Chicken Feed Ingredients: What is in Your Chicken Feed?

If you are planning to formulate your own poultry feed, you are likely to spend a lot of time trying to find the right chicken feed ingredients that will assure you of the best quality nutrition for your chickens.

Poultry Feed Ingredients
Poultry Feed Ingredients

Thankfully, with the modern farming techniques, you now have the opportunity to easily boost the nutritional quality of your chicken feed ingredients along with that of the feed additives and supplements affordably.

This is advantageous not just for the poultry producer or farmer but also for the poultry feeds manufacturer as it can assure you of better profit margins. Having poultry feeds that are of high quality will help in enhancing the economics of poultry feeding for all that are involved in the poultry feeds value chain, from the farmer to the poultry feeds processor to the eventual poultry feed buyer. It is even good for the customer who will buy the quality and nutritious poultry products such as meat and eggs.

There are various additives that are commonly used in poultry feeds. These include the pellet binders, feed conditioners, grain conditioners and the moisture optimizers. There are various benefits that a farmer can derive by incorporating chicken additives. For one, the poultry feeds can have a longer shelf life and be preserved for a longer duration of time. The feed additives also help in enhancing the nutrition and improving the value of the property.

Poultry Feed Ingredients

Below is a look at the basic chicken feed ingredients that every poultry feed formulation must contain:-

  • Protein meals
  • Cereal grains
  • Cereal byproducts
  • Feed additives
  • Fats and Oils
  • Minerals and Vitamins
  • Miscellaneous raw ingredients like roots and tubers
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The cereal grains will constitute the largest amount of the chicken feed ingredients. Adding them in the poultry feeds is also a cost-effective measure as it will assist in the fulfillment of the energy requirements of the chickens. The fact that they are relatively cheap also lowers the overall cost of the poultry feed formulation.

The drawback with the cereal ingredients is that they are quite susceptible to bacteria, mold as well as rot so if not well handled, they can easily degrade the quality of the poultry feed.

Grains must also be stored properly. If they are not stored well, they are most likely to harbor mycotoxins that are likely to negatively impact the growth of your chickens. This is where the advantages of the poultry feed additives come in. When used in the poultry feeds, their preservation properties will come into play, enabling the grains to be used as feed ingredients in the poultry feed formulation over an extended period of time without going bad when they are stored over a long duration of time.

There are various important ingredients that you will need to supply your chickens through the poultry feed ingredients. These include the essential amino acids that are found in the proteins, vitamins as well as minerals. The remainder of your flock’s dietary energy requirements will be met through fats, oils as well as the protein meal ingredients.

How Do the Supplements Improve the Health and Performance of Your Flock?

The supplements used in the poultry feeds help in increasing the health and the productivity of your chickens by boosting the nutritional output of the poultry feed itself. Using poultry feed supplements can help manufacturers and farmers save a lot of money as these supplements help prolong the shelf life of your poultry feed while also boosting the producer’s poultry yields. The use of supplements also simplifies the transportation process and reduces the incidents of tear and wear in the production machinery of the manufacturer.

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The Common Supplements and Additives Used in Poultry Feeds

The main additives and supplements used in poultry feeds include the following:-

  • Organic minerals
  • Flavours
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Antimicrobials
  • Pellet binders
  • Direct fed microbials
  • Acidifiers
  • Toxin binders
  • Antioxidants
  • Mold inhibitors
  • Feeding Effectors
  • Anti-stress agents
  • Feed conditioners

How to Boost the Chicken Feed Ingredient Value

Adding effective ingredients in the poultry feed formulation will make the food manufacturing more profitable for feed companies as it helps in enhancing the value as well as the nutritional quality of the poultry feed produced which is sold to bulk buyers and farmers.

Different Ingredients Go Into Poultry Feeds Formulation
Different Ingredients Go Into Poultry Feeds Formulation

Supplements that are nutrient-rich can also boost the optimal health of sick and stressed birds. Overall, this will contribute to a boost in the farmer’s yield and profitability. The supplements are fairly easy to apply and help cut down on the population through the chicken’s fecal waste.

When Good Poultry Feed Goes Bad

Poultry feeds can be destroyed and rendered useless by bacteria, mold as well as rot. The worst of these is mold which is fairly difficult to eradicate once it has taken root in your poultry feeds. As the mold grows further, it will eat up the nutrients that are in the poultry feed.

The growth of mold in the poultry feed can also get a little toxic. If your flock consumes moldy feed, they are likely to be exposed to the mycotoxins which can lead to more serious health issues based on the amount of portion that they have consumed.

Even where you have used “best practices” in poultry feed formulation and storage, it is still possible to have mold growing on and destroying your poultry feeds. To inhibit the growth of mold and destruction of your poultry feed, you can use a mold inhibitor, additives or supplements in the feed. Using these will help minimize the effect of mycotoxins in feeds and grades thus limiting the degradation of the nutritional content of the poultry feed.

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The general rule when preparing poultry feeds is that the nutritional requirements of the bird must be met. To give your chickens optimal nutritional levels, make sure you consider the additives and supplements as they play a crucial role in improving the value of your chicken feed ingredients. Not only do they enhance the ingredients that have already been used in the poultry feeds but they also inhibit the growth of other harmful organisms such as mold and bacteria.

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