Bone Meal




Common names

Bone meal, bone ash, bone flour, bone charcoal, bone black

Related feed(s)



Bone meal is a by-product of the slaughtering of livestock and rendering of dead animals. Often the sketetal system (bones) is separated from meat during the processing of meat. These bones can then be converted into bone meal using several different methods.

Potential constraints

Bones like other animal by-products should be adequately heated in order to assure that disease agents are not spread.

Nutritional attributes

Bone meal can be used to provide a source of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals in livestock feeding programs. It can be used to replace dicalcium phosphate, which can be made from bones by treating them with a caustic and then with HCl and then precipitating with lime and drying, or other routinely used calcium and phosphorus sources. There are no limitations on using bone meal to replace other dietary calcium and phosphorus sources. Care needs to be taken when formulating rations to assure that the calcium and phosphorus ratio do not get out of the acceptable range.

Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value

  • Bone meal, calcinated
  • Bone meal, raw
  • Bone meal, steamed


Researchers found it to be an excellent source of P in feeding dairy cattle (El-Hag et al., 1999).


It was demonstrated that it could replace dicalcium phosphate in swine rations 


Fresh dried bones were shown to be an acceptable source of Ca and P for layers , but care should be taken that it is heated adequately to ensure that disease organisms are not being spread.




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