Feather meal, feathermeal, hydrolyzed feather meal, poultry feather meal, hydrolyzed poultry feather meal
Feathers are a by-product of broiler, turkey and poultry processing operations. Variability of feather meal between batches and between plants can be quite high due to differences in what is included (heads, feet, skin, etc.).
Pressurized cooking of feathers is the primary method of processing used in preparing feather meal. Some bacteria have been identified that produce a feather digesting enzyme, that will convert the protein fraction into a digestible form . Pepsin digestibility is used as method of assessing the quality of feather meal. Normally a pepsin digestibility of 75 % is considered to be a minimum value to assure that the feather meal has been adequately processed.