Feed Formulation (Doing It Yourself) Business Plans

Feed Formulation (Doing It Yourself) Business Plans

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Feed Formulation (Doing It Yourself) Business Plans

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Feed Formulation (Doing It Yourself) Business Plans

  • Feed mill
  • Factors to be considered before embarking on feed formulation
  • Materials need for feed formulation
  • Know the nutrient in your feeds
  • Formulating the feed
  • Pearson square formula
  • 19.5% crude protein feed for layers, ‘formulated’


Feed mill is a department in livestock production that is made up of one or more buildings where feeds are formulated, processed, packaged and send to various livestock farms to meet their animal needs. This is an important branch in the livestock industry, where feeds are being prepared to meet the nutritional requirement of farm animals.
Feed mill is of paramount importance, as it contributes about 85% valve to any agricultural based industry that has animal husbandry as its focus.
Feed formulation is the process of quantifying the amount of feed ingredients needed for a particular animal in the right proportion.  


  • Age of animal

  • Origin of animal

  • Nutritional requirement of animal

  • Availability of animal



CARBOHYDRATE [energy sources (COH)]

1.      Maize

2.     Cassava

3.     Rice

4.     Yam

PROTEIN (including amino acids)

1.     Soya bean cake (SBC)

2.     Groundnut cake (GNC)

3.     Fish Meal


  • Bone meal

  • Oyster shell

  • Periwinkle shell meal

  • Limestone

  • Snail shell


  • Wheat offal

  • Palm kernel cake (PKC)

  • Rice bran

  • Soya beans offal


  • Salt

  • Lysine

  • Methionine

FAT AND OIL (also essential fatty acids)

1.     Animal fat

2.     Vegetable oil


Vitamin supplements/premixes




Fish meal is the highest quality protein source
commonly available for feed formulation purposes, especially, when is made from
a good quality whole fish.

It is also a rich source of energy and minerals

Fish meals are highly digestible, highly palatable, good
smell that gives it a welcoming smell.

It contains about 65% protein content with 80%

Its high in LYS, MET (deficient in plant sources)

Fish meal also contains 1-2.5% n-6 fatty acids,
essential to many fish and all shrimp

If made from byproducts, its quality is not as good
as trawler-caught

The only problem observed is its high ash content,
which sometimes result in mineral imbalance

It is not used sparingly because of its high cost in
the market.

It can be partially replaced by soybean meal and
other animal meals

When using Fish Meal, one must remember that it
cannot be stored forever

It can rancidify due to high lipid content

further, not all Fish Meal is created equal

some types (menhaden) appear to be superior to
others (sardine meal)

Fish Meal must be very well ground and sieved to
help remove indigestible parts

Soybean Meal (SBM)


Soybean meal has one of the best essential amino
acid profiles of all protein-rich plant feedstuffs


Soybean Meal does not appear to be deficient in any
EAA for catfish

Soybean Meal can be deficient, because their MET/CYS
requirement is twice that of catfish

some fish find Soybean Meal unpalatable, for this
reason maximum levels are suggested

Soybean meal is commonly used as a substitute for
fish meal, however, is only to a point

shrimp will consume high Soybean Meal feeds, but
diet must be supplemented with fish meal at some point

another problem involves losses in energy, minerals
and lipids in diets where Soybean Meal replaces Fish Meal or other animal
byproduct proteins

Another variety of soybean meal is known as

de-hulled soybean meal contains 25% less ME, 85%
less available P and 90% less n-3 FA’s than anchovy meal

soybeans also contain trypsin-inhibitors

trypsin inhibitor reduces digestibility of soy
protein by the enzyme trypsin

most soybeans are roasted prior to milling (destroys inhibitor)

Full-fat Soybeans

fat soybean meal is different from regular Soybean Meal in that it has a full fat complement

fat Soybean has not been solvent

Full fat Soybean often used as an energy source or for general balancing of
the formula

used in salmonid (cold water) fish diets

Grains and By-products (carbohydrate → COH)

are primarily used as COH sources

whole, they contribute about 62%-72% of dietary starch

are fairly well digested by warm-water species (60-70%), but not by cold

COH via extrusion improves digestibility by 10=15%

can also be used as binding agents

is commonly used in the U.S., but is high in xanthophyll (a pigment), giving
tissue a yellow color (not good for fish sales!)

gluten meal is high in protein (60%) and contains high levels of MET (excellent
for formulation)

bran often used in developing countries due to local rice production

bran is a reasonable COH source, but is high in fiber and fat

gluten is a good protein source, but too expensive, often used as a binder

Animal By-products

http://www.chrisfarmnigeria.com          http://www.chrisfarmnigeria.com meat bone meal


Meat and bone meal is a byproduct of the slaughter

contains 50-55% crude protein

protein quality is low, so only marginally useful
and varies dependent upon meat source

can be a good source of energy, P, TM’s

another problem:
high ash content

digestibility improved by flash- or spray-drying

poultry by-product meal (PBM) is often used by mills
also producing chicken feed

feather meal high in protein, but indigestible

Crustacean Meals

http://www.chrisfarmnigeria.com krill meal

Shrimp waste meal is a reasonably good feed
ingredient, if heads are included

otherwise, the shell is primarily chitin and of
limited digestibility

the ammonia in chitin accounts for about 10-15% of
the nitrogen in whole meal

also a reasonable source of n-3 fatty acids,
cholestrerol and astaxanthin (carotenoid)

highly palatable and often serves as an attractant
in feeds at 1-2%

others:  krill
meal, Artemia meal

Fats and Oils

Used as energy sources, provide essential fatty
acids, attractant, coating of pellet to reduce abrasion

both animal and plant fats can be used, animal fats
cheaper, better attractants

marine lipids often added as oils if FM level is low
(otherwise no source of marine FA’s)

menhaden, shark, cod liver

must be careful in storage of oil, feeds with oils
due to rancidification

Fibrous Feedstuffs

 rice kernel 


Most monogastric animals (e.g., fish) do not digest
fibrous feedstuffs well

it is unlikely that adding fiber to diets already
with more than 3-5% will have any beneficial effect

high fiber content reduces binding capacity of
feeds, inhibits intake (due to reduced palatability), increases rate of passage
and waste production


Binding Agents

Binding agents are really needed for pelletized
feeds, but not necessarily for extruded feeds (we discuss this later)

in extruded feeds, all ingredients are gelatinized
by high temperature and bind together well as a result of the process

most organic binders are good for about 30 min of

starch is often used at over 10%, however it will
hydrate and swell the pellet

chemical binders (e.g., Basfin) have good binding
potential, form cross-linkages with COH and PRO, but are toxic

Basic Facts

In addition to the essential nutrients, feeds may
contain organic and inorganic materials that have various effects on aquatic

beneficial, detrimental or negligible

they can affect growth, health or the processed

may be naturally occurring, intentionally or
unintentionally added

can be produced via microbial growth

Toxins and Antimetabolites

The more important toxins affecting animal feeding
are those associated with molds

these are called “mycotoxins”

three important genera are Aspergillus, Penicillium
and Fusarium

they exist and grow anywhere as long as there is
enough COH substrate, no less than 14% moisture, adequate temperature, oxygen

usually produced in feedstuffs prior to harvest, but
also result from poor storage


Aflatoxin is the mycotoxin of greatest concern in
feeding of culture species

both outright toxic and carcinogenic

liver (hepatoma) and blood clotting problems

rainbow trout are highly sensitive at 1 ug/kg

traditionally, sources include corn, cottonseed and

aflatoxin contamination varies year to year


These are compounds produced by Aspergillus and
Penicillium molds

widely found in nature

typically associated with kidney toxicity

toxic level is 4.7 mg/kg in diet

other mold toxins have been found in warm-blooded
animals, but not in fish

most mold toxins also destroy nutrients in feeds

example:  Pseudomonas
can separate glutamic acid from folic acid, making it ineffective

Microbial Toxins in Commercial Fish/shrimp Feeds

Usually not known that the feed is contaminated

commercially-processed feeds are less likely to have
these toxins

screened against international transport and by feed
manufacturers by law

must contain less than 20 ppb

up to manufacturer to require testing

not destroyed by steam pelleting or extrusion

presence in feeds reduced by proprionic acid


This is a toxic compound found in fish meal, a
typical feed ingredient

results from bacterial removal of COOH (carboxylic
acid) from the EAA histidine

comes from improper storage of raw fish prior to
production of fish meal

causes a reduction in growth rate

usually comes from “dark” meat portion of fish

other fish meal toxin is “gizzerosine”

Phytic Acid, Gossypol

Phytic acid is an organic molecule related to

integral component of plant feedstuffs and holds
60-70% of the phosphorus

problem is, it’s poorly available to fish

reduces availability of zinc

“Gossypol” is a component of pigment lands in the
cotton plant

limits availability of cottonseed meal used in feeds
(suppresses growth rate and causes liver damage)

Fish Oils, Fiber

Marine fish oils contain 20-25% PUFA’s

the “autoxidation” of PUFA’s results in formation of
large numbers of free radicals and peroxide compounds

these are toxic due to reaction with other
nutrients, limiting availability

also cause cellular/subcellular damage

severity of effect reduced by Vit E

fiber can also be mildly “toxic” as it increases
rate of gut passage

high rate of passage causes reduced availability of

Diet Additives:

Hormonal control used to produce mono sex cultures
of fish

reduces reproduction/increases growth

ex. Androgenic steroids (ethyltestosterone) fed to
tilapia fry = 90% males

does not work the same on all fish

17-alpha-methyltestosterone improves growth and
survival in salmonids

andorgenic better than estrogenic

used as implants in cattle

Pellet Binders

Steam pelleted aquatic feeds, especially those fed
to shrimp, contain binders

these are used for improving water stability
(reduced leaching and nutrient loss)

two different types:
organic matrix (lignosulfonates or polysaccharides)

other type:
chemical compounds (sodium hexametaphosphate)

no evidence of detrimental effect on aquaculture


Some feeds can be formulated with antibiotics for
treatment of Vibriosis, other bacterial infections

Three antibiotics approved in U.S. are
sulfadimethoxine, sulfamerazine and terrymycin (oxytetracycline, OTC)

OTC commerically available as “medicated” fish
(shrimp) feed, 1,500 mg/kg

Must not feed medicated diets within 14-21 days from
slaughter/harvest (more regulations!)


Attractants are materials added to feeds to serve as
intake (feeding) stimulants

They are cost effective since they cause shrimp/fish
to eat feeds that otherwise would not be attractive (consumed)

Facilitates inclusion of by-products

Usual inclusion level is around 0.5-1.0 %, largely
due to cost

krill meal, Artemia meal, fish oils, fish meal

Sometimes used to reduce protein content of feed
(but most also feed more frequently)


Oxidation of lipids in feeds or feedstuffs can cause
reduction of the nutritional value of certain lipids and vitamins

It can also result in production of toxic free
radicals and peroxides (REM?)

Potential for formation of these toxic compounds
reduced by synthetic compounds such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole, BHT
(butylated hydroxytoluene)


Different animals need
different nutrients to do well in terms of productivity and body build up.

            For example, layers will need much of energy feed
(carbohydrates) to be able to produce more eggs, and a drop in the level of
energy will reduce eggs production. Again, birds like broilers will need much
of body-building feeds (protein) for them to gain weight.

            Pigs will need much of fats and oil (palm kernel cake)
and protein, while fishes more of protein feeds


There are many method of feed
formulation in the world, some of these are;

Computer based
soft ware feed formulator  

This is the newly developed
software use in the formulation of feed for different animal in the world

Ruler of thumb

Pearson square formula


This is a universal formula
use in feed formulation.
The Pearson square ration formulation procedure is designed
for simple rations. In order for the square to work, follow specific directions
for its use. Nutrient contents of ingredients and nutrient requirements must be
expressed on the same basis (i.e., dry-matter or “as-fed”).
The Pearson square or box method of balancing rations is a
simple procedure that has been used for many years. It is of greatest value
when only two ingredients are to be mixed. In taking a close look at the
square, several numbers are in and around the square. Probably one of the more
important numbers is the number that appears in the middle of the square. This
number represents the nutritional requirement of an animal for a specific
nutrient. It may be crude protein or TDN, amino acids, minerals or vitamins.

In order to make the square work
consistently, there are three very important considerations: 




The value in the middle of the square must be intermediate
between the two values that are used on the left side of the square. For
example, the 14 percent crude protein requirement has to be intermediate
between the soybean meal that has 45 percent crude protein or the corn that has
10 percent crude protein. If barley is used that has 12 percent crude protein
and corn that has 10 percent crude protein, the square calculation method will
not work because the 14 percent is outside the range of the values on the left
side of the square.

Disregard any negative numbers that are generated on the
right side of the square. Be concerned only with the numerical differences
between the nutrient requirement and the ingredient nutrient values.

 Subtract the nutrient
value from the nutritional requirement on the diagonal and arrive at a
numerical value entitled parts. By summing those parts and dividing by the
total, you can determine the percent of the ration that each ingredient should
represent in order to provide a specific nutrient level. Always subtract on the
diagonal within the square in order to determine parts. Always double check
calculations to make sure that you did not have a mathematical error. It also
is very important to work on a uniform basis. Use a 100-percent dry-matter
basis for nutrient composition of ingredients and requirements and then convert
to an as-fed basis after the formulation is calculated.

With the rising cost of animal feeds, farmers rearing
animals are increasingly finding it difficult to make profit from their
livestock keeping. All because they find it difficult to formulate their own
feeds for their animals such as poultry birds, catfish, pigs, grass cutters and
so on. Using Pearson Square method, you can easily formulate one now. However,
this is only possible if farmers have the right quality of ingredients or raw
material for formulating feeds. The Pearson Square method relies on the
Digestible Crude Protein (DCP) as the basic nutritional requirement for feed.
The most common ingredients used are whole maize, maize germ, cotton seed cake,
soya beans, sunflower or omena (fishmeal).

Some tips on how to feed chicken

An egg-laying chicken requires 130 g of
feed per day (provide clean water at all times).

• 1 chick requires 2.2 kg of feed for 8
weeks (thus 100 chicks = 2.2 kg x 100=220 kg. Chicks should be allowed to feed
continuously and given adequate clean water at all times). If they finish their
daily rations, you can give the animals fruit and vegetables cuttings to increase
their level of vitamins, minerals and digestion in them.

• 1 pullet (young chicken about to
start laying) should be fed 4.5 kg of feed for two and a half months until the
first egg is seen. It should then be put on layer diet. Supplement with
vegetables, edible plant leaves or fruits peelings in addition to the daily
feed rations.

• All ingredients used must be of high
quality and palatable. Never use rotten maize (Maozo). Chickens are very
susceptible to aflatoxins poisoning.

• When using omena as an ingredient,
ensure it is free of sand and seashells. If

you use maize germ, it should be
completely dry.

• Feed should be thoroughly mixed to
ensure the ingredients are uniformly distributed. It is preferable to use a
drum mixer instead of a spade for mixing.

• Note that even after giving them the
formulated feeds, chickens should be put on free range to scavenge for other
micronutrients not provided for in the feeds.   



This is my own resultant on Pearson square formula for layers, using 19.5% crude protein for a 100kg bag.


Maize                                         58.66


Wheat offal                                14.67


Soya bean cake                            9.23

Groundnut cake                           9.23

Blood meal                                  4.61


Premix                                         0.10kg

Methionine                                   0.25kg

Salt                                              0.25kg


Bone meal                                    3kg   

Total                                      100kg bag of feed


For your feed formulation on any animal

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