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Hemp Feed for Egg-Producing Hens Nears Approval

It would provide laying hens with a source of protein and fat.

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Hemp Feed Coalition (HFC) is claiming a "landmark achievement" with the tentative approval of Hemp Seed Meal (HSM) for Laying Hens at the recent Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Mid-Year Meeting.

With the FDA-Center for Veterinary Medicine’s (FDA-CVM’s) recommendation for approval, the Ingredient Definition Committee approved the HSM tentative definition on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, with no opposition. This will go before AAFCO’s Board and members for final approval, and then be adopted into the Official Publication later this year.

This milestone has been more than three years in the making and will allow processors to formulate with HSM in the diets of laying hens as a source of protein and fat at an inclusion of no more than 20%. This hemp grain derivative is a nutritious ingredient with a wide range of essential vitamins, minerals, healthy oils, and a complete protein profile.

Research confirms the nutrition profile and functionality of hemp feed resemble that of soy and canola while alleviating concerns about its suitability as an ingredient. Evidence also shows increased value over typical feed sources, with significant improvement in egg quality as HSM concentration increases in the hen’s diet.

Notably, hemp-fed hens lay eggs enriched with essential fatty acids such as ALA, DHA, and GLA, and increased amounts of Lutein which are known promotors for human health. The safety of HSM has been validated through FDA-CVM’s rigorous evaluation, providing formulators and feed mills assurance that HSM is a safe and viable protein and fat source. Data to support this application included the validated method and quantification of cannabinoids in both the ingredient and egg product, and it was verified that any potential cannabinoid contaminants did not transfer over to human food products.

Hemp Feed Coalition is a 501(c)(3) organization that consists of hemp and feed industry leaders dedicated to facilitating the health of our animals as well as the expansion of the hemp industry. HFC is currently prepping trial data and seeking partners- become a Champion of the next Hemp Feed Application.

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