Raising chickens is costly especially if you are feeding your flock with 100% of commercial feeds. With an average cost of P30/kg of feeds, if you have a layer, your profit is not really that much.
Previously we published the lists of plants and greens that can be a support to your commercial feeds. In this article, we are going to give you more tips on what to feed your chickens and reduce costs by 50% to 60% without compromising growth and quality.
Back in the 90s’ during my teenage years, our family grew a lot of native chickens in our hometown in Negros Occidental. We always had around 100 native chickens roaming around our house. My father never bought commercial feeds. Just grated coconuts, rice bran, grated cassava, and corn.
When I started raising chickens more than 5 years ago, I followed the same formula and the result is always great.
You may think that none of these applies to you because you are living in the City or inside the subdivision and you have no source of these materials. You may be right but most of the time you can be wrong. I’ll explain it below.
Although the main ingredients of commercial feeds include the materials I am going to mention below, mixing your own feeds is different than buying an already manufactured feed. The big difference is cost.
For the people living in the provinces, especially in Negros Island, you are lucky because most of these materials are being sold at every poultry and AgriVet supply store. Here in Luzon, a quick search on the Facebook Marketplace would give you some positive results.
Darak (rice bran or corn bran)
Darak is one of the main ingredients of commercial feeds. I see the reason why this is not sold in poultry supply stores here in Batangas. There are more than a hundred feed mills in CALABARZON and almost 95% of available rice brans and corn brans are sold to these big corporations. The cost of darak if purchased per kilogram is around P10 to P12 per kilo. Darak has more nutrients than milled rice actually because it has all the nutrients of the whole grain especially the corn where it includes the embryo. In rice, its bran includes its nutritious skin.
Pulp (sapal ng niyog or sapal ng soya)
Although copra meal and soya meal are some of the main ingredients of commercial feeds, sapal is different. You can buy sapal from coconut vendors in your local market. The cost is around P7 to P10 per kilo or P12 at maximum.
Azolla is recommended even by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as one of the main feed alternatives because of its high protein content.
If you are living inside the subdivision or in mass housing where few people have dogs and chickens, you can ask your neighbors to give you their kitchen leftovers instead of dumping it to the drainage. Just provide them with a container. You can have a daily supply of leftovers.
How to mix
Remember that chickens will eat almost everything but it’s us, humans, who should control what should be included in their feeds. Giving them 100% sapal is not good as it is not complete with the needed nutrients.
To reduce feed cost while still providing your chickens the needed nutrients, mix the following.
- 1 kg of commercial feeds (choose the cheapest). Crumble (grower) is recommended
- 1 kg of rice or corn bran
- 1 kg of sapal
- 1 kg of azolla
- 1 kg of kitchen leftover (mostly cooked rice)
If Azolla or kitchen leftover is not available, you can still continue mixing with the rest of the materials. The most important is rice/corn bran and sapal.
Whether you are mixing in small or large volumes, the result would still be the same. You can significantly reduce the cost of your feeds. If you have other available materials like cracked corn or chopped Kangkong, you can add that also.