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Hydrolyzed poultry feathers or feather meal is produced by hydrolyzing clean, undecomposed feathers from slaughtered poultry.  The most important factor affecting the quality of hydrolyzed poultry feathers is the extent of hydrolyzation. If less than 75 percent of the crude protein content is digestible by the pepsin digestibility method, then hydrolyzation was incomplete and protein quality is reduced.  The protein in feather meal is degraded slowly in the rumen compared to most other protein sources. In research at Purdue University, a combination of feather meal and urea produced average daily gains in growing beef cattle similar to that achieved with soybean meal.  There is very little experience with feather meal in dairy cattle rations. It is not very palatable and should be introduced into the ration gradually. It may be fed to milking cows at an average rate of up to 1 ½ pounds (0.7 kg) per cow per day.


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Dry matter

92 %

Crude Protein



03.0 %

Crude fiber

03.0 %

Neutral Detergent Fiber

— %

Acid Detergent Fiber

16.2 %


0.45 %


0.31 %

Total Digestible Nutrients

63.0 %

Net energy—Lactation

64.0 Mcal/100 lbs