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 .
Broiler chicken feed comes in many forms, such as mash, pellet and crumble. Mash typically results in certain waste because of disturbance of grains (coarse particles) from different ingredients and nutritional supplements that result in the flicking behaviour of chickens. This problem is solved in pellet feed that produces uniform proportions and enhanced digestion of nutrients in broiler chickens. Crumbles include an additional measure to pellet manufacturing by taking the pellets and crushing them in consistency that is courser than mash.
There are several advantages of feeding poultry with pellets rather than mash.
-Pelleting reduces waste of chicken feed, water soiling, and discerning eating behaviour in chickens
-Reduces bulkiness of feed by 15 — 18%
-Reduces Salmonella, E. coli, molds and much more, and destroys growth inhibitors, such as trypsin inhibitors and gossypol during processing
-The pelleting process solves mixing difficulties, incorrect particle sizes, and ingredient separation
-Ends in the saving of 15-20% of broiler chicken feed cost
-Produces a greater nutrient density, increases the availability of vitamin E and B12, also improves digestibility and ME value of certain ingredients, thereby increasing animal performance when creating superior feed efficiency
-Studies like those of Chewning et al. (2012) establish that pelleted feeds outperform comparable mash feeds in broiler hens .
The Function of Pellet Quality in Chicken Feed
Pelleting involves conditioning raw materials by adding heat and water in the form of steam. The conditioned feed ingredients are then compacted into a dense mass and formed to conform cut and pressed. The heat and moisture is removed through cooling so the ingredients can withstand reasonably rough handling without excess breakage. Pellets can subsequently be crumbled into smaller particles to enable the chickens to absorb the feed efficiently.
McKinney & Teeter (2004) reported that pelleting contributed 187 kcal/kg of diet because of broiler chickens resting more between foods. They also found that the energy value declined as pellet quality diminished. Components, particle size, temperature, moisture, length of conditioning, and pellet parameters are key variables influencing the physical quality of pellets. Pellets that are good show enhanced durability to withstand the different attritional drives on the pellet. This is especially true of these forces which are encountered during transportation of the feed into poultry farms. The procedure for crumbling imposes stress on the pellet and creates fines that reduce the physiological quality of the feed.
In a study , Lemme et al (2006), they discovered that good quality pellets led to the highest weight gain of broiler chickens when compared to chickens offered inferior quality pellets or rough mash. Furthermore, they found that chickens that ate mash required higher levels of lysine to achieve the same performance as pellet-fed hens .
How Can Pellet Binders Improve Chicken Feed Quality?
Pellet quality depends on feed processing equipment, conditions, and feed formulation. Pelletability of feed components , depending on the presence or absence of natural binders and addition of artificial binders in chicken feed, are key formula factors that affect pellet quality. Since natural binders are required in high inclusion levels to succeed and frequently have high variability, a good quality pellet binder allows feed producers the chance for increased formulation flexibility, cost reduction per unit binding capability, and constant quality.
What Makes a Great Pellet Binder?
The maximum quality of pellet binders increase the efficacy of poultry feed by shielding feed from extreme heat and moisture. While 15 to 18% of fines are generated in the crumbling process. This improves overall quality by boosting pellet durability and significantly cutting down the number of fines in chicken feed.
Additional Advantages of Pellet Binders:
-Improve the output of broiler poultry feed at pellet mill by 10 — 15 percent
-Reduce energy costs by roughly 3 percent
-Shield the physical quality of pellets throughout transportation
-Crumbles with minimum fines can only be achieved with high quality pellets. –Chicken feed performance improves considerably when fines in crumble feed are minimalized, as evidenced by Lemons & Moritz (2015) research. More disadvantages in crumbles requires reprocessing that increases costs and also reduces the nutrient value of ingredients. Broiler poultry feed trials with crumble feed comprising premium excellent pellet binders showed a feed conversion ratio improvement of 4.8% when compared to crumble feed with no pellet binder. Pellet binders save money, time, and resources and also can improve the quality of your stock by enhance the quality of the feed.
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.