Poultry farming is a lucrative and popular business throughout the world. But it can be a risky business suddenly, especially if you are not concerned about poultry feed management. Success in the poultry farming business mostly depends on feeding quality feed and feed formulation system. For proper growth, egg production and good health, poultry birds require energy. In order to obtain desired growth rate, you must have to purchase and provide highly nutritious poultry feed.
Except adequate and quality feeding, you can’t run your business properly. As a poultry farmer, you should always produce and sell fresh and healthy birds and quality eggs. For producing quality eggs and meat you have to feed your birds quality feed. This will also help to get maximum returns from your poultry farming business. Here we are describing more about poultry feed and different types of essential ingredients in the feed.
For healthy life, proper growth, maximum production and suitable breeding, all types of poultry birds need some essential nutrients. Most of these essential nutrients come from the natural sources. Pasture, grains and seeds, bugs and insects, sunshine, gravel etc. meet up the demands of necessary nutrients.
It is an universal truth that ‘animal can’t live without water but can survive longer without food’. Poultry birds are not exception. They also can’t live without water. Lack of adequate supply of pure water can causes different types of problems. It hinders the growth of young poultry birds and also causes early moulting in the laying flock, and directly minimize egg production.
The most expensive poultry feed element is protein. But it is a must to provide your poultry birds sufficient amount of protein contained feed. There are two types of protein source are available. Animal and vegetable protein. Animal protein is a great source of adding required protein in poultry feed. The animals protein means, that comes from animals sources such as meat, meat meal, milk, liver etc. This type of protein sources are very helpful for proper growth and better egg production, than vegetable protein. Although, adding excess amount of protein in poultry feed can create a negative effect on your poultry bird’s health.
Carbohydrate is essential for a starved flock. This poultry feed materials can be found in grains and grainy products. Carbohydrate provide energy to your poultry birds and keep them productive.
Proper ratio of fat in poultry feed is also very essential. Usually fat is available in almost all types of feed elements. But an excess amount of fat that comes from fish products, fish oil or meat can causes digestive problem and lead to various poultry disease.
Calcium carbonate (which is present in vitamin D) helps to formulate the egg shell. Calcium and phosphorous make the major part of poultry bird’s bone. But excess amount of phosphorous in poultry feed lead to crooked bones and slipped tendons in chickens and poultry birds. Salt is also a reliable source of essential minerals. Small amount of some highly important minerals can be found in green foods.
Any vitamin deficiency in poultry feed rations can hinder the natural growth of young poultry birds. The term vitamin describe a variety of essential nutrients that are differ from one another. The activities of different vitamins are different.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A comes from green feed ingredients, yellow corn and fish oils. It is essential to protests the poultry birds against colds and infections.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D help to prevent leg weakness and rickets. It is found in synthetic products and also available in sea fishes. Vitamin D is a must added elements in poultry feed.
- Vitamin B Complex: Vitamin B complex is available in milk, green feed, liver, synthetic riboflavin etc. It helps to increase the growth of poultry and chickens. It also helps to prevent curled-toe paralysis in young chickens. While preparing poultry feed, you must have to be careful about adding adequate amount of Vitamin B Complex in the poultry feed mixture.
Poultry Feed Ingredients
Poultry farming business is very common and popular throughout the world. So poultry feed ingredients are also easily available.
- Wheat: Wheat is one of the best grains as poultry feed ingredients. For this reason, you should include a certain amount of wheat in the poultry feed ration. During the wheat harvesting season, you can feed the poultry birds as mash or as scratch feed. You can also use wheat as a poultry feed ingredient throughout the year.
- Barley: Generally barley is not delicious like wheat and oats. But it contains more fiber and a great source of fat. You can feed barley to your poultry birds, when oats and wheat are not available (or in poor quality).
- Corn: Corn can be a very effective grain for your poultry birds. You can feed whole, cracked or by grinding. You can feed the ripe corn to your hens. But feed the shelled corn with other grains as an scratch feed.
- Millet: Millet has good advantages as poultry feed. You can use millet in growing, laying and fattening ration. Millet is easily digestible and help to increase body temperature.
- Rye: Rye is not so palatable poultry feed elements such as wheat, oats and barley. So feed rye to your poultry birds in small amount as a scratch feed with two or more other grains. Huge amount of rye in poultry feed may cause digestive disorder in your birds.
- Flax: Flex is suitable for high amount of protein in poultry feed. You can use small amount of flax in the feed mixture.
- By Products of Grain: By products of grains have a great health value and suitable for feeding the poultry birds. Especially various types of by products of grains are available in the shop where poultry feed are prepared or sold. It’s price is comparably higher than any other poultry feed ingredients.
- Skim Milk and Butter Milk: Skim and butter milk are very useful for all kinds of poultry birds. Especially for the growing, young chicks and laying hens. Skim and butter milk play a vital role to get high quality eggs for hatching. And it’s also a reliable source of protein.
- Balancers and Concentrates: For preparing the poultry feed, concentrates and balancers are special supplement which are prepared by the commercial poultry feed companies. They are basically fed with home grown chopped grains.
- Fish Oil: Fish oil is a dependable source of Vitamin A and D. Mainly it is used in chicken feed and laying hen’s feed. Fish oil is very effective when green pasture and sunlight is not adequate.
Growing Chickens Feed
For raising young chicks, a diet enriched with protein and containing balanced mineral is very useful. Two pounds of chicken starter dry mash is suitable enough for one chicken that is about six weeks of age. You always have to concentrate about the diet of growing chicks to ensure rapid growth and good health of chickens. For better result, you can mix starter at home. Usually 200 pounds of commercial starter mash is sufficient enough for each 100 chickens. While purchasing commercial starter mash, choose popular brand in the market. Avoid out dated and less tasty ground mixtures. Store the feed in a cool and dry place, and provide fresh food daily. After hatching, start feeding the chicks when they want to eat. Provide them dry mash by using a clean cardboard. After their two or three days of age, give them dry mash with self feeders (when all the chicks can eat). You must have to ensure constant supply of adequate fresh and clean water according to their demand. Separate all the hard insoluble grit from their food by keeping the food in pans or hoppers. Add some dry cracked wheat with dry mash, when the bird reach the age of three or four weeks. Poultry feed mixture for different aged bird are shown below.
Poultry Feed (Starter No.1)
Coursely Ground Wheat 30.0 25.0
Coursely Ground Oat Grouts 18.0 10.0
Medium Ground Barley 15.0 10.0
Finely Ground oats 10.0 10.0
Wheat Bran 5.0 5.0
Meat meal (60% protein) 5.0 10.0
Fish meal (67% protein) 5.0 10.0
Milk powder 3.0 4.0
Alfalfa Leaf Meal 5.0 7.0
Linseed Oil Cake Meal 1.5 1.5
Fine Oyster Shell or Limestone 1.5 1.5
Fine Iodized Salt 0.5 0.5
Fish Oil (200 D) 0.5 1.0
Total:– 100.0 100.0
Poultry Feed (Starter No. 2)
Suitable if chicks will have good pasture at 2 or 3 weeks of age
Coursely Ground Wheat 40 lbs. Milk to drink
Oat Chop (sift out coarse hulls) 25 lbs.
Barley Chop (sift out coarse hulls) 25 lbs. Alfalfa or Clover chaff or other green feed, until chicks are on pasture
Meat Meal (60% Protein) 10 lbs.
Fine Iodized Salt ½ lb. Fine Gravel and Oyster Shell in separate pans or hoppers
Fish Oil (200 D) ½ lb
When chicks reach at the age of five to six weeks, Gradually cheaper mixture and coarser e.g ½ starter mashes and ½ growing mash can be given.
Growing Mash (in self-feeders)
Ground wheat 100 lbs.
Ground Barley 100lbs. ( Oyster shell and gra-
Ground Oats 75 lbs. vel, or limetone grit, in
Meat Meal 25 lbs. separate pans or
Fine Salt 3lbs. feeders)
Rations for Laying Hens
If you want to make maximum profit from layer poultry farming business, then you have to feed the birds well balanced and nutritious food from their chick stage. Usually laying hens need some form of protein supplement in addition to other feed ingredients. Minerals and vitamins also play a significant role for producing desired amount of eggs. You have to be very careful in winter season. Laying hens require balance diet with additional energy during this period. Because they use a large amount of energy for keeping their body warm. And they get this extra energy from additional energy enriched foods. Wheat , grains, clover hey etc. are helpful for laying hens. And always try to provide your birds sufficient amount of clean and fresh drinking water, along with providing them nutritious food.
Providing quality poultry feed play a vital role in overall production from your poultry farming business. So always try to feed your birds quality and nutritious feed according to their demand. And always ensure availability of sufficient amount of clean and fresh water.