Most farmers often want to grow or mix their own chicken feed sometimes, being able to grow all that your chicken will eat keeps you away from buying feed during the course of your chicken farming.
Making your own chicken feed will help you avoid soy or corn and non-GMO versions of grains. And this is possible as long as you know the composition of the feed from the experience of working with it for a while now.
It doesn’t matter if you grow the ingredient or not, you should know what kind of plants your chickens ought to be fed with and in the correct proportion to be mixed.
The final feed will depend on a large amount to the feed that is specific to your region, the available and inexpensive ingredient, etc.
However, you need to study and understand the ingredient in commercial feed products, so that an idea of the percentage that is required will be at your disposal.
You need to also understand that it is ok to be a protein less in your calculation than that found in the commercial feed, but that the growth of your birds will be retarded.
Therefore, you need a striking balance between all fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and enzymes that are needed in the feed production, this means that a trial and error will be needed in a great proportion.
The custom mix should include those ingredients that are best for you and your chickens. Below are a few ingredients that you can consider adding into your chicken feed.
The main feed for chickens include
- Corn which is a mainstay for chickens
- Alfalfa meals which are high in protein and good for the winter
- Oats and barley which is less than 15% of the total diet altogether.
Things required to Add to Chicken Feed include;
- Crab meals which in small amounts provides protein and minerals
- Aragonite or feeding limestone (which is required or calcium, not absolutely necessary
- Flaxseed including omega-3, you need to feed them wholly to avoid rancidity
- Broad-spectrum mineral supplement
- Cultured yeast for B vitamins, minerals, and digestive enzymes
- Oyster shell; a calcium, free feed
- Kelp which is a mineral source
- Fish meal; this helps boost protein and omega-3s
Required Equipment for chicken feeds
In order to make feed for a handful of chickens, you need a heavy-duty feed or flour mill, so that you can grind freshly the grains you purchase for your chickens
Also, you need to think about the storage that you will need for the bags of grains you purchase. You can build a storage bin with partitions for each of the grains and a lid to cover.
Using a sliding gate at the bottom to dispense the grain will help you rotate the grains at will. And it is important that the bins are cleaned once or twice a year to prevent infestations by pests.
Making Chicken Feed for Laying Hens
To make chicken feed for laying hens you just need to measure the ingredient into a container. The ingredient include 49kg of Whole Maize Meal, 19kg of Soya, 13kg of fish meal, 14kg of Maize Bran, 5.9kg of limestone powder into a container.
A large bucket will be needed to store the feeds, and remember to use organic ingredients if your aim is to make organic feeds for the birds. The ingredients can be gotten from good stores or farm shops that sell the products in bulk.
To ensure that the birds receive the nutrient from the different ingredients even when they are fed, you must mix them thoroughly with a shovel.
Dispense the 0.13kg of feed to the chicken daily by multiplying the feed each bird needs by the number of chickens that you have. You can spray them out for them or use a feeder to feed them if you have them.
Store the chicken feed in ideal places like garbage or barns up to 6 months and always check them for the presence of mice, bugs, and mold before feeding it to the chickens.
On account that you do not have access to a barn or garage, you can store the feed in a container with lid and keep it out of direct sunlight.
Creating Feed for Broilers
The ingredient needed for this is 110kg of cracked corn and 68kg of ground roasted soybeans and you have to measure them into a container with a lid so that it can be easy to store the feed. This feed is essential for broilers because it contains lots of protein that will help the birds to grow.
Also, blend 11kg of rolled oats, alfalfa meal, and fish meal into the mixture until they are evenly distributed in the container.
Go ahead and add 4.5kg of Aragonite and 6.8kg of poultry nutria-balancer to the container containing the rest of the feed. The poultry nutria-powder is needed to ensure that the chicken receives the nutrients required to help them grow quickly. Aragonite is found in limestone and it is a good source of calcium
Feed the chicken with 1.4kg of feed for every 5 chickens, this is at least 0.27kg for each bird. Use the same method as mentioned in the layer feeding method to feed the broilers.
You should remember to not over-feed the mixture to Cornish broilers as this can cause a fatal heart attack because the chickens do not eat more food than they need
The same storage procedure used for layers is used for storing broiler’s feeds.
One of the ways you can reduce the amount of feed your birds require is to rear them on pasture. As long as they are consistently fresh, it is the most natural diet that chickens can eat.
Feeding them with pasture will also make them find enough insects, bugs, weeds, grasses, and seeds that will make them stay healthy at all times.
Although you are placing them on pasture, it is important to have supplement feeds just for them, so that when the grasses stop growing for a certain season, you will feed them with the supplement until the rain is back.