Our research projects

Photo: Manuel Gutjahr


Optimierte Nährstoffversorgung von Zweinutzungshühnern - Angepasste Rationen, alternative Proteinquellen, Auswirkungen und Anpassungsmöglichkeiten
Coordinating Institute
Ökologische Tierzucht gGmbH
Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Bundesinstitut für Ländliche Räume, Wald und Fischerei
Hochschule für Nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde
Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover

Allocated to research program
Modern chicken feeding is based on comprehensive studies of the nutrient requirements of specialized laying hens and broilers. It is necessary to adapt this knowledge to the specific needs of dual-purpose chickens in organic farming in order to ensure tailored nutrition, minimize environmental impacts, and reduce deficiencies in essential amino acids such as Methionine. A promising approach is the use of a nutrient-reduced ration that meets the needs of dual-purpose chickens while also considering the Methionine content in organic feeds. However, there is still a need for well-founded knowledge regarding the specific requirements of dual-purpose chickens for this type of feeding. The planned project aims to enhance the performance of the organic farming system for dual-purpose chickens. This includes a focus on optimizing feeding, adopting a resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly approach, and prioritizing animal welfare. The underlying assumption is that dual-purpose chickens, which are not bred for high performance, exhibit greater tolerance to various feed components and nutrient densities due to their lower metabolic activity and higher feed intake capacity. The project involves incorporating dual-purpose hens with moderate laying performance and comparing them with high-performance laying hybrids. This includes reducing the proportion of Methionine-rich feed components, which are scarce in the organic market and can only be supplied through imports. Additionally, two alternative Methionine-rich protein sources are being investigated. The goal is to develop a maximally sustainable, Methionine-reduced ration that does not compromise the performance and health of the chickens. This includes evaluating the environmental impact and addressing relevant issues concerning feed safety, approval, and organic certification. Furthermore, experimental work is being conducted to generate protein sources from beneficial insects and macroalgae in order to identify efficient utilization pathways. The research findings will be disseminated directly to practitioners, advisors, and scientists. ATB is particularly responsible for aspects related to nutrient balancing, environmental assessment, feed safety, and optimizing feeding in the context of insect rearing and alternative protein sources.

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Funding agency
Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung (BLE)
Grant agreement number
Funding framework
BÖL Ökologischer Landbau


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