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Kuku farmers, facing hard times? Prepare your own feed.

October 29th, 2013
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Chicken feeds account for more than 80 per cent of the cost of poultry production. Making your own feeds cuts down the costs while increasing your
profit margin.

The increasing cost of feeds is driving many poultry farmers out of business. The problem worsened recently when the
government introduced a 16 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on all animal feeds. This has pushed up the cost of a 70kg poultry feed from an average of KSh
2,000 to KSh 2,400 (20% increase) for chick and layers mash making it very difficult for poultry farmers to break even.

As a result, in the last couple of months we have received many enquiries from poultry farmers in different parts of the country who want to know how they
can make their own feeds in order to cut down costs of production. Feeds account for more than 80 per cent of production costs. A farmer who manages to
bring down this cost to about 50 to 60 per cent stands to make good returns in the poultry business. In the past, the conventional wisdom has been that
farmers cannot make their own feeds, and especially to feed exotic breeds of chickens. But we have established that this way of thinking has stifled efforts
of the more enterprising farmers who have the needed skills to make feeds.

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Indeed, we have established that some farmers are already formulating their own high quality feeds on the farm and do not rely on commercial feeds whose
cost keep rising every day. Besides, the quality of some feeds is so poor that farmers using such feeds incur unnecessarily huge losses. Farmers who
formulate and make their own feeds at home save an average of Ksh 840 for every 70kg bag of chicken feed, which is a great saving for those doing
commercial production.

Below, we give farmers some guidance on what they need to be able to formulate their own feeds and cut down their production costs:

How to prepare layers chick mash (1-4 weeks)

Since they are growing, chicks require feed with Digestible Crude Protein (DCP) of between 18 to 20 per cent. Amino acids are important additives in all
feeds in order to make a complete feed for all animals. For hybrid chickens the addition of amino acids is very important to maintain a balanced diet for fast
growth. The following ingredients can be used to make a 70 kg bag of chick mash:

31.5kg of whole maize

9.1kg of wheat bran
7.0 kg of wheat pollard
16.8 kg of sunflower (or 16.8 kg of linseed)
1.5 kg of fishmeal
1.75 kg of lime
30g of salt
20g of premix

Amino acids
70g of tryptophan
3.0g of lysine
10g of methionine
70 g of threonine
50g of enzymes
60g of coccidiostat
50g of toxin binder

To make a 70 kg bag growers feed (1 to 8 weeks), it is important to remember that pullets or young layers should be provided with feed having a protein
content of between 16 and 18 per cent. Such feed makes the pullet to grow fast and prepare for egg laying. Layers feed should never be fed to chickens
younger than 18 weeks as it contains calcium that can damage their body organs such as kidneys (they can develop kidney stones), which interfere with egg

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production and also shorten their lifespan. Grit (sand) should be provided to growers that are not on free range to aid in digestion.

Making a 70 kg bag of layers mash (18 weeks and above)

34kg of whole maize

12kg of Soya
8kg of fishmeal
10kg of maize bran, rice germ or wheat bran
6 kg of lime
175g premix

Amino acids
70g lysine
35g methionine
70kg tryonine
35g tryptophan
50g toxin binder

Layer feed should contain a Digestible Crude Protein (DCP) content of between 16-18 per cent. The feed should contain calcium for the formation of
eggshells (Laying hens that do not get enough calcium will use the calcium stored in their own born tissue to produce eggshells). Layer feed should be
introduced at 18 weeks.

Formulating a 70 kg bag of broiler feed

Broilers have different feed requirements in terms of energy, proteins and minerals during different stages of their growth. It is important that farmers adapt
feed rations to these requirements for maximum production. Young broilers have a high protein requirement for the development of muscles, feathers, etc.
As the broilers grow, their energy requirements for the deposit of fat increase and their protein requirements decrease. They therefore require high protein
content in their starter rations than in the grower and finisher rations. Broilers should have feed that has between 22 24 per cent DCP. The following
guidelines can help the farmer to make the right feed at each stage of growth:

Preparing broiler growers feed (70 kg)

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A drum mixer is good for

mixing home made feeds
10kg of whole maize
16.7kg of maize germ
13.3kg of wheat pollard
10 kg wheat bran
6 kg of cotton seed cake
4.7kg of sunflower cake
3kg of fishmeal 2kg of lime
3.4kg of soya meal
40g of bone meal
10g of grower PMX
5g of salt
5g of coccidiostat
5g of Zincbacitrach

Broiler starter feed (1-4 weeks)

40kg of whole maize
12kg of fishmeal (or omena)
14kg of soya bean meal
4kg of lime
70g of premix

Amino acids
35g of lysine
35g of threonine

Important tips on feed preparation

When making home made feed rations, it is important to do experimental trials, by isolating a number of chickens, feeding them and observing their
performance. If the feed rations are right, the broilers will grow fast and layer will increase egg production (at least 1 egg after every 27 hours).
Farmers should be very careful with the quality of feed ingredients or raw materials. Chickens are very sensitive to feeds that contain mycotoxins
which are present in most of the raw materials. Never use rotten maize (maozo) to make chicken feed.

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Buy quality fishmeal from reputable companies. If omena is used the farmers must be sure of its quality; most of the omena in the open-air markets
may be contaminated.

It is very important to mix all the micronutrients (amino acids) first before mixing with the rest of the feed.

For mixing, farmers are advised to use a drum mixer (many jua kali artisans can make one). Never use a shovel to mix feed because the ingredients will
be unevenly distributed.
Spoilt maize is the main source of animal feed in Kenya. Such feed is dangerous as it ends up in human food in eggs, meat and even milk from dairy
cows and goats.
It is easier for small-scale farmers working in groups to buy some of the ingredients such as pre-mixes and amino acids after which they can share the
product according to each ones contribution.

Important: To improve on the feed quality, farmers making their own feeds should always have it tested to ensure the feed is well balanced. The KARI
Centre in Naivasha has modern feed testing equipment that can test all nutrients and even the quality of the raw material used. It costs Ksh1000 to test one
sample. After preparing your feed, take a 1kg sample; send it by courier to KARI, Naivasha, Tel. 0726 264 032 or 0738 390 715. If you are on email, the
centre can send the results to you within 24 hours

Raw material suppliers

Farmers who need raw materials for feed making including feed additives (pre-mixes and amino acids) can order them from the following companies:
1. Essential Drugs Ltd, E.D.L House, Mombasa Rd, Tel. 020 263 2701/02,
0721 386 604 email:
1. Tarime suppliers Tel. 0729 099 550, City stadium, Nairobi,

more learning through sharing...

29 Responses to Kuku farmers, facing hard times? Prepare your own feed.

Ali Bajaber says:

October 30, 2013 at 13:20
Thank you very much for this informative piece on how to make our own feeds. I would like to know which kind of salt are we using, and how can I
get the copy of this magazine?
The Organic Farmer says:
October 30, 2013 at 18:53
Ali Bajaber: Farmers can use common salt (Sodium Chloride) or the non-refined salt found in agrovet shops. Lack of enough salt (Sodium)
causes a condition called salt deficiency especially in high producing birds layers and broilers where chicken growth is slowed and causes
birds to be dull and unthrifty in appearance. The other purpose of salt is to improve the taste of the feed and make animals eat more. Remember
to give your birds enough water.
Hard copies of The Organic Farmer magazine is made available to registered farmers groups. Send your request to


Ali Bajaber says:

October 31, 2013 at 12:55
Thank you once again for your reply. I have a query concerning Broilers,I didnt see a source of calcium in their feeds. How will they get Calcium in

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their feeds?

paul says:
November 18, 2013 at 09:15
Thanks very much for the information it will help alot


david says:
December 27, 2013 at 14:49
i need to know were to get magazine. send one for me pls thanks for that.


martha says:
January 4, 2014 at 12:48
Thanks for such detailed information on feed formulation,i wish to kindly enquire on the formulation for the growers mash .between the 4-18 weeks


Juliet njeri says:

January 6, 2014 at 21:45
Thanks for this information I wanted to inquire abt lime do u use the fruit lime or is their a powder form lime? After preparing the feeds do u give the
chicken feeds immediately?


susan macharia says:

January 14, 2014 at 17:41
the formula for the growers mash was introduced but not provided in the november 2013 issue


Pauline Ismael says:

January 20, 2014 at 13:28
This is really resourcefulThanks a lot for this information.


Kuppuswamy says:
January 20, 2014 at 17:19
Can i have cost of feed per kg
If make at our place


mutua says:
January 27, 2014 at 14:04
very helpful information, Ill try and give my feed back on the same.


benard rotich says:

January 31, 2014 at 13:15
send me a magazine address. 445 Bomet.


moses gachanja says:

February 5, 2014 at 15:18
We make steel poultry cages fitted with automatic water system,feed troughs,egg collection facility and manure collection system. They are
particularly ideal for quail and chicken.A unit for 400 quail costs ksh.28,000
Contact me on 0722 281 127

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Mark says:
February 5, 2014 at 17:18
Where are you located moses and where can we veiw the steel poutry cages.

yisa m t says:
February 9, 2014 at 22:54
pls I need simple and exactly information on law matetials on broilers and layers stage by stage and pls metion those materials available in
nigeria.thank u


Alysaly says:
February 15, 2014 at 16:17
we mix our own feeds and the results have been tremendous with our quails. much better than when we were buying chicken feeds.
we have 1week quails @Kshs 70, 3days old @Kshs 50 and fresh fertilized eggs @Kshs 10


Rubina says:
February 16, 2014 at 11:24
Interested in buying quails.


awwal faringida says:

February 16, 2014 at 18:50
Thank you for this vital information that is certainly aiding a lot of upcoming farmers like me. I am a Nigerian and have a poultry farm where for now,
I only raise boilers for the market. My greatest challenge has been in the area of feed formulation but with this information I think I can have some
confidence in my ability to formulate a good feed for my birds thereby improving my farm. Kindly send me any information you believe can continue
to aid me in this regard. I remain sincerely grateful.


Annastasiah says:
February 20, 2014 at 19:59
Thanks for this helpful article. wud like to know the formulas for making pig feed.
The Organic Farmer says:
February 21, 2014 at 17:07
Here is a ration for pig feed;
48kg of maize germ
12kg of wheat pollard
12.5kg of soya cake
7.5kg of fishmeal
0.75kg of lime
1kg of bonemeal
125g of salt
150g of lysine
150g of feed premix
300g of zinc
Read more here
Annastasiah says:
February 25, 2014 at 09:37

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thanks. Am an extension officer _Min of agriculture. I nid a lesson on feed formulation. pls assist.

Njambi says:
February 21, 2014 at 11:59
I cant believe you said 2400 70kg bag. herein Mombasa a 50kg bag of starter is 3550ksh finisher 3250ksh 50kg bag Isinya feeds that is even
betterthe last time i bought unga feeds last year 50kgs of finisher was 4200ksh. their starter of the same Kg was 4400 . I av given up rearing
chickenat the end chick cost wholesale price is constant 350ksh..NO PROFIT at allamounts to nothing!
David says:
February 22, 2014 at 00:38
Hi Njambi,
I agree feeds are over the roof. Try hydroponic feeding. You grow your own feeds in an extremely small area.


Nicholas Kirimi says:

February 22, 2014 at 11:04
Thank you for this informative article.Am interested in making my own feeds,anyone who can share first hand experience of making own feeds


INCUBATORS 0724702512 says:

February 24, 2014 at 11:21


Annastasiah says:
February 27, 2014 at 10:33
hello. where can I go for feed formulation training? am in Ruiru.



March 2, 2014 at 18:35
Only to thank organic farmer on behave of Emoli dairy famers group and be proud to let you know that the mentioned group has given birth to another
farmers group by the name KISA CENTRAL DAIRY VALUE CHAIN FARMERS GROUP.They are planning to invite area officer Mr Alfred
Amusibwa to launh manure preperation soon.



March 3, 2014 at 16:45
Its over two years DECEMBER 2011 when we were with Mr Peter in Mbale town giving group reports , Emoli dairy representative requested organic
famer modules upto today Mr Amusibwa has not released them to the group. whats the problem?


anastasia says:
March 4, 2014 at 15:05
Mombasa broiler farmers r suffering loses feed r very expensive.Thanx for the tip but where do we get the additives in mombasa.

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