. ; Rodning, S. P. ; Welles, E. G., 2014. Complete replacement of soybean meal in pig diets with hydrolyzed feather meal with blood by amino acid supplementation based on standardized lleal amino acid digestibility. Livest. Sci., 163: 85-93
Buaban, R. ; Sinchermsiri, D. ; Hanbunchong, A. ; Kantho, U., 1989. Nutrient digestibilities and utilization of diets containing hydrolyzed feather meal in growing (30 kgs) and finishing (80 kgs) pigs. Research report in 1989, 1990; swine breeding and production, Dep. Livest. Dev., Bangkok (Thailand).- Bangkok (Thailand), 7-12
Buaban, R., 1988. Utilization of hydrolysed feather meal as a protein source in growing-finishing swine diets. Kasetsart Univ., Bangkok (Thailand). Graduate School
Calsamiglia, S.; Stern, M. D., 1995. A 3-step in-vitro procedure for estimating intestinal digestion of protein in ruminants. J. Anim. Sci. 73 (5): 1459-1465
Campos, I.; Matos, E.; Marques, A.; Valente, L. M. P., 2017. Hydrolyzed feather meal as a partial fishmeal replacement in diets for European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) juveniles. Aquaculture, 476: 152-159
Campos, I.; Pinheiro Valente, L. M.; Matos, E.; Marques, P.; Freire, F., 2020. Life-cycle assessment of animal feed ingredients: Poultry fat, poultry by-product meal and hydrolyzed feather meal. J. Cleaner Prod., 252: 119845
Cao, S.; Li, P.; Huang, B.; Song, Z.; Hao, T.; Wang, C.; Wang, M., 2020. Assessing feasibility of replacement of fishmeal with enzyme‐treated feather meal in the diet of juvenile turbot (Scophthalmus maximus L.). Aquacult. Nutr., 26 (4): 1340-1352
Chen, Z. ; Chu, D. ; Chang, W. ; Zheng, A.; Cai, H.; Liu, G., 2019. Nutritional value of expanded feather meal and its effect on the growth performance of weaned piglets. Swine Prod. (China), 3: 18
Chiou, P. W. S. ; Chen, K. J. ; Kuo, K. S. ; Hsu, J. C. ; Yu, B., 1995. Studies on the protein degradabilities of feedstuffs in Taiwan. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 55 (3-4): 215–226
Collins, K. E.; Kiepper, B. H.; Ritz, C. W.; McLendon, B. L.; Wilson, J. L., 2014. Growth, livability, feed consumption, and carcass composition of the Athens Canadian Random Bred 1955 meat-type chicken versus the 2012 high-yielding Cobb 500 broiler. Poult. Sci., 93 (12): 2953-2962
Coward-Kelly, G.; Chang, V. S.; Agbogbo, F. K.; Mark T Holtzapple, M. T. , 2006. Lime treatment of keratinous materials for the generation of highly digestible animal feed: 1. Chicken feathers. Bioresource Technol., 97 (11): 1337-1343
Cozzi, G.; Andrighetto, I.; Berzaghi, P.; Andreoli, D., 1995. Feather and blood meal as partial replacer of soybean-meal in protein supplements for sheep. Small Rumin. Res., 15 (3): 239-245
Crawshaw, R., 2019. Co-product feeds in Europe: Animal feeds derived from industrial processing. Lulu.com
Csapo, J.; Albert, C., 2018. Methods and procedures for the processing of feather from poultry slaughterhouses and the application of feather meal as antioxidant. Acta Univ. Sapientiae, Alimentaria, 11 (1): 81-96
Daghir, N. J., 1975. Studies on poultry by-product meals in broiler and layer rations. World Poult. Sci. J., 31 (3): 200-211
de Oliveira, M. M. M.; Sanchez, L. M. B.; Junior, F. M. V.; Perez, J. R. O.; Pires, C. C.; Haygert, I. M. P.; Frizzo, A.; Lana, R. D. P., 2002. Evaluation of fish and feather meals for confined dairy calves weaned through diets calculated in terms of crude protein or metabolizable protein. Rev. Bras. Zootec., 31 (3): 1571-1581
de Oliveira, M. V. M.; Vargas, F. M.; Sanchez, L. M. B.; Paris, W.; Frizz, A.; Haygert, I. P.; Montagner, D.; Weber, A.; Cerdotes, L., 2003. Ruminal degradability and intestinal digestibility of feeds by means of associated technical in situ and mobile nylon bag. Rev. Bras. Zootec., 32 (6): 2023-2031
Devendra, C., 1983. New dietary protein sources for animal production in South East Asia. Feed information and animal production. Proceedings of the Second Symposium of the International Network of Feed Information Centres. 1983, 479-483
Divakala, K. C.; Chiba, L. I.; Kamalakar, R. B.; Rodning, S. P.; Welles, E. G.; Cummins, K. A.; Swann, J.; Cespedes, F.; Payne, R. L., 2009. Amino acid supplementation of hydrolyzed feather meal diets for finisher pigs. J. Anim. Sci., 87 (4):1270-1281
Eissler, C. R. ; Firman J. D., 1996. Effects of feather meal on the performance of turkeys. J. Appl. Poult. Res., 5 (3): 246-253
El Boushy, A. R.; van der Poel, A. F. B.; Walraven, O. E. D., 1990. Feather meal — A biological waste: Its processing and utilization as a feedstuff for poultry. Biol. Wastes, 32 (1): 39-74
El-Sayed, H. M. ; Kholif, A. M. ; El-Ashry, M. A. ; El-Alamy, H. A. ; Kholif, S. M., 1997. Evaluation of hydrolyzed feather and offal meals as a protein sources for ruminants. Egypt. J. Nutr. Feeds, Nov. Special, 71-79
Encinias, A. M.; Lardy, G. P.; Leupp, J. L.; Encinias, H. B.; Reynolds, L. P.; Caton, J. S., 2005. Efficacy of using a combination of rendered protein products as an undegradable intake protein supplement for lactating, winter-calving, beef cows fed bromegrass hay. J. Anim. Sci., 83 (1): 187-195
England, M. L. ; Broderick, G. A. ; Shaver, R. D. ; Combs, D. K., 1997. Comparison of in situ and in vitro techniques for measuring ruminal degradation of animal by-product proteins. J. Dairy Sci., 80 (11): 2925-2931
FAO, 2019. FAOSTAT. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy
FEFAC, 2019. Resource efficiency champions: Co-products, an essential part of animal nutrition. FEFAC, Bruxelles, Belgium
Fekete, S.; Hegedus, M., 1986. On the utilization of enzymatically digested feathers in rabbit feeding. J. Appl. Rabbit Res., 9: 175-177
Fialho, E. T. ; Barbosa, H. P. ; Albino, L. F. T., 1995. Chemical composition, digestible protein and energy values of some alternative feedstuffs for pigs in Brazil. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 55 (3-4): 239-245
Freeman, S. R. ; Poore, M. H. ; Huntington, G. B. ; Middleton, T. F. ; Ferket, P. R., 2009. Determination of nitrogen balance in goats fed a meal produced from hydrolyzed spent hen hard tissues. J. Anim. Sci., 87 (3): 1068-1076
Furuya, S.; Kaji, Y.; Asano, T.; Muruyama, R., 1988. lleal digestibilities of amino acids in wheat bran, rice bran, rapeseed meal, grain sorghum, meat and bone meal and feather meal for growing pigs. Nihon Chikusan Gakkaiho (Japan. J. Zoot. Sci.), 59 (5): 407-413
Garcia, A. R. ; Batal, A. B. ; Dale, N. M., 2007. A comparison of methods to determine amino acid digestibility of feed ingredients for chickens. Poult. Sci., 86 (1): 94-101
Goedeken, F. K., Klopfenstein, T. J., Stock, R. A., Britton, R. A.; Sindt, M. H., 1990. Protein value of feather meal for ruminants as affected by blood additions. J. Anim. Sci., 68 (9): 2936–2944
Grant, R. J. ; Haddad, S. G., 1998. Effect of a mixture of feather and blood meals on lactational performance of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci., 81 (5): 1358-1363
Habib, G. ; Khan, N. A. ; Ali, M. ; Bezabih, M., 2013. In situ ruminal crude protein degradability of by-products from cereals, oilseeds and animal origin. Lives. Sci., 153 (1-3): 81-87
Harris, B. Jr. ; Dorminey, D. E. ; Smith, W. A. ; Horn, H. H. van; Wilcox, C. J., 1992. Effects of feather meal at two protein concentrations and yeast culture on production parameters in lactating dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci., 75 (12): 3524-3530
Hasan, M. R.; Haq, M. S.; Das, P. M.; Mowlah, G., 1997. Evaluation of poultry-feather meal as a dietary protein source for Indian major carp, Labeo rohita fry. Aquaculture 151 (1/4): 47-54
Hernandez, F. I. L.; Sanchez, L. M. B.; Vieira, R. A. M.; da Silva, J. H. S., 1998. Ruminal disappearance, intestinal and total digestibility of dry matter and crude protein of some concentrate supplements. Rev. Bras. Zootec., 27 (4): 777-782
Isika, M.A.; Agiang, E.A., Eneji, C.A., 2006. Complementary effect of processed broiler offal and feather meals on nutrient retention, carcass and organ mass of broiler chickens. Int. J. Poult. Sci., 5 (7): 656-661
Jiang, R.; Wang, Y.; Xie, N.; Ji, W., 2010. Apparent digestibility coefficient of soybean meal, rapeseed meal, meat and bone meal and feather meal for Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). J. Shanghai Ocean Univ., 19 (3): 339-343
Johnson, T. R. ; Cecava, M. J. ; Sheiss, E. B. ; Cunningham, K. D., 1994. Addition of ruminally degradable crude protein and branched-chain volatile fatty acids to diets containing hydrolyzed feather meal and blood meal for lactating cows. J. Dairy Sci., 77 (12): 3676-3682
Johnson, K. A.; Busdieker-Jesse, N.; McClain, W. E.; Lancaster, P. A., 2019. Feeding strategies and shade type for growing cattle grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue. Livest. Sci., 230: 103829
Johnson-VanWieringen, L. M.; Harrison, J. H.; Davidson, D.; Swift, M. L.; von Keyserlingk, M. A. G.; Vazquez-Anon, M.; Wright, D.; Chalupa, W., 2007. Effects of rumen-undegradable protein sources and supplemental 2-hydroxy-4-(methylthio)-butanoic acid and lysine center dot HCl on lactation performance in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci., 90 (11): 5176-5188
Kamalak, A. ; Canbolat, O. ; Gurbuz, Y. ; Ozay, O., 2005. In situ ruminal dry matter and crude protein degradability of plant- and animal-derived protein sources in Southern Turkey. Small Rumin. Res., 58 (2): 135-141
Kerr, B. J. ; Jha, R. ; Urriola, P. E. ; Shurson, G. C., 2017. Nutrient composition, digestible and metabolizable energy content, and prediction of energy for animal protein byproducts in finishing pig diets. J. Anim. Sci., 95 (6): 2614–2626
Kerr, B. J. ; Urriola, P. E. ; Jha, R. ; Thomson, J. E. ; M. Curry, S. M. ; Shurson, G. C., 2019. Amino acid composition and digestible amino acid content in animal protein by-product meals fed to growing pigs. J. Anim. Sci., 97 (11): 4540-4547
Khajarern, J. ; Khajarern, S. ; Penporn Swasdipan, 1982. Non-conventional protein sources for cassava-based rations, 1: replacement pullets. 980 Annual Report: Cassava/nutrition project, Thailand, Khon Kaen Univ., 238-247
Khajarern, S. ; Khajarern, J. ; Phalaraksh, K. ; Churasatein, S., 1982. The utilization of hydrolysed feather meal as a protein source in pig and poultry rations. In: Animal production and health in the tropics, Jainudeen, M.R.Omar, A.R. (eds.), Serdang, Selangor (Malaysia): UPM Press, 1982. p. 237-240
Kim, C. H.; Choung, J. J.; Chamberlain, D. G., 1999. Determination of the first-limiting amino acid for milk production in dairy cows consuming a diet of grass silage and a cereal-based supplement containing feather meal. J. Sci. Food Agric., 79 (12): 1703-1708
Kim, J. H., 2005. Effect of dietary Bacillus sp. inoculated feather meal on the performance and carcass characteristics in finishing pigs. Kor. J. Anim. Sci. Technol., 47 (4): 525-536
Klemesrud, M. J. ; Klopfenstein, T. J. ; Lewis, A. J., 1998. Complementary responses between feather meal and poultry by-product meal with or without ruminally protected methionine and lysine in growing calves. J. Anim. Sci., 76 (7): 1970-1975
Klemesrud, M. J. ; Klopfenstein, T. J. ; Lewis, A. J., 2000. Evaluation of feather meal as a source of sulfur amino acids for growing steers. J. Anim. Sci., 78 (1): 207-215
Korniłłowicz-Kowalska, T.; Bohacz, J., 2011. Biodegradation of keratin waste: Theory and practical aspects. Waste Management, 31 (8): 1689–1701
Latshaw, J. D., 1990. Quality of feather meal as affected by feather processing conditions. Poult. Sci., 69 (6): 953-958
Lee, S. C. ; Moon, Y. H., 1997. Estimation of ruminal degradation and intestinal availability of crude protein in the animal-origin feedstuffs using mobile nylon bag technique. Asian-Australas. J. Anim. Sci., 10 (2): 210-214
Li X. ; Yu Y. ; Xiao Y. ; Jin M. ; Hong Q. ; Chen A. ; Yang C., 2012. Protein digestibility of enzymatic hydrolysis feather meal in vitro and its application in growing pigs. Chinese J. Anim. Nutr., 48 (15): 33-36
Löest, C. A.; Titgemeyer, E. C.; Drouillard, J. S.; Coetzer, C. M.; Hunter, R. D.; Bindel, D. J.; Lambert, B. D., 2002. Supplemental betaine and peroxide-treated feather meal for finishing cattle. J. Anim. Sci., 80 (9): 2234-2240
Loyra, T. E. ; Santos, R. R.; Sarmiento, F. L.; Segura, C. J., 2013. Productive performance and carcass yield of turkey fed feather meal treated with NaOH. Rev. MVZ Cordoba, 18 (2): 3467-3473
Meske, C.; Meyer-Burgdorff, K. H.; Günther, K. D. , 1990. Studies on the use of hydrolysed feather meal as a protein source in grower diets for carp (Cyprinus carpio L.). Arch. Fischereiwissenschaft, 40 (1/2): 187-204
Miner, W. H., 2005. Analysis of nutrient composition of feather meal and feather meal with blood. William. H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute
Miranda, C. O. ; Uy, F. M., 1981. Carcass and product quality evaluation of broilers and layers fed with hydrolyzed feather meal. Philippine J. Vet. Anim. Sci., 7 (1): 39
Mora-Luna, R. E.; Chicco, C. F.; Herrera-Angulo, A. M.; Godoy, S.; Garmendia, J., 2014. Supplementation with degradable and undegradable protein sources in rumen on cows fed Urochloa humidicola. I. Body weight changes, body score condition, pregnancy and blood chemistry on Brahman first calf heifers on grazing. Revista Cient. – Facultad Cienc. Vet. 24 (6): 563-576
Mora-Luna, R. E.; Chicco, C. F.; Herrera-Angulo, A. M.; Godoy, S.; Garmendia, J., 2015. Supplementation with degradable and undegradable protein sources in rumen on cows fed Urochloa humidicola. II. Ruminal fermentation, degradation of organic matter and blood chemistry on crossbred cows. Revista Cient. – Facultad Cienc. Vet. 25 (1): 63-73
Moran, E. T. ; Summers, J. D., 1967. Feather meal and other processed keratins as dietary sources of protein for poultry production. Feedstuffs, 39 (50): 50-51
Moreira, J. F. C.; Rodriguez, N. M.; Fernandes, P. C. C.; Veloso, C. M.; Saliba, E. O. S.; Goncalves, L. C.; Borges, I.; Borges, A. , 2003. Protein concentrates for bovines. 1. In situ digestibility of dry matter and crude protein. Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec., 55 (3): 315-323
Moritz, J. S.; Latshaw, J. D., 2001. Indicators of nutritional value of hydrolyzed feather meal. Poult. Sci., 80 (1): 79-86
Morris, W. C.; Balloun, S. L., 1973. Evaluation of five differently processed feather meals by nitrogen retention, net protein values, xanthine dehydrogenase activity and chemical analysis. Poult. Sci., 52 (3): 1075-1084
Morris, D. L.; Judy, J. V.; Kononoff, P. J., 2020. Use of indirect calorimetry to evaluate utilization of energy in lactating Jersey dairy cattle consuming diets with increasing inclusion of hydrolyzed feather meal. J. Dairy Sci., 103 (5): 4206-4217
Munguti, J. M. ; Liti, D. M. ; Waidbacher, H. ; Straif, M. ; Zollitsch, W., 2006. Proximate composition of selected potential feedstuffs for Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus Linnaeus) production in Kenya. Die Bodenkultur, 57 (3): 131-141
Munguti, J. M. ; Waidbacher, H. ; Liti, D. M. ; Straif, M. ; Zollitsch, W. J., 2009. Effects of substitution of freshwater shrimp meal (Caridina nilotica Roux) with hydrolyzed feather meal on growth performance and apparent digestibility in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) under different culture conditions. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 21 (8): 129
Munguti, J. M., 2007. Utilisation of locally available feedstuffs for Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) production in small-scale cage culture in Kenya. Thesis, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Nursinatrio; Nugroho, R. A., 2019. Hydrolyzed chicken feather meal as protein source for red tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) aquafeeds. Pakistan J. Zool., 51 (4): 1489-1496
Ørskov, E. R. ; Nakashima, Y. ; Abreu, J. M. F. ; Kibon, A. ; Tuah, A. K., 1992. Data on DM degradability of feedstuffs. Studies at and in association with the Rowett Research Organization, Bucksburn, Aberdeen, UK. Personal Communication
Pan, L. ; Ma, X. K. ; Wang, H. L. ; Xu, X. ; Zeng, Z. K. ; Tian, Q. Y. ; Zhao, P. F. ; Zhang, S. ; Yang, Z. Y. ; Piao, X. S., 2016. Enzymatic feather meal as an alternative animal protein source in diets for nursery pigs. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 212: 112-121
Papadopoulos, M. C.; El Boushy; A. R; Roodbeen, A. E.; Ketelaars, E. H., 1986. Effects of processing time and moisture content on amino acid composition and nitrogen characteristics of feather meal. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 14 (3–4): 279-290
Papadopoulos, M. C., 1985. Processed chicken feathers as feedstuff for poultry and swine. A review. Agricultural Wastes, 14 (4), 275–290
Park, C. S.; Naranjo, V.; Helmbrecht, A.; Htoo, J. K.; Adeola, O., 2019. Digestibility of amino acids in hydrolyzed feather meal, flash dried poultry protein, poultry meal, and meat and bone meal fed to broiler chickens and pigs. J. Anim. Sci., 97 (Suppl. 2): 65
Pate, F. M. ; Brown, W. F. ; Hammond, A. C., 1995. Value of feather meal in a molasses-based liquid supplement fed to yearling cattle consuming a forage diet. J. Anim. Sci., 73 (10): 2865-2872
Pertiwi, A.; Widodo, E.; Nur Ikhsan, M.; Sundu, B., 2017. The utilization of feather meal to increase duck production, carcass quality and feathers growth of local Bali ducks. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 29 (12): 224
Pfeffer, E.; Wiesmann, D.; Henrichfreise, B., 1994. Hydrolyzed feather meal as feed component in diets for rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and effects of dietary protein/energy ratio on the efficiency of utilization of digestible energy and protein. Arch. Anim. Nutr.,46 (1): 111-119
Pfeuti, G.; Cant, J. P.; Shoveller, A. K.; Bureau, D. P., 2019. A novel enzymatic pre‐treatment improves amino acid utilization in feather meal fed to rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Aquacult. Res., 50 (5): 1459-1474
Potter, L. M.; Shelton, J. R., 1978. Evaluation of corn fermentation solubles, menhaden fish meal, methionine, and hydrolyzed feather meal in diets of young turkeys. Poult. Sci., 57 (6): 1586-1593
Punsri, P., 1991. Utilization of nitrogen from feather meal, soybean meal and urea for sheep. Sakon Nakhorn Agricultural Research and Training Center
Quilici, R., 1967. Feather-meal in the feeding of broilers. Riv. Zootec., 40: 98-115
Rakyuttithamkul, E., 2005. Utilization of fermented feather meal replacement of fish meal in fish feed. Ms Sci. Mahidol University
Rodriguez, N. M.; Moreira, J. F. C.; Fernandes, P. C. C.; Veloso, C. M.; Saliba, E. O. S.; Borges, I.; Goncalves, L. C.; Borges, A., 2003. Protein concentrates for bovines. 2. Post-ruminal digestion of protein and dry matter. Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec., 55 (3): 324-333
Rojas, O. J.; Stein, H. H., 2012. Nutritional value of animal proteins fed to pigs. Proc. Midwest Swine Nutr. Conf. Indianapolis, Sep. 13, 2012: 9-24
Scholljegerdes, E. J.; Ludden, P. A.; Hess, B. W. , 2005. Effect of restricted forage intake on ruminal disappearance of bromegrass hay and a blood meal, feather meal, and fish meal supplement. J. Anim. Sci. 83 (9): 2146-2150
Senkoylu, N. ; Samli, H. E. ; Akyurek, H. ; Agma, A. ; Yasar, S., 2005. Performance and egg characteristics of laying hens fed diets incorporated with poultry by-product and feather meals. J. Appl. Poult. Res., 14 (3): 542-547
Seo, S. H.; Jung, B. Y.; Lee, M. K.; Lee, B. H.; Paik, I. K., 2009. The effect of dietary supplementation of feather meal on the performance and muscular taurine contents in growing-finishing pigs. Asian-Austr. J. Anim. Sci., 22 (10): 1407-1413
Shih, J. C. H., 1993. Recent development in poultry waste digestion and feather utilization: a review. Poult. Sci., 72 (9): 1617-1620
Sinchermsiri, D. ; Buaban, R. ; Hanbunchong, A., 1989. Utilization of hydrolyzed feather meal as a protein source in growing and finishing pig diets. Research report in 1989, 1990; swine breeding and production, Dep. Livest. Dev., Bangkok (Thailand).- Bangkok (Thailand), 13-20
Soni, A.; Chand, S.; Talukder, S. , 2017. Feather meal and its nutritional impact. Poultry World, Misset Uitgeverij B.V.
Soto-Navarro, S. A.; Goetsch, A. L.; Sahlu, T.; Puchala, R., 2004. Effects of level and source of supplemental protein in a concentrate-based diet on growth performance of Boer x Spanish wether goats. Small Rumin. Res., 51 (1): 101-106
Southern, L. L.; LeMieux, F. M.; Matthews, J. O.; Bidner, T. D.; Knowles, T. A., 2000. Effect of feather meal as a source of valine for lactating sows. J Anim. Sci., 78 (1):120-123
Ssu, K. W.; Brumm, M. C.; Miller, P. S., 2004. Effect of feather meal on barrow performance. J. Anim. Sci., 82 (9): 2588-2595
Stahel, P.; Purdie, N. G.; Cant, J. P., 2014. Use of dietary feather meal to induce histidine deficiency or imbalance in dairy cows and effects on milk composition. J. Dairy Sci., 97 (1): 439-445
Strzetelski, J. A. ; Kowalczyk, J. ; Niwinska, B. ; Bilik, K. ; Maciaszek, K., 1990. Nutritive value of feather keratin meals for ruminants. J. Anim. Feed Sci., 8 (3): 387-393
Suksupath, S., 1980. The improvement of the utilization of feather meal as protein source for duck. Kasetsart Univ., Bangkok (Thailand). Graduate School
Sulabo, R. C. ; Chiba, L. I. ; Almeida, F. N. ; Brotzge, S. D. ; Payne, R. L. ; Stein, H. H., 2013. Amino acid and phosphorus digestibility and concentration of digestible and metabolizable energy in hydrolyzed feather meal fed to growing pigs. J. Anim. Sci., 91 (12): 5829–5837
Suloma, A.; El-Husseiny, O. M.; Hassane, M. I.; Mabroke, R. S.; El-Haroun, E. R., 2014. Complementary responses between hydrolyzed feather meal, fish meal and soybean meal without amino acid supplementation in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus diets. Aquacult. Int., 22 (4): 1377-1390
Tag El Den, T. H.; Molnar, J., 1988. Studies on the feather meal supplementation in rabbits diets. 4th World Rabbit Congress, 2: 261-268
Thazeem, B.; Umesh, M.; Vikas, O. V., 2016. Bioconversion of poultry feather into feather meal using proteolytic Bacillus Species: A comparative study. Int. J. Adv. Sci. Res., 1 (1): 10-12
Thomas, V. M. ; Clark, C. K. ; Schuldt, C. M., 1994. Effects of substituting feather meal for soybean meal on ruminal fiber fermentation and lamb and wool growth. J. Anim. Sci., 72 (2): 509-514
Thomas, M.; Rijm, W.; van der Poel, A. F. B., 2001. Functionality of raw materials and feed composition. Cahiers Options Méditerranéennes, 54: 87-102
Tibbetts, S. M. ; Milley, J. E. ; Lall, S. P., 2006. Apparent protein and energy digestibility of common and alternative feed ingredients by Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua (Linnaeus, 1758). Aquaculture, 261 (4): 1314-1327
Trigo, M.S.; Muro, M.G.; Cattáneo, A.C.; Arias, R.; Cossú, M.E.; Antonini, A.G., 2018. Evaluation of feather meal in the diet of growing rabbits. Int. J. Sciences, 7: 16-20
Trung, T. T. ; Nguyen, T. K. D. ; Nguyen, V. T., 2017. Effect of different protein sources in the diets on feed intake, nutrient digestibility, growth and carcass value of Californian rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in the Mekong delta of Vietnam. Can Tho Univ., J. Sci., 5: 158-165
Trzebiatowski, R. ; Klik, R., 1982. Poultry feedstuffs utilizing in dry diets for carp. Rybactwo Morskie i Technologia Zywnosci (Poland), 93: 105-121
Vanoverschelde, J; Vanoverschelde, V., 2018. Method for preparing digestible feather or hair meal. European Patent Office, Patent No. EP3262952, Den Haag, The Netherlands
Vargas, F. M.; Sanchez, L. M. B.; Pascoal, L. L.; de Oliveira, M. V. M.; Haygert, O. M. P.; Frizzo, A.; Montagner, D., 2003. Performance of beef calves fed with different protein sources associated with silage of sorghum harvested at two different heights. Rev. Bras. Zootec., 32 (3): 690-698
Waldroup, P. W. ; Hillard, C. M. ; Abbott, W. W. ; Luther, L. W., 1970. Hydrolyzed leather meal in broiler diets. Poult. Sci., 49 (2): 1259-1260
Yeo, J. M. ; Knight, C. H. ; Chamberlain, D. G., 2003. Effects of dietary amino acid balance on the response of dairy cows to an increase of milking frequency from twice to three times daily. J. Dairy Sci., 86 (10): 3309-3312
Yong, S. T.; Mardhati, M.; Farahiyah, I. J.; Noraini, S.; Wong, H. K., 2018. Replacement of fishmeal in feather meal-based diet and its effects on tilapia growth performance and on water quality parameters. J. Trop. Agr. Food Sci., 46 (1): 47-55
Yoo, J. S. ; Cho, K. H. ; Hong, J. S. ; Jang, H. S. ; Chung, Y. H. ; Kwon, G. T. ; Shin, D. G. ; Kim, Y. Y., 2019. Nutrient ileal digestibility evaluation of dried mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) larvae compared to three animal protein by-products in growing pigs. Asian-Australas. J. Anim. Sci., 32 (3): 387-394
Yu, R.; Cao, H.; Huang, Y.; Peng, M.; Kajbaf, K.; Vikas K.; Tao Z.; Yang, G.; Wen, C. , 2020. The effects of partial replacement of fishmeal protein by hydrolysed feather meal protein in the diet with high inclusion of plant protein on growth performance, fillet and physiological parameters of Pengze crucian carp (Carassius auratus var. Pengze).. Aquacult. Res., 51 (2): 636-647
133 references found

Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V.Tran G.Nozière P.Bastianelli D.Lebas F., 2020. Feather meal. Feedipedia, a programme by INRAE, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/213 Last updated on September 4, 2020, 17:10