"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Mushroom stump waste might be an affordable, healthy chicken feed complement

Broiler chicken feed costs account for 60% to 70% of total production costs, and stump waste from button mushroom production accounts for about 30% of total mushroom weight. Marrying the 2 has the potential to cut back each cost and waste, especially in Pennsylvania, which is a national leader in broiler chicken and button mushroom production.

To discover if the 2 are compatible, a team of Penn State researchers conducted a latest study to find out how supplementing broilers' feed with mushroom stump waste affected the expansion and health of chickens. she does.

In the findings, now available online, and to be published within the upcoming June issue of The Journal of Applied Poultry Research, the researchers report that the outcomes of the 21-day trial showed that broiler chickens in mushroom stump litter It has increased to three percent. Categorize birds within the study that didn’t receive fungal supplementation, and their digestion was not affected. The researchers found that supplementation at 4% and 5% slowed growth and interfered with the birds' digestion of amino acids, or organic compounds used to make protein.

Research team leader John Bonney, a Vernon E. Norris Faculty Fellow, said the usage of low-cost non-traditional ingredients has grow to be common practice when producing poultry feed, and alternatives may include by-products that might be used for human consumption. Food crops used for Poultry Nutrition within the College of Agricultural Sciences. “Mushroom stump waste may contain potential additional benefit of novel nutritional benefits for broilers.”

The study involved 480 broiler chickens purchased from a industrial hatchery on the day of hatch. Birds were randomly chosen, weighed, housed in groups and fed six dietary treatments. A control group received no fungus complement. Others had diets containing 1%, 2%, 3%, 4% and 5% percent mushroom stump waste. The researchers within the study tested the birds' ability to digest 17 amino acids and closely monitored the expansion and health of every.

Mushroom stumps for research were obtained from a industrial mushroom farm in southwestern Pennsylvania and transported to Penn State. The mushroom stumps were dried in a small grain dryer and ground into suitable size particles for inclusion in poultry feed.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Pennsylvania is the biggest producer of mushrooms within the United States, accounting for 64% of all button mushrooms produced within the country from 2021 to 2023. The three-year average for the Agaricus, or button, mushroom harvest within the United States for 2021-23 was 321,601 metric tons. During harvesting, the mushroom head is separated and used for human consumption, while the stump is composted as an agricultural by-product. On average, stump waste accounts for about 29 percent of the whole mushroom weight, Bonney noted.

“Therefore, about 93,264 metric tons of button mushroom stumps are composted annually,” he said. “The stump is fibrous and comprises therapeutic bio-compounds with antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. Due to its dietary and medicinal properties, mushroom stump waste could be a viable feedstuff for this material. This is especially relevant in Pennsylvania, which ranks fourth in poultry production within the United States.

Contributors to the research were Logan Erb, Courtney Puholski and Alyssa Lyons, who earned doctorates in animal science from Penn State.

The American Mushroom Institute in Avondale funded the research.