As a poultry farmer, you only buy the finished formulated feeds and may not be aware of the process that goes into formulating the feed for optimal poultry performance. The process of quantifying and mixing the various ingredients to make a well finished poultry feed is a science in itself but what does it really entail?
Poultry feed formulation can loosely be defined as the process of quantifying the numerous ingredients that will go into making the poultry feed. It is an exact science that must be carried out with the highest precision. Poorly formulated poultry feed will have an adverse impact on the health and performance of your poultry and the chickens can be quite unforgiving once you make a mistake in the feeding.
The disparage ingredients used in poultry feed formulation will be combined and mixed to form a single uniform feed used to feed various types of chickens at various stages growth. There is no single formula for all chickens. Each poultry feed must be specially formulated for a particular chicken taking into account their production characteristics as well as nutrient requirements.
The Cost of Feeding is Very High
The cost of feeding your chickens will be the single largest cost that you will grapple with. Because of that, farmers are always very cost conscious when it comes to feeds. Feeding costs will account for anywhere between 65% and 70% of the total production costs in your chicken farming venture. Making a simple mistake in the poultry feed formulation may prove very costly for the farmer over the long run.
When it comes to poultry feed formulation, there are three important things that you need to grasp well. These are:-
- Know the nutrient requirements for the class of poultry that you are formulating the feeds for be they layers, broilers or breeders.
- Understand the feed ingredients used in the poultry feed formulation in terms of the composition of the feeds ingredients as well as the various constraints that each of the feed ingredients poses in terms of processing as well as the nutrient component.
- Understand the cost of the ingredients as well as their availability.
The bigger poultry production concerns generally have a department that is involved in the poultry feeds formulation and production. They generally have a feed mill where they produce their own feed mill for use and for sale so as to offset the cost of poultry production.
Small poultry farming operations will often rely on formulated feeds that is sold in the local agrovets as well as on the consultant nutritionists to help them better understand the nutritional needs of their poultry.
For success in poultry feed formulation, it is important that the poultry feed formulation be as accurate as possible. Once the poultry feed has been milled, it is generally very difficult and very costly to correct any mistakes that were made during the poultry feed formulation. Accuracy must be ensured before the milling process has begun.