Thursday, February 2, 2023

Importance of Feed in Poultry Production


Feeding and Nutrition

Humans intake food to survive, so the chicken does. Feed is the most important input for intensive poultry production, and high-quality chicken feed is critical for expanding the poultry industry. Poultry requires a stable supply of energy, protein, essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and most importantly, water. The focus of recent breakthroughs in poultry nutrition has been on three primary areas:

  1. gaining a better grasp of nutrition metabolism and needs
  2. determining the nutritional availability in feed ingredients; and
  3. creating the most cost-effective meals that balance nutrient demand and supply

Cereal grains, cereal by-products, lipids, plant protein sources, vitamin and mineral supplements, crystalline amino acids, and feed additives are all used to create practical poultry diets. The future expansion of chicken production is predicted to be hampered by rising costs and a declining supply of traditional feedstuffs (partly due to food-feed rivalry and population growth).

Principles of Poultry Nutrition:

  1. Birds do not have lips or teeth. So, they are unable to chew their food. As a result, concentrates make up the majority of the rations.
  2. They have a straightforward stomach. Their nutrient needs are more exact and precise.
  3. They have a faster metabolic rate.
  4. Feeds must be tasty and free of contaminants.
  5. All nutrients must be present in a balanced form in the feed.
  6. Always keep fresh, clean, and cool water on hand.

Supplements and Additives for Poultry Feed

Supplements are nutritional ingredients given to meals to provide those nutrients that are lacking, nutrients in short supply. The energy and food items included in the rations like proteins are commonly called feed components. Some of these elements may be deficient; minerals, vitamins, and amino acids are equally important. Mineral supplements are added in both synthetic and organic ways. 

Vitamin supplements are available in synthetic forms, such as chelated minerals. Commercially available amino acids, notably the limiting amino acids, are also available, synthetically augmented, e.g., DL-methionine, L-lysine, and other amino acids.

Antibiotics as feed additives

If the animal is healthy and disease-free, it will perform at its best. The atmosphere of an animal shed is not free of harmful organisms, and those present in the body are in a state of subclinical disease. The microorganisms in the GI tract eat nutrients and make toxins, which cause an inflammatory reaction in the intestine and thickening of the mucous membrane of the intestine. 

As a result of these factors, nutrition is reduced. Because of this, Antibiotics are utilized as a feed supplement in poultry and pig rations. The use of antibiotics as a feed additive has a disadvantage as well. For this reason, antibiotics as a feed additive are now prohibited in the United States and other countries. Many medicines are forbidden in the country, and just a few antibiotics are permitted.

Different Types of Chicken Feeds

For first-time and even semi-experienced chicken keepers, making sense of all the different types of chicken feed can be very complicated. There is so much jargon on the chicken menu that it can be pretty intimidating. “Mash,” “grower feed,” “medicated or unmedicated,” there is so much jargon on the chicken menu that it can be pretty overwhelming. That’s why the Backyard Chicken Coops team has put together this handy glossary to help you decipher all of the strange culinary chicken feed terms.

  • Starter Chicken Feed

Starter feed is a high-protein chicken feed formulated to meet the nutritional needs of baby chicks. In general, baby chicks can survive on a starter feed and water diet for the first six weeks of their lives before moving on to grower feed. The high protein content, which ranges from 20 to 24 percent, aids the development of young chicks into playful pullets; however, you must phase out the starting meal once they are six weeks old, or the excess protein might cause liver damage. There are starter/grower feed kinds, which are considered essential feeds that chickens can eat from 1 to 20 weeks of age. However, always read the label and seek advice from a local poultry expert if you have any questions.

  • Grower Chicken Feed

Grower feed is similar to chicken feed for adolescent chickens in many aspects. A chicken between 6 and 20 weeks has considerably different nutritional needs than a young chick. On the other hand, grower feeds have lower calcium concentrations than standard layer feed and have a protein content of 16-18%. Grower feed, in a nutshell, helps your adolescent chickens continue to grow while avoiding unneeded vitamins and minerals that are better suited for fully-fledged laying hens. It is a good sign that your ladies are ready for layer feed when they start laying eggs.

  • Layer Chicken Feed

For most of their lives, your flock’s diet will consist primarily of delicious layer feed. Layer feed offers a clever blend of protein, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals that promotes your flock to lay top-notch eggs. Layer feed has comparable protein content to grower feed, around 16-18%, but it also contains more calcium to guarantee that their eggshells are crisp, clean, and crunchy. Feeding layer feed to baby chicks or young pullets, on the other hand, will not meet their specific nutritional needs. Layer feeds should only be given to chickens once they have reached the age of 20 weeks or have begun to lay eggs.

  • Mash

Mash is the finest form of chicken feed typically available, with a texture similar to potting soil. Simply defined, the mash is a raw, unprocessed kind of poultry feed. Mash is generally provided to baby chicks since it is easier to digest; however, feeding mash to fully developed birds is not uncommon. Some Chicken Ladies or Lads mix mashed potatoes with hot water to make a porridge-like texture that your flock will appreciate. However, keep in mind that using this method may cause the feed to expire more quickly. Keep in mind that the texture of mash chicken feed typically increases unintentional waste, so keep that in mind.

  • Crumble

Simply put, crumble is a coarser version of mash that is less compact than pellets. Crumble is a semi-loose form of chicken feed that is slightly easier to manage than mash. It has an oatmeal-like texture. Some chicken enthusiasts use crumbles to fill the gap between mash and pellets for their flock. Others remark that their daughters or pullet prefer the crumbly texture because it is more appealing. Whatever your motivation for utilizing crumbles instead of mash or pellets, it shouldn’t make a substantial difference in the health of your flock.

  • Pellets

Pellets are probably the most prevalent type of chicken feed on the market. Pellets are, just as they sound, little, compact cylinders of chicken feed goodness. One of the advantages of pellets is that they keep their shape, so they won’t be wasted if your ladies or pullet unintentionally knock their feeder over. Pellets are a popular choice among backyard chicken keepers because they are simple to manage, store, and serve.


Feeding is a crucial component of producing chickens; it accounts for the majority of the production cost, and proper nutrition is reflected in the birds’ performance and products. Overall, the quality of feeds dictates the quality of fowls you get in your coop. Feeds are the main source of balanced nutrition for our animals as their growth is accounted for in every formulation of various feed types. To check on feeds best suited for your poultry, check this site or contact this number +662 221 8116-20. 

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