Monday, July 15, 2024

Poultry Feed Mill and Formulation of Rations

Feed mill including poultry feed mill is a concept that deals with the science of combining different or available animals consumable raw materials in a proportion suitable to animals to enhance balanced rations.

Healthy poultry require a sufficient amount of protein and carbohydrates, along with the necessary vitamins, dietary minerals, and an adequate supply of water. Lactose-fermentation of feed can aid in supplying vitamins and minerals to poultry.

Feed formulation including poultry feed formulation is the process of quantifying the amounts of feed ingredients that need to be combined to form a single uniform mixture (diet) for poultry that supplies all of their nutrient requirements.

Since feed accounts for 65-75% of total live production costs for most types of poultry throughout the world, a simple mistake in diet formulation can be extremely expensive for a poultry producer and feed miller.

Poultry 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.

Most large-scale poultry farmers have their own nutritionists and feed mills, whereas small operations usually depend on consultant nutritionists and commercial feed mills for their feeds.

It is therefore essential that formulations are accurate because once feeds are formulated and manufactured, it is often too late to remedy any mistakes or inaccuracies without incurring significant expenses.

Read Also: The Nutritional Requirements and Deficiency Symptoms for Poultry Chickens

Types of Feed Mill Poultry Feed Mash

The different types of poultry feed mash we have include the following:

The correct type of poultry feed for your chickens depends on two things: their age and whether they are meat birds or laying birds.

1) Feed for Broilers

Broiler Starter: This is high in protein and energy and is given from day old until 4-6 weeks old.

Broiler Finisher: This has a lower protein and energy content than starter. It is given from about 4-6 weeks until target weight is attained.

2) Feed for Laying Birds

Starter: Layers can be given broiler starter in their chick stage. This is given for the first 8 weeks. They can also be given chick mash.

Grower Feed: After chick starter, young pullets that are destined for a laying flock are put on a lower-protein diet to slow growth to allow strong bones and adult body weight before laying begins.

If the protein is too high, development happens quickly and the birds lay too early. Grower pullet rations typically have 18 percent protein and are fed until the chicks are 14 weeks of age.

Layers Feed: It is introduced when 5-10% of the birds start laying and it is given until the birds are sold. Laying hens at maturity (around 22 weeks of age) require a 16 to 18 percent protein level and extra calcium and minerals for strong eggshells.

Don’t feed layer rations to birds younger than this age as it damages their kidneys due to the high amounts of calcium and phosphorus. However, roosters can eat laying rations.

3) Feed for Cockerels

Chick Starter: Exactly what it sounds like, chick starter is for the first (usually six) weeks of your baby chicks’ lives. This is typically 22 to 24 percent protein for meat birds (called broiler starter) and 20 percent protein for laying breeds.

Growers Mash: After chick starter, young pullets that are destined for a laying flock are put on a lower-protein diet to slow growth to allow strong bones and adult body weight before laying begins.

If the protein is too high, development happens quickly and the birds lay too early. Grower pullet rations typically have 18 percent protein and are fed until the chicks are 14 weeks of age.

Read Also: Internal Poultry Diseases and Post Mortem Examination

Formulation of Poultry Feed Rations

Poultry Feed Mill and Formulation of Rations

Chicks feed-mash has 20% crude proteins, 2640 energy kcal,1.0% of calcium, 0.35% phosphorous, 3.5% fat and 7.5% fiber.

Grower feed-mash are with 16% crude proteins, 2450 energy kcal, 1.0% calcium, 0.35% phosphorous, 3.7% fat and 5% fiber.

Layer feed-mash are with 16.5% crude proteins, 2500 energy kcal, 3.5% calcium, 0.45% phosphorous, 3.7% fat and 7.5% fiber.

Turkey feed-mash: also have the starter and finisher. With the starter feed-mash having a higher protein percentage when compared to broiler starter feed-mash while turkey finisher feed-mash has a bit higher energy level when compared to broiler finisher feed-mash composition.

In a simpler language: Maize, Sorghum, and Cassava chips account for about 40-50% of all feed formulation and often regarded as bulk.

Wheat offal, palm kernel cake, rice bran, spent grains or corn offal always account for about 15-30% and these are called filler.

Bone meal and Oyster shell account for 3.4% in small poultry while bigger ones require 2.5% and 3.5% respectively except for laying birds needing 10%.

blood meal and fish meal are needed more by small birds at about 3.5% while larger birds will take 1-3.5% vitamins and minerals.

Other minerals will only be 0.25%-4%, all these other minerals are regarded as concentrate.

Read Also: Poultry Records Keeping Books, Types and Benefits

Carbohydrate, Protein and Mineral Sources

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 75% 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.

Below are some of the carbohydrate, protein and mineral raw materials major sources required for your feed formulation:

Carbohydrate sources: Sorghum, Millet, Cassava chips and Maize.

Protein Sources: Fish meal, Blood meal, Soya beans meal, Groundnut cake meal, Cotton seeds meal.

Mineral (Calcium) Sources: Oyster shell, Bone meal, Dicalcium Phosphate

Roughages: Rice bran, Wheat offal, Brewers spent grains.

Read Also: Daily Poultry Feed Requirements for each Stage

Important Factors to Keep in Mind When Making Your Own Feed Mill Poultry Feeds

If you have all the ingredients and equipment ready for poultry feed formulation using a feed mill, 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:-

  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Purchase high quality fishmeal from very reputable sources. Avoid buying fishmeal from the open market as these might be contaminated.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Read Also: 12 Management Tips for better Poultry Performance Potential


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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