Research project Soy free chicken and pig production


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Sam Millet

Sam Millet

Expert in pig feed and zootechnology


General introduction

To reduce soy use in animal feed, DEMOSOJAVRIJ raises the question to what extent and which alternative European protein sources can be used as raw materials for pig and poultry feed. We are aiming for a series of demonstrative actions on soy-free chicken and pig production. Apart from the technical aspects (how much can and should be mixed with alternative proteins?) we also highlight the profitability of such livestock production.

Research approach

On the basis of intensive consultations with feed manufacturers, we examine the best strategy to formulate a feed using the protein-rich raw materials available in Europe, but without losing sight of the good practical results. We demonstrate the soy-free feed in the production of broiler chickens and pigs. The impact of the costs and benefits in terms of business profitability and environment is calculated.


This project has now ended. Three feeding trials were conducted with piglets, pork pigs, and broiler chickens. The results showed that the growth performances of piglets and fattening pigs fed a soy-free diet were similar to those fed a conventional practice feed, but broiler chickens fed a soy-free diet performed less well. The soy-free feed was more expensive, the slaughter yield in pigs was lower, and broiler chickens achieved lower final weights. Therefore, additional compensation is needed for farmers to offset these additional costs. However, the advantage is that the impact of a soy-free diet on the climate is significantly lower, which is important in sustainable livestock farming with an increasing focus on ecological footprint.


Europees Landbouwfonds voor Plattelandsontwikkeling