Feed Quality: Who Cares Enough to Pay For It?

Is quality everything? Not to everyone. In his massive and invaluable “Poultry Nutrition” (now long out of print) W. Ray Ewing had this to say about quality in livestock feed:

First, let us look into the necessary quality levels. A feed is no good unless it can be sold and it cannot be sold unless it fits the community in which it is offered for sale. Therefore, we will have to study the community first.

If you go into any part of the country where feed is used, you will find that a small percentage of the feed users and prospective feed users have very high ideals with regard to feed quality. Possibly from 2 to 5 percent of the people in the community will say that they want a feed that is of absolutely top quality and that will produce the best results in growth and production of milk, eggs or meat that is possible, regardless of the price of the feed necessary to do such a job. You will find only a small number of people who have this ideal and are willing to back it up by buying such a high quality feed. Quite often those people have the idea that there is such a thing as one “best” feed and they want that “best” feed, but there are several of such high quality feeds possible, one or more of which may produce superior results, depending on the conditions under which they are used. Even when this viewpoint is understood, there are still people who want the best that can be made, with price no object.