For poultry farmers, getting chicken feed right is essential to meet chickens’ nutritional needs. Unlike some low-nutrient commercial feeds, the right poultry feed can keep chickens in good health.

In fact, maximizing the quality of your chicken feed is a great way to increase your chicken’s health and boost the efficiency and quality of your operations, leading to increased profits. What’s good for the chicken is also good for the producer.

This article will tackle the best ways to increase the value of your feed’s ingredients by combining tried-and-tested knowledge and the latest in nutritional engineering.

chickens eating

What are the main ingredients in chicken feed?

Six major components of poultry feed:

  • Water
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Proteins
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Growers also add mineral supplements, extra protein sources, and vitamins to their feed formula. These usually consist of:

  • Bone meal
  • Soybean meal
  • Vitamin and mineral premixes
  • DDGs

Cereal grains are the most widely used ingredient in commercial feed and homemade chicken feed. That’s because cereal grains contain high protein, amino acids, and fatty acids — essential components of a healthy chicken’s diet.

5 ways to maximize the value of your chicken feed ingredients

There are ways to maximize the value of your chicken feed. For instance, eMax Feed Technologies can help reduce the cost of the diet. At the same time, mold inhibitors increase the longevity of your feed, making for more convenient storage solutions for chicken farmers and producers.

Let’s look at these in more detail.

Integrate eMax Feed Technologies

Feeding livestock is costly for farmers and producers alike. Feed must be milled, stored, and laid out for the chickens to eat. Not to mention that chickens need to have the right amount of energy to stay healthy.

Of course, chickens need to be healthy for their well-being, but a chicken fed on poor, low-nutrient, and low-energy feed can make for a poor product to sell.

eMax Feed Technologies helps make chicken food affordable by lessening the need for high inclusion of pricey fat supplements. Essentially, eMax improves the bird’s health, the intestinal morphology, and reduces the presence of pathogens which helps the bird utilize their energy more efficiently. With eMAX lower energy diets can be utilized to obtain optimum performance parameters in broilers and laying hens.

Ultimately, this can improve the cost-effectiveness of your feed without scrimping on quality.

Use mold inhibitors

Mold inhibitors, or feed preservatives, are used to help increase the longevity of your chicken feed. Mold and nasty bacteria can grow on chicken feed stored in warm and damp conditions, like most warehouses or storage facilities.

The milling process that grains go through increases the moisture in the air when — after being successfully milled — they’re stored in bags or containers in a warehouse. Bacteria thrive in this kind of moist and temperate location. The mold also produces harmful mycotoxins that can make chickens sick and reduce the nutritional quality of your chicken feed.

You can use numerous mold inhibitors in chicken food, such as propionic acid and calcium propionate. However, storing your chicken feed in a cool, dry place with good ventilation is best. This reduces the likelihood of mold growth.

Make sure you’re using the correct feed texture

Your chicken flock may have birds of different ages. If so, it’s a great idea to use the correct feed texture for chickens of all ages. It has been shown that the texture of the feed has a great influence on the bird’s performance.

The type of texture you need depends on the age of the bird you’re feeding. The most common commercial feed types are:

  • Pellets
  • Crumbles
  • Mash

Mash feed is the complete feed that is finely ground and mixed so that the bird takes uniform “bites” of all the components of the diet. Mash feed is mostly used in layer hen diets. Mash food is served to younger birds because chicks’ beaks are too small to fit larger pellets and crumble.

Pellets are used mostly to feed broiler chickens in the grower and finisher stages. Pellet feed is made by mechanically pressing the mash feed into dry pellets that acquire a form similar to “grains’ ‘.

The consistency of crumbles is similar to muesli, and it’s essentially a crossroad between solid pellets and soft mashed feed. The feed is pelleted and then crushed to obtain a crumble consistency.  Crumble feed is commonly used in starter broiler diets.

Optimize ingredient percentages of your feed mixture

It’s also a mistake to assume the percentages of your chicken feed ingredients should stay the same or never be tinkered with. Optimizing ingredients can help you meet the nutritional needs of your chickens in a much more flexible and finely tuned way.

You can do this by considering the breed of chicken you have, their age, whether they’re egg-laying hens or broilers, and whether they’re free range or conventional— and adjusting the percentages of your feed accordingly.

Ultimately, this can yield better results than a one-size-fits-all strategy. You’ll need to alter the percentage of each ingredient in your chicken feed diet to do this. You can check this by using feed formulation software to help you calculate the ideal ingredient percentage, send your feed to a laboratory for testing, or look up the nutritional quality of your ingredients using a feed database. Afterward, you can test the feed with a small batch of chickens and monitor their size, weight, and meat or egg production.

By optimizing across different ages and breeds of chicken, you can arrive at the ideal percentages for each chicken flock — maximizing the value of your chicken feed ingredients in the process.

Keep chickens healthy with eMax Feed Technologies from Engrain

A great way to maximize the value of your chicken feed ingredients is by using eMax Feed Technologies to reduce the cost of your feed. Chickens use a lot of energy to achieve growth performance standards, and this cost is passed on to the farmer or producer, who has to keep them well-fed.

Luckily, eMax Feed Technologies helps keep your chickens healthy, gain weight, and boost their egg production or egg size — all while saving you money on the cost of your feed. It reduces the need for costly high-fat content in your chicken diets.

For a cheaper solution for your chickens’ diets, ring that dinner bell. Contact Engrain today.