< Back to previous page


Optimal cultivation of protein rich crops for poultry feed (Optipluim)

Poultry farming should be as sustainable as possible, in an animal-friendly way. Imported soya as the main source of protein in animal feed is not in line with this. Therefore, there is a great need for locally grown protein crops, such as peas and field beans. However, anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) may be strongly present in these crops, with adverse effects on the performance of monogastric animals (e.g. poultry and pigs). Processing techniques are currently available to reduce the levels of ANFs (through toasting, expanding or ensiling), but more extensive knowledge is needed - especially for the mixed cultivation of these protein crops with cereals. Within this project, the processing of harvested seeds will be matched with their use in poultry, in both conventional and organic production systems. Furthermore, the potential to valorise crop residues remaining after seed harvest by fermentation by white rot fungi will be explored to create an additional high-quality protein source.
The general objective of the OPTIPLUIM project is to provide Flemish farmers, poultry farmers and the feed industry, from a chain perspective, with tools for the cultivation, processing and use of leguminous crops as an alternative source of protein for poultry, through new insights and adapted cultivation and processing techniques. Besides the valorisation of the crop residues, research will also be done into interactions between feed composition and quality of animal end products and into effects on nitrogen excretion by poultry. Sustainability analyses will also be conducted to compare the use of locally produced leguminous crops with soya (whether locally produced or not). The ultimate goal is to implement improvement strategies and advice in practice and to inform the general public about the knowledge obtained. 
Date:1 Aug 2020 →  Today
Keywords:poultry, protein rich crops
Disciplines:Crop science
Project type:Collaboration project