Tea Waste: Byproduct for Poultry Feed

Pashu Sandesh, 16 October 2021

Dr Nethee Deori, Assistant Professor

Dept of Livestock Farm Complex, Faculty of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Banaras Hindu University (UP)

It is well-known fact that the Indian poultry industry has made the fastest and remarkable growth ever since its conception and is emerging as a sunrise sector with a growth rate of 8-12% as against 1.5-2% for agricultural crops, posting an annual turnover of 10,000 million dollars and satisfying the hunger of 20 million people through employment.

The poultry industry is a major source of animal protein in both developed and developing countries. The availability of feeds and fodder is not commensurate with their requirements. A gigantic gap of about 44% concentrate and 36% each of green fodder and dry roughage exists between the demand and supply of animal feed in the country. There is thus a clear and sound need to study beyond the traditional feed resources available to alleviate the demand for animal feeds.

Considering the large-scale availability of tea waste of Camelia Sinensis it has been reported that a major portion of this by-product is going to waste at present and only part of it is utilized by Caffeine industries for the extraction of caffeine. During the process in the factory, the fibre portion of leaves are extracted in the fibre extraction and discarded as Factory Tea Waste which also contains some tea leaves and dust. It has been estimated that Factory Tea waste contains 6.3% tannic acid which interferes with protein metabolism. Therefore, a suitable easy and cheap methodology was developed to remove this and metabolite, soaked in water overnight in 1:50 dilution was completely free from tannic acid without much effects on their CP contents. Tea leaves contain high concentrations of antioxidants such as polyphenols and policosanol as well as minerals and vitamins, which are known to improve poultry health.

Factory Tea Waste which contains tannic acid is one of the limiting factors for the utilization of this byproduct in livestock feeding. The palatability of factory tea waste as such is not encouraging, however, in composite rations with more palatable feed ingredients particularly with molasses the voluntary intake can be increased upto 15% in concentrate ration.

It has been reported that Factory Tea Waste at a higher level beyond 5% has a deleterious effect on the growth and performance of broiler chicks due to the high content of tannic acid, however, upto 5% level, the chicks develop tolerance and can sustain body weight compared to the control without any adverse effect.

Tea waste is an important byproduct of different tea factories in different regions. The huge amount of such byproducts should be utilized in various ways by arranging fruitful management programs by factory owners.