My favorite part of Pastured
Poultry Profits was the chapter devoted to demystifying chicken feed. Joel Salatin raises enough chickens that he can order his feed custom blended, and he’s done a lot of experimentation to determine the recipes that work best for him. He believes in keeping the mixture as simple as possible and using real ingredients.
Here are the components of Salatin’s broiler mix (and why he includes each ingredient):
- 52% corn — For carbohydrates
- 29% roasted soybeans — For protein
- 11% crimped oats — These are a source of protein and carbs, but Salatin primarily includes oats because of the fiber in the hulls.
- 3.5% Sea-Lac brand fish meal — He prefers this brand because of their low-heat processing, which helps preserve vitamins and minerals. The other purpose of fish
meal is to provide animal protein.
- 3% Fertrell Nutri-Balancer — For vitamins and minerals. (See below.)
- 1% feed grade limestone — For calcium
- 0.5% kelp meal — For minerals. Salatin recommends choosing kelp meal grown in cold
water and dried geothermally.
- 0.1% Fastrack probiotic — To promote digestion and boost the immune system. This brand name product is produced by Conklin Co., Inc., and Salatin says they have the highest percentage of Lactobaccillus acidophilus, without the fillers found in other brands of
Salatin performed side by side comparisons of various brands of “snake oil” (his term), and discovered that his chickens grew faster and stayed healthier when he added Fertrell Nutri-Balancer to the mix. He prefers to avoid chemically formulated vitamins and minerals since they break down readily in hot weather and are harder for the chickens to assimilate than are vitamins and minerals from natural sources, so he was glad to find a natural source. Now I know where the Fertrell Nutri-Balancer craze started!
In case you’re curious, Salatin’s layer ration consists of:
- 49.7% corn
- 30.8% roasted soybeans
- 10.9% oats
- 5.0% feed grade limestone
- 3.0% Fertrell Nutri-Balancer
- 0.5% Thorvin brand kelp meal
Sounds a lot like the ingredients in our quality chicken feed. I still don’t have data on consumption and growth using our new chicken
feed, but I will soon.
post is part of our Pastured Poultry
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