“The animals feed creation industry has been, to a great extent, advanced as one of the most productive agribusinesses to wander into.” A quote from our most searched and read article on Livestock Feed Production, take a read you might see why.
Going through the comments we realised that most livestock farmers or ranchers are very much interested in producing their livestock feed, every researcher with their reasons why. We have taken our time to write on the most populous bird feed creation – Chicken, an in-depth analysis that will guide you on how to start manufacturing your Chicken feed for commercial or personal use.
The most reared birds for consumption and commercial use are the popularly known broilers and if you’ve been breeding them for a while you will understand their high-protein dietary dependency, so that is a major fact to know before thinking of producing your chicken feed. Also, this article is focused on producing feeds for adult chickens, however, much of the feed will provide young chicks with the healthiest nutrition needed.
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What To Need To Get Started
With this being your first time, you want to make sure you lay a solid foundation by including all these 5 listed nutrient in your chicken feed to help them grow healthy and strong:
- Protein: Muscle and molecules needs protein to amalgamate and improve bone structure
- Vitamins: We all need an extra boost of vitamins to grow and develop our bodies, so do chickens, with no exception. Vitamins and minerals are essential for broilers as well as layers
- Fat: One major energy source, it keeps your chicken’s bodies in prime operating conditions
- Carbohydrate: Carbohydrates will sure give your chickens lots of energy to keep them active and move around, not to mention keeping them warm in the winter and balancing their temperature in the summer
- Minerals: This complete and contribute to the normal working body condition of anything living. They help your chicks with their growth process into healthy adult chickens.
Bear in mind that these are the basics. Your chickens need water, grit, and need to enjoy some greens and treats from time to time as well.
The Right Mixture For Your Chicken Feed
So, what are the actual food items that you should mix into your feed to meet your chickens’ nutritional requirements?
Well to get you started, here is your first recipe for chicken feed:
- 8 lbs Corn: Corn is great in moderation. It’s affordable and can be found anywhere. Chickens love corn and it gives them the carbs (and fats) they need
- 8 lbs Field peas: Field peas are also fairly easy to come by. Adding peas gives your chickens more of the protein they need to get them through the day.
- 6 lbs Wheat: May improve digestion and help prevent coccidiosis. Wheat also provides chickens with carbs and protein.
- 1 lb Oats or barley: Oats and barley provide chickens with protein and are interchangeable with each other. You can use either oats or barley depending on availability. Some people even sprout their own fodder from barley to give their chickens some extra greens (think: vitamins and fiber).
Note: Oats and barley should not exceed 15% of a chickens diet.
- 1 oz. Fish Meal: Gives chickens an omega-3 kick as well as additional protein.
Add The Following to Boost Your Chicken Feed:
- 1 oz Salt or Mineral Salts: If your chickens are confined they may need minerals added to their feed. Free-range chickens often find what they need on their own, but just to be sure, you can add minerals
- 1 oz Flaxseed: Another omega-3 boost for your chickens and for you! More Omega-3s in your chicken’s diet means more in your breakfast eggs!
- 1 oz Kelp – Kelp makes up for the missing vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that your chickens may be lacking in their feed.
- Crushed Eggshells: You can use oyster shells or your own hens’ crushed, baked, eggshells to provide them with the calcium they need to produce tough eggs.
And don’t forget to give your chickens:
- Oyster shell: Provides calcium for stronger eggs
- Grit: Helps your chickens digest their feed
- Diatomaceous Earth: Prevents external parasites
Note: Grit and oyster shells are not one and the same, so be sure your chickens always have access to grit (otherwise they are basically unable to digest their food properly).
Your chickens will appreciate it if you can grind your ingredients down a bit. They like to eat crumble, after all, so take some time to grind the feed. Grinding will also prevent picky eaters from sorting through the ingredients and picking only the “good stuff” and throwing the rest into their water fonts.
If you have trouble finding these ingredients or would like some help determining ingredient ratios, your local feed mill can custom create a feed (and grind it) to your liking. Yes, it may be more fun to mix your feed in your own little granary, but there’s nothing wrong with enlisting some help. Often times, feed mills have nutritionists on hand to help you create the perfect feed mix based on your chickens’ needs.
Insects as Treats and Protein To Your Chickens
Who doesn’t love to watch their chickens munch on some special treats from time to time?
You can either raise your own mealworm as a fun protein-packed treat for your chickens, or you can order dried worms online.
Raising your own mealworms is actually pretty simple, and costs much less than purchasing dried worms from a poultry store.
There’s a whole niche of people out there that love to raise these little buggers and all it takes is a few tubs of oatmeal, some fruit, and cardboard. Add your worms and maintain your little farm.
Your chickens will feel like it’s Christmas day every time you throw them some of these munchies.
There’s a sense of pride that goes along with mixing and growing your own homemade chicken feed. Whether you decide to take the plunge will depend on the access you have to the resources needed, your budget, and the amount of time you are willing to spend on mixing the feed.