Feeding Food By-products to Livestock

Fact Sheet, Minnesota Technical Assistance Program, University of Minnesota


By-products from processing and manufacturing human food may be suitable as livestock feed. However, any material that contains meat or has been in contact with meat must be boiled for 30 minutes before it can be used as livestock feed. Nonmeat materials, such as fruits, vegetables, bakery goods and dairy products, may be fed without being boiled, provided permitting requirements and guidelines are followed.

Find an Outlet for the Food By-product
Following permit approval, you will need to find a livestock producer that can use your food by-products. Contact your county extension office for the name of an extension educator who can help you locate a livestock producer. You may also want to run an advertisement in your local paper.

NOTE: Before any material may be used as a livestock feed, the livestock producer is required to obtain a permit from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. To request a permit application, call 651/296-2942.

Analyze Food By-product Composition
Once a livestock producer has been located, the following questions need to be answered before the material can be fed to livestock:

If these questions cannot be answered by your company, a laboratory that does feed analysis can help provide the answers.

Work with a Livestock Producer
Once you have located a suitable livestock producer and have analyzed your food by-products, you can expect the producer to ask the following questions:

After these questions have been answered, the livestock producer may need information on how to incorporate by-products into their livestock rations. The following people from the Minnesota Extension Service can help answer these questions:

- Dr. Jerry Hawton, Swine Extension: 612/624-2270
- Dr. Jim Linn, Dairy Extension: 612/624-6789
- Dr. Alfredo Di Costanzo, Beef Cattle Extension: 612/624-1272
- Dr. Sally Noll, Poultry Extension: 612/624-4928

In addition, local livestock feed representatives or livestock nutrition specialists may also help determine how to incorporate food by-products into livestock rations.

For More Information
MnTAP can help answer questions that the livestock producer or the food producer may have. For more information or to request technical assistance, call MnTAP at 612/624-1300 or 800/247-0015.

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