1. Agriculture World

Poultry Feed from Chicken Feathers – a ‘wealth from waste’ Project Taken by a Startup

Dimple Gupta
Dimple Gupta
Poultry feed

According to a study, every week around 400 million chicks are being processed around the world. Following that, an estimated 25,000 million tons of chicken feathers are considered waste across the world.

It is a slow-degrading waste that has been permeating the vicinity of a poultry farm for years and causes pollution in a very large quantity. To provide a solution to this problem, Sri Padmavati Mahila Viswa Vidyalayam has recently pursued a project with twin applications that not only get rid of the menace but also make productive use of it by converting the waste into chicken feed and soil nutrients.

Similar to hair, the feather is a typical example of pure keratin protein, in which nutrients are locked up and bound in keratins. India stands fifth in terms of generating feather waste, which is either dumped into landfills or incinerated. The project was taken up by V.V. Lakshmi, a retired professor of microbiology at Sri Padmavati Mahila Viswa Vidyalayam (SPMVV) under DSIR’s Promotion of Research in Individuals, Startups, and MSMEs (PRISM) sticks to the adage ‘wealth from waste’. The project’s stature got enhanced and scope got widened when DBT’S Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG).

The keratin waste processed by chemical treatment to produce feed or fertilizers is not reckoned as a viable option but is either considered low in nutritional value or economically uncompetitive.

Dr. Lakshmi said – “Feather meal is a source of protein for farm animals and fertilizer for organic farming, but the slow release of nitrogen makes it less nutritive and less remunerative.” By introducing soil microorganisms from Tirumala, she initiated a fermentation process.

Keratenase enzyme is the most sought-after product in feed, fertilizer, detergent, leather, textile, biotechnology, and biochemical industries are isolated in the first three days. The slow-derived Keratenase Treated Feather (KTF) is used to produce poultry feed and organic manure.

Dr. Lakshmi said – “The process is complete with the extraction of three products, making it totally eco-friendly. Farmers who depend upon fish waste or soybean can now make their own nutritional feed from feather, making poultry viable.”

Dr. Lakshmi’s startup – ‘Sri Dharani Agrotech’ was launched under the membership of KIP Knowledge Park, Hyderabad. The startup is now incubating in Women Biotechnology Incubation Facility (WBIF), a state-of-the-art facility at the SPMVV campus. She has filed for a patent for developing an indigenous technology of producing organic fertilizer from feather waste.

Like this article?

Hey! I am Dimple Gupta. Did you liked this article and have suggestions to improve this article? Mail me your suggestions and feedback.

Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters