Apart from a few feed manufacturers who keep to the good quality standards in chicken feed mixing and formulations, many feed manufacturers and companies in Nigeria make very very poor quality feeds, a sad situation which has resulted in huge losses. Extremely Poor quality feeds do lead to slow growth in chickens, very low egg production, diseases, and sometimes, death. According to research done by Livestocking, Formulating your chicken feeds by yourself on the farm is one of the best ways to maintaining the quality of feeds and to cut the high cost of production. This post is about how to Formulate Feeds for Chicken.
In Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large, the common feed ingredients used are whole maize, cottonseed cake, soya bean cake, and sunflower meal or fish meal. In addition to these, some farmers need to add several other feed additives (micronutrients, minerals and vitamins) to ensure that their chickens have a balanced feed that meets their nutrient requirements.
Assuming that a farmer wants to make feed for his/her chicken using this method, he/she has to know the crude protein content of each of the ingredients to be used for making the feed.
The following are the suggested DCP values for each of the common ingredients you should use in feed making:
Each type of chicken has a nutritional requirement. For example, if we want to make feed for layers, the feed should have at least 18% of crude protein.
To formulate this feed for layers, then you would have to calculate the percentage of the DCP in each of the ingredients you want to use to ensure that the total crude protein content is not less than 18%.
Therefore, to make a 50kg bag of feed for layers, a livestock farmer would require the following quantity of ingredients:
24.3kg of whole maize = 24.3kg
8.6kg of soya = 8.6kg
5.7kg of fishmeal= 5.7kg
7.1kg of maize bran= 7.1kg
4.3kg of limestone (as a calcium source) = 4.3kg
To know if all the above ingredients meet this standard of 18% crude protein, you can do a simple calculation as follows:
Whole maize — 24.3kg x 8.23 ÷100 = 2.0%
Soya — 8.6kg x 45kg ÷ 100 = 3.87%
Fishmeal — 5.7kg x 55kg ÷ 100 = 3.14%
Maize Bran— 7.1kg x 7kg ÷ 100 = 0.5%
Lime — 4.3kg x 0 kg ÷ 100 = 0.00%
Total % of crude protein = 2.00 + 3.87 + 3.14 + 0.5 + 0 = 9.51%
To get the total crude protein percentage of all these ingredients in a 50kg bag of feed, the farmer should take this crude protein content of the combined ingredients, divide by 50kg and multiply by 100,
Thus; 9.51 ÷ 50 × 100 = 18%.
This shows that the crude protein content of the above feed formulation is 19%, which is quite adequate for layers.
To ensure the chicken to get all they need in terms of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, you need these additives in their standard quantities.
Digestible Crude Protein requirement for:
Layers chick—18-20% CP
- The feed should contain calcium for the formation of eggshells. Laying hens that do not get enough calcium will use the calcium stored in their own bone tissue to produce eggshells.
- Layer feed should be introduced at 18 weeks.
- Farmers who have more than 500 chickens, it is advisable to make 1 tonne of feed at once
- Ensure that all the feed you make will last for one month and not longer. This ensures that the feed remains fresh and safe for chickens. Any feed that lasts more than one month may deteriorate in quality and can affect your chickens.
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