Protein content in chicken feed ingredients

So you want to make a homemade starter/grower feed or a homemade layer feed, but you want to be able to mix and match some of the ingredients in a similar category.  For example, you’d like to swap oats for wheat or fish meal for soybeans.  How do you know how much protein the finished feed contains?

The chart below lists the percent protein in each of the main ingredients of chicken feed:

Ingredient Percent
Dried fish flakes 76
Dried liver 76
Dried earthworms 76
Duckweed 50
Torula yeast 50
Brewers yeast 39
Soybeans (dry roasted) 37
Flaxseed 37
Alfalfa seed 35
Beef, lean 28
Earthworms 28
Fish 28
Sunflower seeds 26.3
Wheat germ 25
Peas and beans, dried 24.5
Sesame seed 19.3
Soybeans (boiled) 17
Wheat bran and/or middlings 16.6
Oats, whole 14
Rice polish 12.8
Rye 12.5
Wheat 12.5
Barley 12.3
Oats 12
Corn 9
Millet 9
Milo 9
Rice, brown 7.5
Milk 3
Whey 29 – 89

It’s easy to determine the percent protein of your finished feed using this chart.  For a 100 pound recipe, just multiply the percent protein of each ingredient (as a decimal) by the pounds of that ingredient in your recipe.  For example, if you add 30 pounds of oats you would multiply by 0.14 and come up with 4.2.  Add up the resulting numbers for each ingredient, and you have the percent protein of that batch of chicken feed.

If the percent protein in a recipe is too low, maybe you should back off on the ingredients at the lower end of the chart and increase the ingredients at the upper end of the chart.  For example, cut back on corn and increase your soybeans.  Soon you’ll be making your own recipe using the ingredients on hand!

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

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