Poultry farmers should invest a substantial amount of time concentrated on chicken feed components which offer high quality nourishment to their flocks. Modern methods of farming have introduced the capability to boost the nutritional elements of poultry ingredients together with additives and supplements. This is fantastic for both the farmer and the feed maker or manufacturer. High-quality feed additives improve the general economics of feed for both producers and manufacturers.
A number of the most common additives comprise of pellet binders, moisture optimisers, and grain and feed conditioners. For farmers, the advantages of poultry feed additives are two-fold: (1) more shelf-life and preservation of feed, and (2) improved nutrition that boosts the value of poultry.
Chicken Feed Ingredients
The seven basic chicken feed ingredients
- Cereal grains
- Cereal byproducts
- Fats and oils
- Protein meals
- Miscellaneous raw ingredients, such as tubers and roots
- Minerals and vitamins
- Feed additives
Key nutrients which have to be provided to flocks through poultry feed components include amino acids that are included in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Fats, oils, and protein foods include the remainder of a chicken’s nutritional energy requirements.
Cereal grains make up the most of chicken feed components. It is a cost-effective ingredient which can help fulfil energy requirements for chickens. Unfortunately, cereal grains are highly prone to mould, bacteria, and rot that can harbor mycotoxins which can affect development and the health of the chickens. Thanks to the preservation properties of feed additives, cereal grains can be utilised as components in chicken feed without even going bad during prolonged periods of storage.
Key components that require to be given to your birds’ chicken feed ingredients consist of amino acids that are included in minerals, vitamins and proteins. Fats, oils, as well as healthy protein meals make up the rest of a poultry’s nutritional energy needs.
How Supplements Improve Health and Performance
Supplements assist in increasing the efficiency and health of chicken by elevating the dietary output supplied by the feed itself. Supplements can conserve poultry farmers and feed producers significant expenses by extending and increasing yields shelf-life. These enable a simpler transport procedure and lead to less wear and tear on production equipment.
Common additives and supplements:
- Toxin binders
- Mold inhibitors
- Direct fed microbials
- Organic minerals
- Feed conditioners
- Pellet binders
- Digestive enzymes
- Feeding effectors
- Anti-stress agents
Improving Chicken Feed Ingredient Value
Effective supplements will make feed processing more profitable for livestock feed manufacturers by boosting the overall value and nutritional qualities of the feed they produce and sell to farmers and bulk buyers. These nutrient-rich supplements can assist stressed-out and ill birds go back to optimum health. Another advantage of supplements is that they are simple to use and can restrict metal contamination through chicken’s fecal waste.
When Good Chicken Feed Goes Bad
Mold, bacteria, and rot all ruin chicken feed nutrition, rendering whole supplies useless. Mold is especially expensive to eradicate. As it develops, it absorbs the nutrients inside feed. Chickens that consume moldy feed will likely be exposed to mycotoxins that can cause significant health problems, based upon the portions consumed. When”best practices” are utilized, mold may still grow on the feed.
Using additives or supplements as a mold inhibitor is highly recommended. This may minimize the risk of mycotoxin production in feeds and grains and protect against degradation of the nutrient content of the feed. There’s no set formula for which ingredients have to be utilised in poultry feed, the general guideline is that nutritional necessities need to be met. To provide optimum levels of nutrition, supplements should be considered. Additives and supplements play an important role in the value of poultry feed components. They have the ability to not only inhibit the growth of harmful organisms in chicken feed, but to improve the nutrients consumed by chickens .
They may not look very appealing to me or you, but from a chickens point of view mealworms seem as yummy as a home cooked meal prepared by someone you love. Even though they have the feel of crumbly corn chips, these tasty little morsels will drive your flock wild with temptation. Only a small part of these previously wiggly wonders is enough to enhance your chickens’ health and well-being so that they can live life in their flip-flappity best! Stick your beak into this easy to digest article with the top 7 reasons to feed mealworms to your hungry feathered friends.
1. Just a couple mealworms goes a long way.
Be sure to don’t create an entire meal from your mealworms alone. Generally speaking, adult laying hens should have a diet of approximately 16% protein. Younger chicks and pullets of course have additional protein in their chicken feed, or extra mealworms in their diet for that matter, to help them as they grow big and strong. Your laying hens will obviously eat the entire bag if you allow them, but make sure you limit their intake to the recommended serving size. Moreover, do not go overboard when you feed your hens with mealworms.
2. Power your hens with protein.
Protein is a vital part of any living creature’s diet, especially chickens. Not to mention chickens will need to have plenty of protein so that they can develop lustrous plumage to keep them warm in winter. Therefore, it only makes sense that any poultry owner needs to make certain that her hens have loads of protein in their diet. Mealworms are usually the natural choice, as every meal worm is nearly 50% protein — HOLY HEN!
3. Mealworms will help your hens through moulting season.
During moulting season, which generally occurs throughout autumn and spring, it’s essential that each and every chicken owner boosts their flock’s protein intake in 1 way or another. Mealworms are an especially good option, as they are a dense source of protein, which will aid your chickens grow their feathers back in no time. It’s also important to be aware that your flock’s immune system will be reduced throughout moulting season, so it is critical that you fortify their diet with a few tasty mealworms, to help them through this challenging season.
4. Bulk up your eggs with mealworms.
Naturally, when your chicken has enough protein in their diet, they’ll have the ability to produce eggs at their best. There have been many accounts of chicken owners noticing an improvement in size and flavour of their eggs after they began to feed their flock the recommended serving size of mealworms. Remember, eggs are almost entirely protein, so mealworm are the perfect extra treat in any laying hens diet.
5. Will help to flip the bedding in a deep litter system.
This may seem slightly left of focus but anyone who uses a deep litter system is always looking out for a simpler way to turn the bedding. Let me clarify, chickens absolutely love mealworms — actually it sends them a little loopy with enthusiasm. By scattering an appropriate serving size of mealworms blended in with feed within the deep litter system, your chickens will start to scratch and peck in the bedding, consequentially mixing it through. Long story short, you won’t have to get out the scoop and blend that hot and heavy bedding through.
6. You will love watching your chickens munching on the mealworms.
You think your hens are excited when they lay an egg just wait until you see how they act when they find out they’re having mealworms for dinner. Like many chicken enthusiast has stated before,”if my hens are happy, I am happy”.
7. Your chickens will love you for it.
As many poultry owners already know, chickens are very responsive to food. There are countless anecdotes of chickens charging across the backyard when their doting owner comes out of the house holding a feeder full of poultry feed, with maybe a few mealworms blended through. Food is just one of the great joys in any chickens’ life, so it’s only right that any chicken lover should provide a few snacks and variety in their diet. Mealworms are simply something that all chickens will love. Do not be a scrooge. Be sure you treat your hens to mealworms every now and then.
Improving your broiler feed efficiency will inevitably lead to an improvement in the profitability of your poultry production enterprise. Currently, most of the measures aimed at boosting the productivity of poultry farming enterprises mainly focus on creating the balance in feed ratio between the amino acids and energy and by boosting the digestibility of the nutrients in the poultry feed through other means.
However, there are ways in which the feed efficiency can be improved even after the feed has been processed and delivered to the poultry farm. Here are some ways to ensure that your broilers get the most out of their poultry feed:-
Invest in Excellent Storage
Molds and mycotoxins are the single biggest causes of feed losses. They deplete valuable nutrients and may even harbor harmful toxins that may pass down to humans. Moldy food is not just toxic but also unpalatable for the chickens and this is going to have an impact on feed consumption and conversion.
Mold growth will ocvcur mostly in climates that are warm and humid. While you can add mold inhibitors and mycotoxin binders to the poultry feed to control the growth of mold, it is usually not enough. You have to take it a step further. Make sure you inspect and thoroughly clean the silos where the poultry feed is kept. Even empty silos might have some hotspots where the mould is more likely to bloom and these must be cleaned thoroughly and treated with fungicides.
Using Feeders that Don’t Waste Food
Even in cases where you might be giving your chickens the best quality food, feed losses may still occur due to the type of feeders that you are using. If you are using poorly designed feeders, you are likely to grapple with lots of spillage that will lead to significant losses.
Invest in good feeders that minimize the losses as much as possible. Don’t scrimp on poultry feeders only to incur long term costs through poultry feed wastage. The poultry feeders should also be well managed. Make sure that they are placed optimally where the chickens can easily access the feeds, clean them regularly and supply a good number of them so that they are enough for the birds to limit overcrowding during feeding.
Another thing that will enhance the feed conversion efficiency is the close placement of drinkers close to the feeders. However, the drinkers shouldn’t be too close that they cause the spoilage of food.
Lighting is one of the key factors in poultry feed conversion efficiency. Don’t provide constant lighting. In an environment of constant lighting provision, the chickens tend to over-consume the feed. You have to provide your poultry with optimal lighting in their sheds for the best feed digestibility.
Remember that you are already feeding the birds at the level of their genetic potential so an over-consumption of food is simply wastage as the feed has less time to interact with the digestive enzymes in the chicken’s digestive tract. This will in turn result in the reduction of the poultry feed digestibility.
One technique that is recommended by many poultry experts is a lights on-lights off program if the chicken are feeding at night. This can take the format of 1 hour of light and 1 hour of darkness. This model allows the chickens to fully digest the feed they have consumed while they are resting. This also helps improve the feed efficiency as the birds will not be walking about all day. During the light hours, the birds also have the time to refill. With this system, however, you need sufficient space that will allow the birds to feed simultaneously. This will need careful placement and feeder management in the poultry house.
Avoid a Heavy Body Mass as Birds Approach Market Age
If you are part of a contract poultry farming venture, then you have to feed your poultry to the very end according to the guidelines laid out in your contract. However, if you are raising poultry for the open market, then you have a little leeway in how you are going to feed your poultry.
The feed efficiency generally gets worse as the birds grow older because they have a bigger body mass to maintain and they will need to take in more energy and amino acids. So you need to find the minimum weight for your market birds that is acceptable in order for you to boost the feed efficiency of your poultry. You can for example, look at the cost per weight gain.