Raising chickens comes with many wonderful rewards but feeding poultry can be expensive. Making your own chicken feed using a feed making machine can reduce the cost of poultry feed while ensuring that all the ingredients going into production are of nutritious value to keep your flock healthy.
Having raised poultry for more than a decade, I’ve provided my own chickens with a home-made feed and hope to help you choose a chicken feed pellet making machine that is right for your flock.
In this guide, we look at what a chicken feed making machine is, how it supports small-scale production, and how it can benefit you and your chickens…
The powerful feed pellet machine is ideal for producing alfalfa and balanced animal feed and can produce up to 220 lbs of chicken feedp/h.
If you are looking for a high performance machine with low cost feed production, then the Pellet Mill Flat Die MKFD120B is a suitable choice. The feed pellet machine is designed to make poultry feed pellets of alfalfa and biomass. The chicken feed pellet apparatus can also produce balanced animal feed for livestock such as goats and cattle.
This feed pellet making machine is ideal for small businesses and backyard chicken keepers who want a good transmission rate with efficient motor performance. It uses an electrical 3 kW 3 phase motor with the capacity to produce pelleted feed for small farms.
The feed pellet making mill machine consists of one flat die which produces pellets of 6 mm in diameter; the perfect size for a medium to large sized chicken such as Rhode Island Reds. If you want a chicken pellet of a different size, compatible flat dies are available to purchase to produce pellets with diameters of 2.5 mm all the way up to 10 mm.
The diesel engine pellet machine makes it suitable for use at home or where access to electricity is limited.
This compact chicken feed making machine is suitable for producing animal feed, alfalfa, forage or biomass pellets. It has a strong motor capable of producing up to 200 lbs of feedp/h.
This feed pellet making machine comes with one flat die able to produce pellets that are 6 mm in diameter and small enough for chicken and ducks to consume. If you are looking to produce pellets of a different size, you can purchase dies to process feed in diameters 2.5 mm all the way up to 10 mm.
At an 8 hp capacity, it is efficient yet powerful enough for rapid feed production making it a good choice to process chicken feed.
For the production of chicken feed at home or to start a small feed business, the small size of these machines make them easy to use and store.
This compact chicken feed mill is engineered and assembled by hand and includes high-quality components to process feeds for poultry and livestock at a low cost.
The Pellet Mill LM 2 is a small poultry feed pellet mill, consisting of a 6 kW and 400 V engine that is powerful enough for small-scale feed production. The chicken feed making machine is best for home use or poultry farming startups as it
Surprisingly, this feed making machine is constructed from used parts obtained from larger processing machines. The pump, gearbox, and motor come from the LM72 model which is a more robust version of the LM 2. The used components offer the power needed to produce large volumes of pellets while helping to reduce the cost of similar sized machines.
The valuable machine price is owed to the incorporation of used parts; however, this doesn’t compromise its output. This feed pellet mill can produce up to 220 lbs of feedp/h, which makes it a great option if you are starting to make your own pellet feeds.
For small scale feed production, the PelletMasters machines have an electric motor that is powerful enough to produce feed for smaller livestock including poultry and rabbits.
The PelletMasters Pellet Mills for Feed and Fertilizer is developed for processing poultry feeds for backyard chicken keepers and small-scale farms. These machines have a low fuel consumption providing feed efficiency.
Pelletmasters is available in electric, diesel, PTO, and gasoline engines. The electric mill in the 6 mm die hole can produce 20 lbs of feed per hpp/h compared to the diesel and gasoline engine of 13 lbs of feed per hpp/h.
Each chicken feed making machine comes with a 6 mm flat die; however, you can also purchase dies to process 3 mm to 8 mm pellets. The range is easy to use and requires placing raw materials into the hopper that does for the appropriate die hole size.
Ingredients that are larger than the die hole size will need to go through a hammer mill first so that it is the correct size for the processing mill.
A combination of ingredients can be safely tested for feed production purposes using the efficient and fully-mobile laboratory mill.
To test the raw material used for feed production purposes, the Pellet Mills Model PM605 Laboratory Mill is a valuable choice. The feed making machine is not meant for large-scale production but rather for the processing of raw materials to transform into pellet feed for testing purposes.
The Pellet Mills Model PM605 is primarily used for testing a specific ingredient to add to the feed pellet. These machines use single or 3 phase electrical operation able to process materials of up to 150 lbsp/h.
This mill is best used in the development of proprietary formulas for chicken feeds. If you are looking for a chicken feed mill to process selective materials for animal feed pellets, then the Pellet Mills Model PM605 is the answer.
Tips to Choose the Right Poultry Feed Machine
One of the most popular reasons for investing in a chicken feed making machine is to manage the costs of poultry feed. Feed conversion improves with a chicken feed pellet formula as birds consume whole pellets and cannot sort through the bits of feed they prefer, which means less wastage.
It also helps poultry keepers save on the costs of commercial feed brands that generally rise over time or in response to changing market conditions. Along with cost-saving measures, you control what goes into the feed. This means eliminating chemicals such as preservatives and incorporating a healthy ingredient list for both laying hens and meat birds.
What is a Chicken Feed Machine?
A chicken feed pellet machine is also known as a feed pellet mill and consists of processing equipment that extrudes raw materials such as corn and alfalfa into feed pellets of less than 10 mm in diameter.
The chicken feed making machine generally consists of a pump, motor, hopper, and mill to produce the appropriately sized feed.
What’s the Best Chicken Feed Machine?
The best chicken feed making machine should be easy to use, efficient, and provide the ideal sized pellets of between 2 mm to 8 mm for poultry. It should be strong enough to satisfy production requirements which means looking at the size of the motor. Ideally, machines should provide 4 to 8 hp to rapidly process food.
To start a small business or to produce your own feeds, the Pellet Mill Flat Die MKFD120B offers electric operation and feed production of more than 200 lbsp/h. Another firm favorite is the PelletMasters Pellet Mills for Feed and Fertilizer available in 4 to 5.3 hp engines. These machines are sufficient for small farm and backyard chicken feed production.
Let’s look at some important factors when choosing the best chicken feed making machine…
Things to Consider
Do you have the space to store the apparatus? Large milling machines such as the Pellet Mill LM 2 requires at least 2 square feet of space for safe operation and storage. You would need around 1 to 1.5 square feet for smaller mills such as the Pellet Masters range.
For large farms and commercial purposes, you can find a chicken feed making machine that produces up to 1800 lbs of feed p/h. For small farms and home use, a capacity of 200 lbs p/h is ideal.
A chicken feed making machine of 4 hp and 5-inch die size such as the PelletMasters Pellet Mill is suited to small-scale feed pellet making as it produces around 200 lb of feed p/h. The size of the engine will determine the production output.
Electrical engines provide a higher power output; however, gasoline and diesel engines eliminate reliance on electricity and save on utility bills.
If you want to produce your own food for your flock, then basic machinary with a single die size of 6 mm is sufficient. But if you’re starting a business, you’ll want equipment with features such as a hammer for grinding ingredients, a powerful motor for rapid production, and multiple die sizes to develop pellets for livestock.
Remember that the more features included in the apparatus, the higher the machine price.
A warranty will protect you from liability should the apparatus fail to work within the stipulated guarantee period.
From problems operating the chicken feed making machine to claiming against damage as per the warranty, the manufacturer should offer a professional support service you can contact.
Is Pellet Feed Good for Chickens?
Yes, a chicken feed pellet contains essential and balanced ingredients for the health of poultry such as protein, calcium, phosphorous, and fiber.
The ability to make your own feed pellets using a chicken feed making machine allows you to choose wholesome ingredients to give to your flock.
The ingredients such as flax seed and alfalfa are combined and extruded as pellets providing hens and meat chickens with a nutritious feed.
It is best to introduce animal feed pellets to birds that are medium to large in size such as Barred Rocks and Orpingtons rather than chicks or bantams. Larger chickens can easily pick up and consume pellet feeds while smaller birds struggle to grasp the chicken pellets owing to the small size of their beaks.
Types of Chicken Feed
There are different types of poultry feed including pellet, crumb, and mash formulations.
Pellet chicken feed is produced by a chicken feed making machine that grinds and mixes ingredients into small dry pellets.
Pellets are primarily fed to laying hens as it contains the necessary protein and calcium ratios for egg production.
Crumb chicken feed has a grainy texture and is produced by crushing and mixing feed materials together. It is fed to chicks older than 6 weeks until laying age of around 16-18 weeks.
Mash consists of crushed ingredients that form a heavily textured chicken feed. It is high in nutrition and fed to young chicks of 1 to 6 weeks old.
Is it Cheaper to Make Your Own Chicken Feed?
Investing in your own chicken feed making machine can certainly improve your feed conversion and helps you to rely less on pre-made commercial feeds. For poultry animals and small livestock, a pelleted feed reduces waste and it occupies less storage.
Chickens cannot pick out the grains they prefer when providing a feed pellet formula which means a reduction in food wastage.
Pelleted feed for poultry animals and other livestock takes up less space per unit of weight making storage easier.
You can also reduce the costs of parasite treatment as the high temperature needed to make the feed pellet will destroy most types of parasites found in grains.
For backyard chicken keepers and small to medium farms, it is more cost-effective to process your own poultry feed. Changing market conditions and the unstable price of poultry feed make investing in a feed making machine a valuable option.
How Do You Make Chicken Feed Pellets?
The process of making your own pellets starts with the use of a feed hammer mill in which materials are ground into a powder or mash.
These powdered and mashed ingredients are placed into the feed mixer where it is converted into a moist consistency.
Once the mixture is ready, it is transferred into the feeder and die press of the chicken feed making machine. The extruded pellets will have a moisture content of around 16% after which it is dried to a moisture content of around 12%. You’re left with perfectly formed and dried pellets ready to feed to your chickens.
Things to Add to Chicken Feed
While making your own chicken feed pellets can help you save money, every ingredient should meet the daily nutritional requirements of poultry.
Laying hens require a minimum of 16% protein along with calcium and phosphorous to produce eggs.
Let’s consider a few important ingredients to add to chicken feed:
- Probiotics – Promote good bacteria and digestive health.
- Oyster shell – An essential source of calcium and can be given as free choice.
- Aragonite or limestone – Optional sources of calcium for strong bones and eggshells.
- Fish meal – Source of protein and Omega 3 for healthy muscles and feathers.
- Cultured Yeast – Provides minerals and B-vitamins
- Salt – 0.15% sodium is added to feed to encourage healthy growth in chicks. Salt is an important ingredient in poultry feed production as it maintains mineral balance.
Is the Chicken Feed Business Profitable?
Small-scale farmers are realizing the multitude of benefits of investing in their own chicken feed making machine. Producing your own feed pellets can certainly prove profitable as a business venture when investing in the right type of equipment.
Efficient equipment designed to produce the desired quantities of feed and the selection of affordable and quality ingredients is important to establish oneself in the industry.
Consideration of supply and demand in local markets and how to save on overhead costs can help startups compete against commercial chicken feed brands.
Providing chickens with homemade feed pellets not only controls the costs of buying commercial feed but also helps to control the quality of the ingredients going into daily chicken feed.
If you want to provide ample food for a small flock then investing in your own machinery can improve the feed to cost ratio. The chicken feed pellet formula reduces waste, is easy to store, and it is ideal for both laying hens and meat birds.
Because you determine what goes into the feed mixture, you can provide your flock with wholesome ingredients that are packed with nutrition while eliminating synthetic preservatives that inhibit the growth and well-being of birds.
What To Choose
The best types of chicken feed pellet machines provide sufficient power to produce feed for poultry animals and livestock such as cattle. For small farms and feed startups, the equipment should produce around 200 lbs of feed p/h.
Feel Free To Share
Thank you for taking the time to read this guide on the best chicken feed machines. If you know fellow chicken keepers who are interested in making their own chicken feed or you want them to know how to save on conversion rates, please take the time to share this article with them.
I hope that you will find the right poultry feed equipment to satisfy your needs and goals.