Richard Leach, director of Hampshire-based game feed manufacturer Keepers Choice, has warned game breeders not to be tempted by lower diet specifications in the face of increasing costs of balancing formations.

Mr Leach believes that breeders and keepers should not cut back on ingredient sources to hold feed prices and gain extra profit.

One such ingredient, phosphate, is currently in short supply and any attempt to cut its content in game rations could, according to Mr Leach, be ‘calamitous’ because its importance for the bird’s long-term well-being.

“Lagging birds are a financial drain and seldom prevail through adverse conditions. Successful game formulation requires access to a wide range of feed ingredients – dependence on just a narrow band of materials will undermine the validity of growing stock.

“Apart from the prerequisite vitamins and minerals – calcium, phosphorus and vitamins D and E – a close eye needs to be kept on cereal content,” said Mr Leach.