Poultry Feedingphp

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Feeding chicken is of importance in order to increase the production of meat and eggs. It is very important that you buy the right kind of feed for your chicken don't give chicks feed meant for the adults because it contains high calcium that causes irreversible kidney damage and too low protein that a fast-growing chick needs.  A lack of feed and water will reduce resistance to diseases, parasites, and mortality 

There are three key things chicks need for survival;

  • Warmth
  • water
  • Feed

"Chakula bora si  Bora chakula"

Depending on the age and breed of bird nutrient  requirements varies hence there are different types of feeds

  • Chick diet: High in protein offered up to 4weeks
  • Growers diet; medium in protein offered from 5th week to the point of lay
  • Layers diet: lower in protein offered  after a 10% lay onwards

First things first chicken need access to fresh clean water which plays a key role in chicken overall  health and well being  and aid in most of its body functions

Chicks and mature chickens alike consume double  the amount of water  as compared to feed and therefore, a lack of it can affect chickens health

Next to water, protein is the second most essential nutrient for young chicks it stimulates the growth of muscles, tissues, and organs it is also needed for general production and optimal health. Protein sources  form less than 20% of poultry diet due to their high cost, they are classified into two categories plant source and animal sources

. Plant sources include;                                                                     Animal and insects

  • cottonseed cake                                                                 blood meal 
  • soya meal                                                                             fish meal
  • sunflower meal                                                                     bone meal
  • peanut meal                                                                         maggots 
  • beans                                                                                  termites
  • oil cake                                                                                  worms and insects

N/B feel free to offer your chicken some small worms that make homemade protein.

Carbohydrates/ Energy sources they include; maize, millet, sorghum, maize bran, pollard, wheat bran, maize germ, roots and tubers

  • They are generally for maintenance  eg body temperature, vital functions, and exercise
  • Forms over 75% of the  poultry feed

  Minerals are classified as macro and micro minerals depending on the levels needed in the diet. macro minerals include calcium phosphorus, chlorine magnesium, and sodium.

Micro minerals play an essential role in the body's metabolism they include: copper, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc.

Generally, minerals help in bone and egg formation and optimal health status. Calcium and phosphorus are the most important minerals in the ratio of 2:1

Vitamins are a group of organic compounds that poultry only requires in small quantities. Vitamins are divided into two categories fat-soluble and water-soluble. They are essential for normal body functions, growth, reproduction, and also important for optimal health status. Important vitamins are A, B2and D. Deficiency of one or more vitamins can lead to a number of diseases or syndromes.

There are other non-nutrient substances that are necessary for chicken eg; Grits and growth promoters

DO and Don'ts

  • Do make sure that chicks get access to fresh clean water at all times
  • Don't be tempted to cut corners and provide water  in an open dish or saucer
  • Do clean Waterers always
  • Do make sure chicks are drinking before they get to feed 
  • Don't feed layer ration to chicks, not even as an emergency measure
  • Do sprinkle little Chick starter mash on newspaper  only for first 3 Days
  • Do choose a good feeder that works well for your space