One important part of the collaboration with the breeders is the composition of feed to ensure the best possible health for the chickens and the most effective use of feed.
All feed is made from vegetables and careful planning goes into several ingredients in the composition of the feed, with wheat and soya being major components. For example, we are looking into the possibility of replacing part of the imported soya that is traditionally used as a feed protein with alternative local protein sources.
Opinions differ about the issue of GMO (genetically modified organisms, in this case soya and corn) in feed and its use is widely discussed. Scandi Standard has chosen to adhere to local conditions and therefore requires GMO-free feed in Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Chicken rearing is very resource-efficient compared with other kinds of animals. The amount of feed and the level of climate impact are much higher in the production of pork and beef, for example.
Feed efficiency is one of the most important indicators in order to optimise the rearing process. Chickens are very good at converting feed into meat, so this is a direct indicator of the quality of the ingredients and the feed, and how well the chickens are being taken care of.
This diagram shows feed efficiency when
rearing different kinds of animals measured
as the amount of feed in relation to growth
(the weight is the live weight). The figures
given should be seen as the mean value of
the feed conversion rate (FCR) values from
several published sources. An increase in
feed efficiency saves natural resources and
costs at several stages: less cultivated land
is needed, fewer transports, lower energy use
for producing feed and less water consumption
throughout the value chain.
Alternatives to soy as protein feed
Today approximately 20 percent of the feed used to our chicken, about 110 000 tonnes yearly, is imported soy. There are company and/or sector requirements in our different countries to ensure the soy is of good quality and responsibly sourced. In Sweden, Norway and Finland all soy is certified according to RTRS or ProTerra. In Ireland where we have our own feed production, a local third-party certification is used.
We are looking into the possibilities of replacing part of the imported soy that is traditionally used as a feed protein with other, local protein sources. This is because there are better alternatives from the perspective of animal welfare, the environment, and supporting local agriculture. In 2020 we initiated a development project, where we are working with feed specialists to test new feed mixes, where a significant part of the soya is replaced with locally sourced beans.