Farmers should maintain the right feed quantities for chicken at each stage of growth as shown below:
— An egg-laying chicken requires 130-140g of feed per day.
— A chick requires a minimum 60g per day. If they finish their daily rations, give them fruit and vegetable cuttings to ensure they feed continuously.
— Young chickens (or pullets) which are about to start laying eggs should be fed 60g for 2 and ½ months and then put on layer diet (140g per day). Supplement the feed with vegetables, edible plant leaves and fruit peelings in addition to their feed rations.
— Broiler chicks require 67g per day. Broiler finishers require 67g of feed per day to the day of slaughter.
— Chickens are very sensitive to aflatoxins- never use rotten maize (maozo) while making feeds.
Where to buy ingredients
Farmers who need raw materials for feed making including feed additives (pre-mixes and amino acids) can order them from agro-veterinary shops nearest to them.
There are also companies doing calibration services for farmers who wish to make feeds in large scale farming enterprises and even for any farmer who requires these services.
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 layers will increase egg production (at least 1 egg after every 27 hours).
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. Farmers are advised to go for soya meal if they cannot get good quality omena.
Always mix the micronutrients (amino acids) first before mixing them 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.
Important: To improve on the feed quality, farmers making their own feeds should always have it tested to ensure the feed is well balanced.