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


Modern – 19%
Modern – 21%
–  15-18% protein
Soy-bean free
– 15% protein
soybeans – 16-19% protein
Low soybeans
– 13-14% protein
Corn (shelled
or meal)
50.75 45.7 37.5 31 30
(roasted or meal)
31.25 28.1 10 5
Oats 5 4.5 10 10 10
Alfalfa meal
(can be eliminated in on fresh pasture)
5 4.5 4 5 5 5
Fish meal
and/or meat meal
3.75 12.4 5 10 7.5 11.5
ground limestone, marble, or oyster shells  (for calcium)
1.25 1.1 1 2 2 2.5
3 2.7
of corn, milo, barley, oats, wheat, and/or rice
46 30
Wheat bran,
mill feed, rice bran, and/or milling byproducts
10 10 10
Soybean meal,
peanut meal, cottonseed meal, safflower meal, and/or sesame meal
Yeast and/or
milk powder (for vitamins)
2 5 2.5
with trace minerals (trace mineral salt or iodized salt supplemented
with 1/2 oz. of managanese sulfate and 1/2 oz. of zinc oxide.)
0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Bone meal
and/or deflourinated dicalcium phosphate
20 20
Dried whey 4
Cod oil
(especially for chicks raised entirely indoors and out of the sun)

Chick and mother henI 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

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.

This post is part of our Homemade Chicken Feed series.
Read all of the entries:

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