Recipes for homemade starter and grower chicken feeds
are several different recipes for homemade chicken starter and grower
feeds. The numbers indicate a percent of the recipe by weight ---
to make a hundred pounds of feed, just pretend those numbers are in
I know this chart may seem a little daunting, but I thought it would be useful to take a look at a bunch of different feed formulas reported on the internet. First of all, notice that many of the recipes don't actually fit into the protein recommendations for starting chicks --- 18 to 20%. The lower protein feeds should be considered grower rations.
Next, notice that the components can be broken down into grains for carbohydrates; fish meal, wheat meal, alfalfa meal, or soybeans for protein; and alfalfa meal, aragonite, ground limestone, oyster shells, poultry nutri-balancer, yeast, milk powder, salt, bone meal, dicalcium phosphate, and whey for vitamins and minerals.
Of course, we all know that we're healthier if we eat a lot of different types of foods, so it's easy to draw the same conclusions about chickens. Feeding them a constant mixture based primarily on soybeans and corn (like the commercial feeds) isn't going to be as good for them as mixing it up and tossing in different grains and ingredients in different batches. If you live on a farm, chances are that some ingredients are easier to come by than others at different times of the year --- be willing to change your formula over time! In a later post, I'll list the percent protein of each ingredient so that you'll know how to keep your percent protein steady while changing ingredients.
Stay tuned for homemade chicken layer recipes. Until then, check out our automatic chicken waterer that provides the other essential ingredient for healthy birds --- clean water.
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