Microbiological Quality of Feed

Manuela Zadravec1, *, Tomislav Mikuš2, Nicolas Pradervand3, Igor Ujčič Vrhovnik4
1 Croatian Veterinary Institute, Savska 143, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
2 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia, Agroscope, Posieux, Switzerland
3 Agroscope, Posieux, Switzerland
4 Institute of Food Safety, Feed and Environment, Veterinary Faculty, Ljubljana, Slovenia

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© 2023 Zadravec et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correpondence to this author at the Croatian Veterinary Institute, Savska 143, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia; Tel: +385 1 6123 617; Fax: +385 1 6123 650; E-mail:



In most countries, the microbiological quality of complete feed mixtures, grains, silages and hay is sadly a much-underrated aspect of official feed control. Monitoring the microbiological quality of feeds downgrades any of the poor quality feeds and stimulates feed mills to produce better quality feeds, therefore, enforcing the prominence of high-quality feeds on the market.


To collect the results of the microbiological feed quality, done over a period of one year, all of which originate from Croatia, Slovenia, and Switzerland. Furthermore, identify the presence of feedingstuffs with poor microbiological quality in some parts of the European market and therefore have the most impact on animal health and welfare.


Feed quality was assessed through a single Verband deutscher landwirtschaftlicher Untersuchungs - und Forschungsanstalten (VDLUFA) method based on a systematic approach, which categorizes feed into categories from 1 to 4 according to bacteria, moulds, and yeasts content, and their ecology and hazard significance.


Although the most analyzed samples of feed belong to the most desirable quality level 1, it should be emphasized that almost all feed types can be found samples of quality level 4, unacceptable for feed.


The obtained results give an overview of the advantages of monitoring the microbiological quality of feeds for governmental authorities, producers, and consumers alike and potentially provide more information concerning the new aspects of the risk assessment of certain types of feeds or their raw materials.

Keywords: Microbiological feed quality, Animal health, Animal welfare, Moulds, Bacteria, Hay, Silage, Grains.