News archive

LCA of feeding of organic poultry

The availability of high-quality protein feeds is currently limited for both conventional and organic agriculture, and it can only be guaranteed in Germany (as well as throughout the EU) through imports. Given the lack of amino acid availability for organically produced protein feed from Europe, the question arises as to whether supplementation with DL-Methionine could be beneficial in organic poultry farming. This question was addressed in the present Life Cycle Assessment. For this purpose a hypothetical supplementation of feed mixtures with synthetic DL-Methionine in ecological laying hen keeping and broiler fattening in Germany was investigated. The starting point was 100 % organic feed mixtures, which were compared with DL-Methionine-supplemented diet mixes.

The fundamental legal boundary conditions of the EU legislation on organic farming were considered. The framework of the study was chosen so, that the following aspects could be addressed:

  • Increase of feed content from domestic protein feeds
  • Encouragement of cultivation and utilization of grain legumes as a contribution to more sustainable agriculture
  • Adjustment of crude protein content in feed mixtures to reduce nitrogen excretions from poultry farming
  • Reduction of nitrogen emissions from organic poultry farming into groundwater and air

A summary of the report can be downloaded here (pdf, 1072 KB)

The full study can be requested from the project commissioner at

Further content: