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How To MakeYour Own Poultry Feed

 

With the right ingredients portions, farmers can make their own qualityfeed to improve indigenous poultry production.

With the rising cost of poultry feeds, farmers rearing chickens areincreasingly finding it difficult to make profit from poultry keeping. While itis difficult for farmers to formulate feeds for hybrid chickens such asbroilers and layers, they can do so for their indigenous chickens ordual-purpose breeds such as Kenbro under intensive management system. This canbe done using the Pearson

Square method.

 

However, this is only possible if farmers have the right quality ofingredients or raw material for formulating feeds. The Pearson Square methodrelies on the Digestible Crude Protein (DCP) as the basic nutritional requirementfor feed. The most common ingredients used are whole maize, maize germ, cottonseed cake, soya beans, sunflower or omena (fishmeal).

 

Assuming that the farmer wants to make feed for their chickens using thePearson Square method, they have to know the crude protein content of each ofthe ingredients used in feed making. The farmer may use whole maize (8.23 %DCP) Soya (45 % DCP) Omena (55 % DCP) and maize bran (7 % DCP) Sunflower (35 %DCP). To make a 70 kg bag of feed for layers, a farmer would require thefollowing ingredients:

 

34 kg of whole maize

12 kg of Soya

8 kg of omena

10 kg of maize bran

6 kg of Lime (as a calcium source)

 

Each category of chickens has its own requirements in terms of nutrition.For example, feed for layers should have at least 18 per cent crude protein. Ifone were to formulate feed for layers, then they would have to calculate thepercentage of digestible crude protein in each of the ingredients to ensurethat the total crude protein content is at least 18 per cent to meet thisnutritional requirement. To find out if the feed meets this standard, a farmercan do a simple calculation as follows:

 

Whole maize = 34 kg x 8.23 ÷100 = 2.80kg

Soya bean = 12 kg x 45 ÷ 100 = 5.40 kg

Omena = 8 kg x 55 ÷ 100 = 4.40 kg

Maize bran = 10 kg x 7 ÷ 100 = 0.70 kg

Lime = 6 kg x 0 ÷ 100 = 0.00 kg

(Total crude protein 13.30 kg)

 

To get the total crude protein content of all these ingredients in a 70 kgbag, you take the total crude protein content of the combined ingredients,divide by 70 and multiply by 100 thus, (13.30÷70) x 100 = 19.0 %. This showsthat the crude protein percentage in the above feed formulation is 19.0 % whichis suitable for layers. Before mixing the feed, whole maize including the otheringredients has to be broken into the right sizes through crushing or millingto make it palatable for the chickens. Add 250 g of table salt on every 70 kgbag of feed.

 

Feed for chickens meant for meat

 

Chickens meant for meat production require feed with a higher content ofDCP. From the first to the fourth week, the chicks require feed with a DCPcontent of between 22 to 24 per cent. From the fourth to the eighth week, thechicks require feed with a protein content of 21 to 22 per cent crude protein.To attain this requirement, farmers can formulate feed using the same methodgiven above. To make a 70 kg bags of feed, they will need to have all the rightthe ingredients in the proportions given below:

 

Whole maize = 40 kg x 8.23 ÷ 100 = 3.20kg

Omena = 12 kg x 55 ÷ 100 = 6.60 kg

Soya beans = 14 kg x 45 ÷ 100 = 6.30 kg

Lime = 4 kg x 0 ÷ 100 = 0.00 kg

(Total crude protein 16.10 kg)

 

To determine if a 70 kg bag of feed has adequate crude protein content forbirds meant for meat production, the same methods is used: (16. 10 ÷ 70) x 100= 23 %. The feed given in this example has a total crude protein content of 23% which is adequate to feed chicken in this category. In every 70 kg bag offeed, add 250g of table salt.

 

Ration for kienyeji chickens

 

Indigenous chickens are less productive in terms of egg and meat increase.They may not require intensive feeding and management. For this category ofchickens, farmers can constitute feeds with a DCP of between 15 - 16 %. Theycan use the following formulation to make feeds for the indigenous chickens:

 

Whole maize = 34 kg x 8.23 ÷100 = 2.80 kg

Soya bean = 12 kg x 45 ÷ 100 = 5.40 kg

Omena = 8 kg x 55 ÷ 100 = 4.40 kg

Maize bran = 10 kg x 7 ÷ 100 = 0.70 kg

Lime = 6 kg x 0 100 = 0.00 kg

(Total crude protein 13.30 kg)

 

Percentage of total crude Protein in the ingredients = (10.68 ÷70) x 100 =15.25 %

For farmers rearing hybrid layers and broilers, it is advisable to buyalready constituted feeds from reputable companies that sell quality feed. Themain reason is that it is very difficult for farmers to constitutemicronutrients such as amino-acids, trace minerals, fat and water solublevitamins that these breeds of chicken require for proper growth.

 

To be sure that their feed is of the right quality, farmers can send asample of the constituted feeds for testing and advice to KARI Naivasha, whichhas modern equipment for testing feed quality. A sample costs Ksh 1,000 totest. Send samples by courier to the following address: KARI Naivasha P.O. Box25, 20117 Naivasha, Tel. 0726 264 032. Results are ready within a day.

 

Some tips on how to feed chicken

 

An egg-laying chicken requires 130 g of feed per day (provide clean water atall times).

• 1 chick requires 2.2 kg of feed for 8 weeks (thus 100 chicks = 2.2 kg x 100=220kg. Chicks should be allowed to feed continuously and given adequate cleanwater at all times). If they finish their daily rations, give them fruit andvegetables cuttings to feed on.

• 1 pullet (young chicken about to start laying) should be fed 4.5 kg offeed for two and a half months until the first egg is seen. It should then beput on layer diet. Supplement with vegetables, edible plant leaves or fruitspeelings in addition to the daily feed rations.

• All ingredients used must be of high quality and palatable. Never userotten maize (Maozo). Chickens are very susceptible to aflatoxins poisoning.

• When using omena as an ingredient, ensure it is free of sand andseashells. If

you use maize germ, it should be completely dry.

• Feed should be thoroughly mixed to ensure the ingredients are uniformlydistributed. It is preferable to use a drum mixer instead of a spade formixing.

• Note that even after giving them the formulated feeds, chickens should beput on free range to scavenge for other micronutrients not provided for in thefeeds.

 Courtesy Organic Farmer