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.
Winning the war against disease in your chickens are often as straightforward as boosting their immune system by incorporating foods and supplements into their normal diet. A fantastic balanced diet consisting of age-appropriate feed and a never ending supply of fresh clean water is a great foundation. Adding nutritional supplements and garden fresh herbs, fruits, seeds, vegetables and grains will attract the wild cravings of your chickens and they will flock like crazy to their feeders. Though chickens have been domesticated, their inherent desire to live off the land means adding these”real” foods for their diet is a natural option. Immunity boosting foods are generally full of antioxidants including Vitamins A, C and E, contain the minerals zinc and selenium as well as carotenoids- the pigments found in plants- like beta-carotene which converts into Vitamin A.
Let us take a”peck” at some simple ways to develop your chickens’ immune system by integrating a few extras in their diet.
1. Produce Extraordinary Beautiful Beginnings
Newborn chicks have the nutrient rich yolk in the egg just before hatching, afterwards the chicks are equipped with most of the vital nutrients they’ll need for about two days. Lacking only Vitamin C, the yolk is essentially a chick’s lifeline until they take their first peck at their starter feed. One of the most nutritious additions to a chick’s diet are eggs! Scramble up an egg or two and combine in a little minced garlic as a boost due to their developing immune systems.
Whether you have brooder or Mother Hen, both will greatly benefit from a tiny extra nourishment added to their starter feed. Sprinkle a little probiotic powder, brewer’s yeast, moistened oats, finely chopped dandelion greens or chickweed in their feed and blend. Other excellent immunity boosting options comprised of cooked brown rice, sea kelp, sesame seeds, wheat germ, raw oats — that help to keep their vents free and clear of buildup- herbs like oregano, parsley, cinnamon, mint, tarragon, finely chopped bay leaves, clover, sage and Echinacea.
2. The Use of Apple Cider Vinegar
Among the primary things you can do as backyard poultry keeper would be to dunk your chicks’ beaks into water to encourage drinking, a simple waterer can be crucial in fostering your chicks’ immunity. A couple drops of Apple Cider Vinegar added to a chick’s waterer several times per week promotes resistance and give good digestion and respiratory health. Apple Cider Vinegar, or ACV, is useful in preventing illness in backyard chickens and you can say farewell to pesky internal parasites! ACV produces an extremely undesirable environment for harmful parasites to take up residence. It removes toxins from the bloodstream, thins mucous to promote better respiratory health and contains antibiotic and antibacterial properties.
3. Herbs for Hen Health
Herbs provide healthy medicinal properties for humans and chickens alike! Adding herbs into your chickens’ diet is a sure way to boost their immune system and add variety to their diet plan.
Bay Leaves actually”stem” from the Bay Laurel tree and can gladly thrive indoors or outdoors in pots. Medicinally, Bay Leaves include many essential antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and are famous for their antiviral properties.
Echinacea is easily started from seeds sown indoors or implanted directly into the backyard patch in late spring. A helpful ally in warding off the frequent cold and in combating viral infections, Echinacea is a helpful healing herbal jewel for both you and your feathery friends.
Dandelions seem to flourish no matter what! This rich vibrant weed is a beautiful addition to any poultry salad that you serve up. Dandelions are high in protein, full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, AND help in digestion, enhance the function of all other organs and improve your flock’s nutritional intake.
Some other healthful herbs for overall good health include coriander, sage, spearmint and tarragon.
Herbal tea is overflowing with resistance boosting nutritional goodness and a delightful treat for chickens. Spend some quality time together with your chickens and host a feathery tea party! Simply brew some lovely herbal tea and serve-mini teacups are optional. It’s possible to stick to the conventional lemon or mint tea or mix this up a little and sip on some strawberry peppermint or ginger cinnamon tea. Leave the brewed herbs when serving as well as your chickens will no doubt peck them up!
4. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Full of essential vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, antioxidants, kiwi and papaya are a sweet treat and dietary supplement that your chickens will adore.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, lettuce and cabbage are ideal immunity boosters and young spinach or sweet baby spinach are beautiful additions to your own flock’s diet. Colorful capsicums are another crunchy treat to tempt your chickens. Garlic is an immunity boosting powerhouse! Garlic will develop your flock with the building blocks they need to resist disease.
5. Simple Seeds and Grains
For the busy health conscious foraging chicken on the move, seeds and grains are great snack pecks. Adding extra seeds and grains into your chickens’ routine diet makes great sense-foraging chickens naturally eat seeds and grains frequently, so they’re more inclined to provide these familiar foodstuffs their peck of approval.
Sunflower Seeds: Sunflowers seeds are full of vitamins, antioxidants, vitamins and protein. And a big hit with the chickens.
Pumpkin Seeds: These powerhouse seeds are full of vitamins, antioxidants and protein and are an excellent natural wormer, to boot! And, chickens can eat the pumpkin flesh also. Just make certain your pecking chickens have access to grit in order to help in the digestion of this fibrous flesh.
Flax Seeds: Flax seeds are a wonderful all around health food- packed with antioxidants, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, ginseng seeds additionally boost egg laying, improve feather condition and reduce your chickens’ chances of developing cancers.
Great Grains: Some excellent grains to pick from include oats, barley, malted grains, corn and wheat berries. Grains are a great source of carbohydrates and immunity boosting minerals. Plus, chickens adore them! Have you got a green thumb? Why not take a peek at sprouting your own grains? What a fantastic way to ensure your chickens have access to new grains throughout the entire year!
6. Proactive Probiotics and Fabulous Fermented Feed
Adding probiotics into your chicken feed is an easy way to ensure your chickens have an extra dose of immune system power. What are probiotics anyway? Simply put, probiotics are live microorganisms or good bacteria that improve an individual’s health, feathery or non-feathery, if active and present in the digestive tract to keep things moving along smoothly. Probiotics are typically available in powder or liquid form to incorporate into your chickens’ feed or water.
Another wonderful way to add probiotics in your chickens’ everyday diet is to provide them yogurt. Currently, while chickens do not have the enzymes required to digest the sugars found in milk products, somewhat plain yogurt today and then is simply fine. Yogurt, an excellent supply of protein, potassium and calcium also comprises active probiotics for your chickens.
Serving your flock fermented feed is a fantastic way to promote good health and increase resistance to illness. Fermenting feed for farm animals is an age old process. It provides many benefits to your flock-the fermentation procedure increases protein and vitamins content, creates more readily digestible feed, significantly enhances quality of eggs and tends to create firmer droppings! Garden poultry and livestock keepers have been doing this for ages.
Putting it All Together
Experiment with different combinations of components. Your chickens will be happy with glee to have such variety! Most of all, delight in the knowledge that you’re creating strong, healthy, active chickens who will be the”feather” of your eye!