The right poultry feed is crucial in maintaining your bird’s health and productivity. With several different types of poultry feed available, it’s important to know the differences and choose an appropriate feed based on your birds’ nutritional requirements, age, and health.
The different types of Poultry Feed include:
- Whole grains
So, what are these feeds?
Whole grain poultry feed includes a range of unprocessed grains in their natural form, such as wheat, barley, corn and oats. These can come as straight grains or in mixes. These remain unprocessed, without preservatives and are a healthy feed – providing your poultry with a variety of essential nutrients and fibre.
Mash is another unprocessed form of poultry feed; it contains a combination of ground-up natural grains and other nutrients needed to maintain your bird’s health. Mash is most often fed to chicks as it is smaller and softer than whole grains, making it easier for them to consume. However, as it is so fine, mash often goes to waste on the ground.
Pellets are made from a variety of grains, vitamins and minerals which have been processed and compressed into a cylinder-shape. Pellets provide a consistent source of nutrition, as each pellet contains a precise blend of ingredients. This form of feed reduces waste and mess and discourages poultry from picking out only their favourite grains to eat.
Crumbles are simply pellets broken up. They are coarser than mash but not as large as pellets – making them ideal for baby chicks as all the nutrients contained in the pellets are simply made available in a smaller size better for their smaller mouths😊.
What feed do I use depending on age?
Chicks from 0-8 weeks old have very specific nutritional needs to support their growth and development. Look for a good quality starter feed that contains around 18-20% protein with extra vitamins and minerals to support bone development and health.
It’s important to ensure the feed is finely ground into small pieces that are easy for chicks to consume – they also need access to clean water at all times to prevent dehydration and aid in digestion. Avoid giving your chicks treats or scraps, as they can disrupt their balanced diet and cause digestive issues. With the right nutrition and care, you can help ensure your chicks are sustained for healthy growth.
When it comes to raising pullets, providing them with the right nutrition during their growth period from 8 to 20 weeks old is crucial for supporting their health. A good quality pullet grower feed is the best choice, as it contains a lower protein content than starter feed but still provides all of the essential nutrients your pullets need. Look for a pullet grower feed that contains around 14-16% protein, as well as added vitamins and minerals.
You should also provide your pullets with plenty of clean water, and change their feed regularly to ensure freshness. A well-balanced diet during this growth period will set them up for success as they mature into healthy, productive laying hens.
Laying hens (20+ weeks)
Laying hens require a well-balanced diet that is high in protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals to support egg production and their overall health. Providing a good quality commercial laying hen feed is recommended to ensure they are receiving the right balance of nutrients.
Layer feed contains around 16-18% protein to support egg production, with added vitamins and minerals for strong eggshells. Calcium is crucial for eggshell production, so a good laying hen feed should contain around 3.5-4% calcium. Additionally, vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium, are important for supporting their overall health and well-being. Hens also require carbohydrates to provide energy for their daily activities and fat to support their egg production.
You can supplement your hens’ diet with scratch grains or kitchen scraps, but these should only make up a small portion of their overall diet. Access to clean water and appropriate environmental conditions are also critical for maintaining the health and productivity of laying hens.
Feed Wheat is an uncleaned wheat used for feeding poultry & some birds. It can be combined with other mixes to boost protein levels.
Ideal for growing chickens or adult fowls & can also be fed to other poultry. This mix will encourage the birds to ‘scratch around’.
Comprised From: Wheat, Barley, Sorghum, Cracked Corn, Cracked Lupins, Black Sunflower, Triticale, Oats, Vegetable Oil.
|Chook Mix Complete
A premium quality version of Poultry Mix, including extras such as Shellgrit & Natural Yolk Pigments for higher quality eggs. This is a complete diet providing everything needed for high production poultry.
Suitable for all ages and classes of poultry!
Comprised From: Scratch Mix + Shellgrit, Layer and Lucerne pellets, Natural Yolk Pigments, Enzymes, Vitamins, Mineral Premix, Molasses.
Providing poultry with appropriate feed is crucial for their growth, development, and health. By understanding the nutritional needs of your poultry at different life stages, you can choose the appropriate type of feed to ensure they get the right balance of protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals needed to thrive. For chicks, a good quality starter feed with high protein content is essential during their first 8 weeks of life. As pullets, they require a lower protein content but still need a well-balanced diet that supports their continued growth and development. Laying hens, on the other hand, need a balanced diet that is high in protein, energy, and essential vitamins and minerals to support egg production and overall well-being. Quality feed and clean water are essential for maintaining healthy poultry that can live a healthy, productive life.