This is the second of a series of three short articles describing the main raw materials used in Sportsman game feeds and covers high protein ingredients.

All the raw materials used by Sportsman are carefully selected on the basis of their quality, consistency and nutrient analysis.

The breeding or growing game bird requires much higher protein levels than can be provided by cereals and cereal by-products to achieve good performance, and these are obtained by including high protein raw materials in the feed.

The most important of these is extracted hipro soyabean meal with a protein level of around 48%- this raw material is produced after extraction of the oil from soyabeans, together with removal of the hulls. The soyabeans originate from either North or South America.

Soyabean is a very digestible raw material and but it can have some negative characteristics in relation to bird performance if used at too high levels in the feed, particularly in the case of young birds.

Accordingly, fishmeal, at around 68% protein, is included in critical Sportsman feeds. This has the effect of reducing soya inclusion. In addition, fishmeal has a variety of other nutritional features which improve performance of game birds compared to those fed a vegetarian diet. Pheasants and partridge are not naturally vegetarian in their diet!

Other protein sources include extracted sunflower and extracted rapeseed meals, both at 33-35% protein. As with soyabean, these raw materials originate from the extraction of oil from sunflower and rapeseed and again their inclusion helps to limit soyabean inclusion a little and create a more varied raw material profile in the formulations, or recipes, of the feeds.

Protein is composed of various amino acids and it is these, rather than the total amount of protein which is important. Around 11 of these amino acids must be provided in the feed. Four of these ‘essential’ amino acids - lysine, methionine, threonine and valine - are available in synthetic form and their use helps to achieve the necessary feed specifications without protein levels becoming unnecessarily high.

You can be sure that with Sportsman only the best high protein raw materials are chosen to meet the birds’ needs.