For a suitable well designed poultry feed mill establishment, First you must make available Land space of about a plot is of utmost importance with a warehouse of about 50-70m at least 10m high. A one house crusher and half one hour mixer, a bag closer, one 10kg.
Movable scale will be indispensable and not forgetting to mention a 50kva standby Generator to counter the erratic power supply. In addition to the above, a working capital will be needed for raw materials and labor.
Wheat, Sorghum and Cassava chips can account for 45% of the feed formulation
While Wheat offal, Spent grain and Rice bran takes 25%
Bone meal and Oyster shell accounts for 10%
Fish meal, Blood meal and Soya bean meal accounts for 10% of the total feed
While Salt, Vitamins, Minerals and Premix makes up the remaining 5%
Others are 5%, at least 5 workers in the factory, 2 workers in the store and another 2 workers in the administrative sections. With all these in line, poultry feed mill is found to be a success.
Importance of having your own poultry feed mill or formulating your own poultry feeds
Now let us look at the importance of having your own poultry feed mill or formulating your own poultry feeds below.
Formulating your own poultry feed will not only help you cut down your total production cost, it will also assist you to ensure that you feed the right the right nutritional required feeds to your poultry chickens inorder to enhance their production which in return increases the profit of the poultry farmer.
Feed formulation is the process of finding the optimal combination of feed ingredients that meets the specified nutritional requirements for specific types of poultry. Feed formulation is an applied field of nutrition where nutritionists apply their knowledge to produce a balanced diet.
Many pieces of information should be incorporated prior to feed formulation to maximize the efficiency of formulation. Information like nutritional requirements, feedstuffs composition, nutrient availability and costs of available feedstuffs are essential elements for effective feed formulation.
Poultry feed mill on the other hand is known to be a profitable business that has evolved from small scale to a global industry in most countries where it is carried out.
Countries like Nigeria, United Kingdom, Brazil, Greece, Philippines, China, Japan, Thailand, Caribbean countries and even South American Countries have been producing poultry feeds on large scales for a long time. United states isn’t far from the trade as there are lots of people who are making huge fortune from running their own poultry feed mill.
As we have stated severally in numerous other articles, poultry feeding is the single largest cost in poultry production. It accounts for between 65% to 70% of the total cost of production. That is where many small scale farmers and larger commercial enterprises are now opting to formulate their own poultry feeds.
Feed formulation requires thorough understanding of the:
(a) nutrient requirements of the class of poultry (e.g., egg layers, meat chickens or breeders);
(b) feed ingredients in terms of nutrient composition and constraints in terms of nutrition and processing, and
(c) cost and availability of the ingredients.
You can formulate your own feed in 3 ways depending on your expertise, time and availability of equipment. The 3 ways are discussed below:
(1) Toll Milling
Here, the farmer pays a commercial feed miller to mill the feed for him. The miller will grind the feed ingredients and mix them using their feed formula or the one you provided. The feed ingredients can either be purchased from the miller or provided by you.
You don’t need to own very cost feed milling equipment like grinder, mixer, generator etc. You have some control on the cost and quality of feed ingredients.
So if you can get these ingredients at cheap rates, you’ll be making more profit. Best still, you may decide to cultivate some of the feed ingredients yourself.
The miller might use poor quality feed ingredients and the feed might be contaminated by mycotoxins and other feed contaminants.
(2) Custom Mixing
Here, concentrates are used as the foundation stuff for feed formulation. The concentrate already contains most of the necessary nutrients. With some concentrates, all you have to do is to mix in maize and wheat offal to produce your own feed. Custom mixing is more suitable for beginners in small-scale poultry feed production.
There are concentrates for all chicken categories. For broilers there are starter and finisher concentrates. For egg layers there are starter, grower and layers concentrates.
To produce feed using concentrates, maize and wheat offal are added to the concentrate and mixed. The amount of maize and wheat offal to add is specified by the producer of the concentrate.
For example using Animal Care® concentrate as a case study, to produce 1 ton of feed with Animal Care® concentrate, you’ll need 500kg of maize, 300kg of concentrate and 200kg of wheat offal or rice bran.
Each bag of Animal Care® concentrate weigh 25kg and the layer concentrate cost about N3,100. A 50kg bag of wheat offal is about N2,500 (Prices as of 2013).
Note: Animal Care Concentrate® used here is only an example and not compulsory you must use their product inorder to achieve results as there are many other good concentrates available at the market depending on your location and price.
Some type of concentrate will allow the farmer to have control over a wide range of ingredients such as maize, protein cakes, offals, bone meal and limestone.
Feed quality is assured if the manufacturer’s mixing instruction is followed. If you can buy maize, wheat offal or any other ingredient at a lower price, your feed will be less costly.
You still need a milling machine (for the maize) and a mixer here. If you don’t have your own machines, you’ll have to pay feed millers.
(3) Complete Feed Formulation
Here, the feed is formulated from scratch using advanced mathematical formula. The service of a nutritionist is required here. The work can be made a lot easier by using feed formulation software.
With complete feed formulation, you can make use of unconventional feed ingredients like protein-rich leaf meals, maggot meals etc which are usually cheaper than conventional ones.
A lot of ingredients are involved and ensuring that all of them are available at the required quantity is a big task. Absence of one ingredient can cause unwanted delay in production.
Important Factors to Keep in Mind When Making Your Own Poultry Feeds
If you have all the ingredients and equipment ready for poultry feed formulation, there are certain important factors that you need to keep in mind before you begin formulating your poultry feeds on a massive scale. These include the following:-
1) If you will be making homemade poultry feed rations, it is important to start with experimental trials of the poultry feed formulation. You can do this by isolating some of the chickens and feeding them formulated rations and then observing them to see any changes in performance.
If the feed rations are ok, the broilers will still grow fast and you will not see a drop in layer performance. Make sure you do the trials before introducing the poultry feed rations to the entire poultry flock.
2) When formulating poultry feeds, you need to be extra careful with the quality of raw materials or poultry feed ingredients used in the poultry feed formulation.
Chickens are generally highly sensitive to feed that is contaminated with mycotoxins that are generally found in numerous raw materials, particularly the grains. Avoid using rotten maize to make poultry feed at all costs!
3) Purchase high quality fishmeal from very reputable sources. Avoid buying fishmeal from the open market as these might be contaminated.
4) Ensure that you have mixed up all the micronutrients such as amino acids and probiotics before you mix them up with the rest of the poultry feeds.
5) There are milling machines with mixers and pelletizers that are used for processing and mixing the ingredients of the poultry feed. If you are doing a homemade poultry feed formulation without the right sets of machinery, you can use a drum mixer to mix the ingredients of the poultry feeds.
Avoid using shovels as they are unlikely to give you an optimal poultry feed ingredients mixture.
6) Avoid using spoilt or rotten maize or corn at all costs. Such raw materials can be dangerous as they might carry mycotoxins that may be passed over into the human system when you consume poultry eggs or poultry meat.
7) Pool together with other small scale poultry farmers in order to buy and divide some of the ingredients used in poultry feed formulation such as pre-mixes and amino acids among others.
8) To improve on the poultry feed quality, make sure that the feed that you have prepared has been tested to determine if it has optimal amounts of ingredients. There could be lab facilities in your locality that can offer poultry feed testing services.