If you are making your own feed for your farm animals, make sure you understand how to calculate protein percentages in the feed.
If you are like me, then you like to make your own homemade food for your farm animals. If you are also like me, figuring out the protein percentage was a bit confusing the first time.
It actually isn’t confusing AT ALL but as with many things, we just need to jump in that first time, calculate it and then realize how simple it really is!
Honestly this kept me from making my own homemade pig and hog feed for a long time. In fact, I never made my own for my goats bec`ause I felt I would mess it up. We solder out breeder goats and so we no longer have goats on the farm, but if we did, I would certainly be making their feed now.
I am, however, currently making homemade feed for my Mangalitsa Pigs and Hogs. So I will use them as an example below.
How to Calculate Protein Percentage in feed
Again, I will use my homemade Mangalitsa feed as an example. When I mix up my food, I start with 4 parts rolled barley, 1 part alfalfa, and 1 part field peas. To make it easier, let’s replace the word part with pound.
4 pounds rolled barley
1 pound field peas
1 pound alfalfa pellets
Now, we need to know how much protein each individual component has. This can easily be Googled or it may show on your individual ingredient packaging (if purchased).
rolled barley: 14% protein
field peas: 23% protein
alfalfa pellets: 15% protein
Now the math! We multiple the protein percentage times the number of pounds for each ingredient. And for you math geeks, no need to add in the decimal point for the calculation, just drop the percent sign and start multiplying.
4 x 14 = 56
1 x 23 = 23
1 x 15 = 15
Which gives us:
56 + 23 + 15 = 94. This is the total protein in the mixture that I’ve created. Now we want to divide that by how many pounds we calculated for.
In our case, that is 94 / 6 pounds = 15.6%
So this mixture is 15.6% protein per pound. Which is perfect for what I want it for.
How to Adjust the Level of Protein in Feed
Adjusting this percentage is quite easy. Some ideas for adjusting percentages are:
- use different ingredients with different protein percentages
- increase the percentage of an ingredient that is used in the mixture
- decrease the percentage of an ingredient that is used in the mixture
I bet you aren’t as scared anymore now that you know how easy the calculation is!