Written by: Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky

Peanuts and oil
Peanuts and oil (Image by Nataly Studio on

Peanut meal also referred to as groundnut meal, is a poor source of the essential amino acid threonine. In fact, peanut meal has been used in research to create a threonine deficiency in animals. Peanut meal is also low in lysine and methionine, but it is an excellent source of arginine. Research has shown that peanut meal supplemented with threonine is an excellent protein replacement for soybean meal in corn-based layer diets. Although peanut meal with threonine was shown to have no adverse effects on egg production, it resulted in a slight reduction in eggshell quality.

Peanuts can become moldy and contaminated with mycotoxins. Peanut meal produced from contaminated or moldy peanuts may also contain the toxin and should not be fed to poultry.

It is unclear whether allergens from peanuts are carried over into the eggs and meat of poultry who consume peanut meal. Because of its low availability nationally, and the potential for mycotoxin contamination, very little research has been done on the use of peanut meal in poultry diets.