Except a few feed manufacturers who keep to the standards in poultry feed formulations, many feed companies in the country make very poor quality feeds, a situation which has led to huge losses.

Poor quality feeds lead to a slow growth in chicken, low egg production, diseases or even death. 

Making poultry feeds on the farm is one of the best ways to maintain quality and cut the cost of production.

The common ingredients are whole maize, maize germ, cotton seed cake, soya beans, sunflower or fish meal (silverfish).


In addition, farmers need to add several feed additives (micronutrients, minerals and vitamins) to make ensure their chicken have a balanced feed that meets their daily nutrient requirements.

Depending on the cost of raw material, farmers who make their own feeds at home save between 30 to 50 per cent for every 70-kilogrammes bag of chicken feed, depending on the source of their raw materials.

To formulate feeds, farmers have to use the Pearson Square method. In this method, the digestible crude protein (DCP) is the basic nutritional requirement for any feed preparation for all animals and birds.

The following are the DCP values for each of the common ingredients used in feed making

  • Whole maize — 8.23 per cent 
  • Soya — 45 per cent
  • Fishmeal (omena) — 55 per cent 
  • Maize bran — 7 per cent 
  • Sunflower — 35 per cent

Each category of chicken has its nutritional requirement. For example, if we want to make feed for layers, the feed should have at least 18 per cent crude protein.

If one was to formulate feed for layers, then they would have to calculate the percentage of DCP in each of the ingredients they want to use to ensure that the total crude protein content is at least 18 per cent.


Therefore, to make a 70-kilogramme bag of feed for layers, a farmer would require the following ingredients:

  • 34kilogrammes of whole maize/ broken 
  • 12kilogrammes of soybean 
  • Eight kilogrammes of silverfish (fishmeal)
  • 10kilogrammes of maize bran
  • Six kilogrammes of lime (as a calcium source)

To find out if all the above ingredients meet this standard of 18 per cent crude protein, a farmer can do a simple calculation as follows:

  • Whole maize — 34kilogrammes x 8.23 ÷100 = 2.80 per cent
  • Soybean — 12kilogrammes x 45kilogrammes ÷ 100 = 5.40 per cent
  • Silverfish — 8kilogrammes x 55kilogrammes ÷ 100 = 4.40 per cent
  • Lime — Six kilogrammes x 0 kilogramme ÷ 100 = 0.00 per cent
  • Total per cent of crude protein = 13.30 per cent

To get the total crude protein percentage of all these ingredients in a 70-kilogramme bag of feed, the farmer should take this crude protein content of the combined ingredients, divide by 70 kilogrammes and multiply by 100, thus — 13.30 ÷70 ×100 = 19 per cent; this shows that the crude protein content of the above feed formulation is 19 per cent, which is quite adequate for layers.


The following formulation can be used to make a 70-kilogramme bag of layers chick mash:


  • 31.5kg of whole maize
  • 9.1kg of wheat bran
  • 7.0kg of wheat pollard
  • 16.8 kg of sunflower (or 16.8 kg of linseed)
  • 1.5kg of fishmeal
  • 1.75kg 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 coccidiostats
  • 50g of toxin binder


Growers should be provided with feed having a protein content of between 16 and 18 per cent. Such feed makes the young layers to grow fast in preparation for egg laying:

  • 10 kilogrammes of whole maize,
  • 17 kilogrammes of maize germ, 
  • 13kilogrammes of wheat pollard, 
  • 10kilogrammes of wheat bran,
  • six kilogrammes of cotton seed cake, 
  • five kilogrammes of sunflower cake
  •  3.4 kilogrammes of soya meal,
  • 2.07 kilogrammes of lime,
  •  700 grimes of bone meal and three kilogrammes of fishmeal.


  1. • 14grammes of salt
  2. • 1gramme of coccidiostats
  3. • 18grammes of pre-mix
  4. • One gramme of zinc bacitracitrach
  5. • Seven grammes of mycotoxin binder

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


  1. • 34kilogrammes of whole maize
  2. • 12kilogrammes of Soya
  3. • Eight kilogrammes of fishmeal
  4. • 10kilogrammes of maize bran, rice germ or wheat bran
  5. • Six kilogrammes of lime
  6. Amino acids
  7. •175grammes premix
  8. •70grammes lysine
  9. •35grammes methionine
  10. •70kilogrammes threonine
  11. •35grammes tryptophan
  12. •50grammes toxin binder

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.

The following guidelines can help the farmer to make the right feed at each stage of growth:

Broiler starter feed 

  1. •40kg of whole maize
  2. •12kg of fishmeal 
  3. •14kg of soya bean meal
  4. •4kg of lime
  5. •70g of premix
  6. Amino acids
  7. •35g of lysine
  8. •35g of Threonine


  1. •10kg of whole maize
  2. •16.7kg of maize germ
  3. •13.3kg of wheat pollard
  4. •10 kg wheat bran
  5. •6 kg of cotton seed cake
  6. •4.7kg of sunflower cake
  7. •3kg of fishmeal 2kg of lime
  8. •3.4kg of soya meal
  9. •40g of bone meal
  10. •10g of grower PMX
  11. •5g of salt
  12. •5g of coccidiostat
  13. •5g of Zincbacitrach


For farmers who have more than 500 chickens, it is advisable to make one tonne of feed at once (there are 14 bags of feed in one tonne). Therefore, to make one tonne of feed, all a farmer needs is to multiply each of the ingredients by 14. 

Ensure that all the feed you make will last for one month and not longer — this ensures the feed remains fresh and safe for chicken. 

Daily feed requirements

Farmers should maintain the right feed quantities for chicken at each stage of growth as shown below

• An egg-laying chicken requires 130-140grammes of feed per day.

• A chick requires a minimum 60grammes per day. If they finish their daily rations, give them fruit and vegetable cuttings to ensure they feed continuously.

• Young chicken which are about to start laying eggs should be fed 60grammes for two and half months and then put on layer diet (140grammes per day). Supplement the feed with vegetables, edible plant leaves and fruit peelings in addition to their feed rations.


  1. We the Community Farmers Welfare Association Nigeria, hereby acknowledges your immense efforts in capacity building to educate We the less privileged in Africa.

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