Making Your Own Broiler Feed (2 Options)

broilers eating feed

Tired of paying for brand name broiler feed at brand name prices? Those 50 pound bags can add up, especially when your broilers get close to processing size!

What are your feed alternatives? Can you make your own broiler feed?

Broiler feed is made of ground corn, soybean meal, calcium carbonate and poultry mineral mix. Batch size can be adjusted proportionally.

You can make your own broiler feed. We do this all of the time, it’s just a matter of math and putting in the effort.

Of course, making your own broiler feed will not be as convenient as bagged. If you can economically source the ingredients, it will be less money per pound of feed.

Is Raising Meat Chickens Worth It? goes over a budget, with feed and processing costs included.

Don’t freak out when you start reading the rations listed! The rations are for a ton (2,000 pounds) of feed, which is the standard way to list out any feed ration.

To do a smaller batch, just reduce the totals while keeping the proportions the same. It’s easy, once you get the idea.

For example: to make a 100 pound batch of feed divide the total pounds of each ingredient needed by 20 to get the pounds needed for the 100 pound batch.

How did I get 20? Take the ration total and divide by the total pounds you want to make per batch, in this case 2,000 divided by 100. The answer is 20, so we are dividing the listed ingredients each by 20 for a total of 100 pounds.

You can mix a 100 pound batch of broiler feed

We routinely do 500 pound batches (1/4 ton) in our feed grinder and it works great. Smaller batches, like 100 pounds, will fit in a wheelbarrow.

When we have broilers needing feed, we start out with the wheelbarrow method. Especially when your broilers are young, mixing up a 100 pound batch of starter is easy and will last them quite a while.

Until we will be using the entire 500 pound batch of feed within a two to three weeks, we keep making the smaller wheelbarrow batches.

You can mix in a wheelbarrow the entire time, if you like.

100 pound feed batch example

Here’s an example of how to do the math for a smaller batch. We’ll make a 100 pound batch of the first feed listed, the broiler starter.

Here’s the main idea: take the pounds of ingredient divided by 20=pounds you need to measure out for your smaller batch of feed.

Take the pounds of corn listed and divide that number by 20 to get the pounds of corn needed for your 100 pound batch

1215 pounds of corn (from chart below) divided by 20 = 60.75 pounds of corn per 100 pound batch of broiler starter

Take all of the ingredients and divide the pounds needed by 20 to get the pounds needed for your batch.

Here is what you should come up with:

IngredientPounds per tonPounds for 100 pound batch
(divide pounds per ton by 20)
Soybean Meal70535.25
Calcium Carbonate10.5
Poultry Mineral Mix703.5
Total 2,000100 (double check your math!)

If you want to make a different size batch, divide accordingly. For example: when we make a 500 pounds batch we divide the total pounds needed by 4 to get the amount we need to use.

Make sure that you can measure the ingredients accurately in the batch size you choose to make. This is why I make 100 pound batches and not 10 pound batches!

Raising Meat Chickens In Small Or Backyard Flock is a Poultry Extension article giving you a nice overview starting with getting the chicks.

Things you will need

Scale: to measure ingredients, small batches will require a digital scale that can measure in ounces as well as a way to measure in pounds.

Wheelbarrow: To mix ingredients together. Could use large tub or whatever is handy.

Mixing tool: I use my hands, but I have seen videos of people using a clean shovel. It’s up to you.

Ingredients for broiler feed

Corn: The corn needs to be ground young chicks to be able to digest it.

Soybean meal: The soybean meal needs to be ground, not whole. Whole beans are not digestible. If you do not want to feed soybean meal, use a substitute ingredient that will give you the protein total you need.

Mineral mix: The mineral mix should be poultry specific.

Alfalfa meal: This is an alternative feed mix using a 17% alfalfa meal (which is added to the last two rations). If you do not want to use alfalfa meal, use the first two charts.

Weigh the corn first

Weigh out the corn you need first and put it in your mixing container. This is important. If you put the smaller ingredients in first they can get pushed off into a corner or not fully mixed in.

Put the ground corn in the wheelbarrow, then add the other ingredients that you have blended together in a separate container.

Mix small size ingredients together first

Mix the smaller ingredients together before adding them to the corn.

Have a small bucket or container to hold the weighed out soybean meal, calcium carbonate and mineral mix. Mix these together first, then add this mix to the ground corn.

This double mixing makes sure that all of the ingredients are well blended in the final feed.

Broiler Starter for first 4 weeks

Feed IngredientAmount (in pounds)
Percent Protein22.5%
Soybean meal705
Calcium carbonate10
Mineral mix70
Mix carefully, especially the smaller amounts. Broilers are fast growing and need all of the nutrition they can eat to grow their best.

Broiler Grower/Finisher for 5+ weeks

Feed IngredientAmount (in pounds)
Percent Protein19%
Soybean meal525
Calcium carbonate10
Mineral mix60
Once the birds get to 5 weeks, you can drop the protein a bit to save some money on feed. Do not drop the protein levels before this, feed as directed! Broilers that are fed inappropriately will have health problems!

Broiler Starter with alfalfa meal

Feed IngredientAmount (in pounds)
Percent Protein22.5%
Soybean meal700
Calcium carbonate10
Mineral mix70
Alfalfa meal 17%50
Adding alfalfa meal is a neat option. Be sure to check prices before you decide to use it.

Broiler Grower/Finisher with alfalfa meal

Feed IngredientAmount (in pounds)
Percent Protein19%
Soybean meal520
Calcium carbonate10
Mineral mix60
Alfalfa meal 17%50
Wait until 5 weeks to drop the protein levels of the feed to keep the birds growing well.

Resource: white paper of master list of poultry mixes from Mt. Hope Ag Center, Mt. Hope, Ohio

We were given a copy of this list, since we mix all manner of poultry feed here on our farm using ingredients we buy at Mt. Hope Ag Center.

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