People who know how to mix chicken feeds are actually enjoying lower feed costs and at the same time allowing them to explore other feed alternatives. Raising chickens is costly especially if you are feeding your flock with 100% of commercial feeds. With an average cost of P30/kg of feeds, if you have a layer, your profit is not really that much.
Previously we published lists of plants and greens that can be a support to your commercial feeds. In this article, we are going to give you more tips on how to feed your chickens and reduce costs by 50% to 60% without compromising growth and quality.
Back in the 90s’ during my teenage years, our family grew a lot of native chickens in our hometown in Negros Occidental. We always had around 100 native chickens roaming around our house. My father never bought commercial feeds. Just grated coconuts, rice bran, grated cassava, and corn.
When I started raising chickens more than 5 years ago, I followed the same formula and the result is always great.
You may think that none of these applies to you because you are living in the City or inside the subdivision and you have no source of these materials. You may be right but most of the time you can be wrong. I’ll explain it below.
Although the main ingredients of commercial feeds include the materials I am going to mention below, mixing your own feeds is different than buying an already manufactured feed. The big difference is the cost.
For the people living in the provinces, especially on Negros Island, you are lucky because most of these materials are being sold at every poultry and AgriVet supply store. Here in Luzon, a quick search on the Facebook Marketplace would give you some positive results.
Darak (rice bran or corn bran)
Darak is one of the main ingredients of commercial feeds. I see the reason why this is not sold in poultry supply stores here in Batangas. There are more than a hundred feed mills in CALABARZON and almost 95% of available rice brans and corn brans are sold to these big corporations. The cost of darak if purchased per kilogram is around P10 to P12 per kilo. Darak has more nutrients than milled rice actually because it has all the nutrients of the whole grain, especially corn which includes the embryo. In rice, its bran includes its nutritious skin.
Pulp (sapal ng niyog or sapal ng soya)
Although copra meal and soya meal are some of the main ingredients of commercial feeds, sapal is different. You can buy sapal from coconut vendors in your local market. The cost is around P7 to P10 per kilo or P12 at maximum.
Azolla is recommended even by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as one of the main feed alternatives because of its high protein content.
If you are living inside the subdivision or in mass housing where few people have dogs and chickens, you can ask your neighbors to give you their kitchen leftovers instead of dumping them into the drainage. Just provide them with a container. You can have a daily supply of leftovers.
How to mix chicken feeds
Remember that chickens will eat almost everything but it’s us, humans, who should control what should be included in their feeds. Giving them 100% sapal is not good as it is not complete with the needed nutrients.
To reduce feed costs while still providing your chickens with the needed nutrients, mix the following.
- 1 kg of commercial feeds (choose the cheapest). Crumble (grower) is recommended
- 1 kg of rice or corn bran
- 1 kg of sapal
- 1 kg of azolla
- 1 kg of kitchen leftover (mostly cooked rice)
If Azolla or kitchen leftover is not available, you can still continue mixing with the rest of the materials. The most important are rice/corn bran and sapal.
Whether you are mixing in small or large volumes, the result would still be the same. You can significantly reduce the cost of your feeds. If you have other available materials like cracked corn or chopped Kangkong, you can add that also.
Common questions from people who want to mix chicken feeds
What is a good mix for chicken feed?
Simple Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe Formula
- 30% Corn
- 30% Wheat
- 20% Peas
- 10% Oats
- 10% Fish Meal.
- 2% Poultry Nutri–Balancer
- Free Choice Kelp
- Free Choice Aragonite
How do you mix layer chicken feed?
To make feed for laying hens, start by mixing whole maize meal, soya, fish meal, maize bran, and limestone powder into a large bucket or barrel. Once you’ve added all the ingredients, stir them with a shovel until they’re well mixed so the chickens get nutrients from all the ingredients at once.
Should I mix chicken feed with water?
Any type of chicken feed can be mixed with water and allowed to ferment naturally. The process of fermentation releases many of the grain’s nutrients, making them more available for your birds.
What is mixed fowl feed?
This is a mixture of various kinds of seeds and grain (corn, sorghum, and sunflower). An excellent source of protein, fiber, and fat. Ideally used to sustain the well-balanced, healthy, and nutritional well-being of your young or older broiler chickens.
Is it cheaper to mix your own chicken feed?
Homemade chicken feed not only improves the health of your flock but is usually slightly cheaper than buying pre-made feed. This option is particularly cost-effective if you are able to find grains and seeds in bulk from local grocery and bulk food stores.
Can I mix chicken feeds for starter and layer?
We mix the starter and layer feed evenly for four or five days. If birds are used to crumbles, start with a crumble layer feed. The same goes for pellets. The more similar the two feeds are, the more smoothly the transition will go.
Do chickens need water every day?
Chickens need to drink about a pint of water a day depending on how hot it is. The five-gallon bucket we use holds enough water, up to 40 pints, to last our three hens about two weeks without refilling (think “worry-free vacation”).
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