CHAPTER ONE1.0 INTRODUCTIONFeed formulation is an applied field of nutrition where nutritionists apply their knowledge to produce balanced diets in which many pieces of information are incorporated to maximize the efficiency of the formulation process (Rasheed, 2016). Ration can be defined as the total amount of feed given to the animals on daily basis while ration formulation is the process by which different feed ingredients are combined in a proportion necessary to provide the animal with proper amount of nutrients needed at a particular stage of production (Afolayan, 2008).Ration formulation help to enhance adaptation of local feed stuff in compounding rations, thus, two basic concepts are put into consideration when formulating feed, the specific nutrient requirement of different animals and ingredients and cost of the feed itself. Nutrients are chemical substances found in food materials (feeds) which are required for the growth, maintenance, production and health of animals. Some specific requirements depend on the types of animals in question, whether it is a monogastric or ruminant, a ruminant animals is one that regurgitates food from its stomach and chews it again, ruminant are capable of digesting complex carbohydrate or cellulose. Examples of ruminants include cow and sheep while monogastric animal is one that is capable of digesting complex carbohydrate, example of monogastric animal is poultry (Tayo, 2012).The most important rules of animal production is to provide high quality protein for human consumption, and to achieve this, animals are to be feed with correct proportion of high quality protein in their diets (Araujo, Junqueira, Faria, Andreotti and Araujo, 2004).Poultry are domesticated birds raised for meat or egg production poultry feeding is a major item of cost in poultry production in Nigeria, feed cost accounts for 70 – 75% of the total cost of producing eggs and broilers. Many commercial farms have collapsed while a good number out of them witness slow growth due to sudden increase in the cost of poultry feeds. In order to maintain a reasonable margin of profit despite the rising cost of raw materials and labour, there must be a design to reduce the cost of production and still maintain high level of performance in the birds, otherwise the prices of poultry product (eggs and meat) will increase significantly.Furthermore, an ideal ration must contain the required level of nutrient at minimum cost, hence least cost ration formulation techniques have to be employed to obtain diets that meet specific requirements from readily available ingredients at lowest cost. Efficient ration formulation requires proper knowledge of feed stuffs nutrients contained in the feed stuff as well as the type of animal to be fed with such ration to ensure optimal production at a reasonable cost. The ration should be palatable enough to encourage adequate consumption by the animals and effort should be made to ensure that such ration will not cause any serious digestive disturbance or toxic effects on the animal.Different species strains or classes of animals have different requirements for energy (carbohydrate and fats), proteins, minerals and vitamins in order to maintain its various functions like body maintenance, reproduction of egg, milk and meat production etc.Feed formulation for poultry is a highly complex exercise it involves selecting a combination of feed ingredients that adequately meet stated nutrients and other requirements of livestock (Afolayan et al., 2008).Poultry feed formulation was, until recently, based on the concept of crude protein which frequently resulted in diet containing amino acid levels higher than the actual requirements of birds, excess amino acid is poorly used by birds as it must be reduced to nitrogen and then excreted as uric acid. The commercial availability of synthetic amino acids has allowed nutritionist to formulate cheaper feeds that contain adequate level of amino acids, though birds do not have high crude protein requirements, but there should be sufficient protein to provide an adequate nitrogen supply for synthesis of non-essential amino acids (Araujo et al., 2004).There are several methods in formulating ration (feeds) though all of them have the same objective of providing the required balanced nutrients at the least possible cost, some of these methods are:
1. Person square method:Some of the merits of this method of feed formulation include the fact that:- It is relatively simple, direct and easy to follow;- It is useful in balancing for the protein requirements.Some of the limitations of Pearson square method are that:- It uses only two feed ingredients- Less consideration is given to other nutritive requirements, vitamins and minerals.
2. Simultaneous equation method:This is an alternative method for the Pearson square method using simple algebraic equation. The advantages of this over the Pearson square method is that:- One can balance for both the protein and the energy.- It is also useful in considering more than two feed ingredients at once when balancing more complex ration