AgricultureFood industry

The best feed for chickens

What are the best feeds for chickens and other farm birds?
How to meet the nutritional requirements of broilers?
The best feeds for chickens – characteristics
What do compound feeds consist of?

What are the best feeds for chickens and other farm birds?

If you are breeding poultry, it is worth thinking about improving their diet. What should we mean by “improvement” in this case? It is known that for the proper growth of a living organism, we need the right conditions, i.e. the right temperature, maintaining hygiene, access to clean water and a balanced diet. In the case of a flock of poultry, without the existence of producers of valuable feed mixtures, the activity of preparing meals would be breakneck. So what do broilers need to grow and what are the best feeds for chickens?

How to meet the nutritional requirements of broilers?

In recent years, we have looked closely at the impact of food on the development of poultry. This is directly related to the quality of the meat we obtain from our farms. It is worth noting that slaughter poultry should grow relatively quickly (after all, we are supposed to earn on them) and at the same time healthy. Undoubtedly, it is difficult to meet these requirements. Moreover, they seem to be mutually exclusive. An adult, ready-to-slaughter broiler should be low in fat and high in pure meat. Consumers should also not complain about the technological processing of the purchased product. If we want to produce a 1.35 kg broiler, we need about 5 weeks for growth and approximately 2.5 kg of feed.

If we want to use the genetic potential of poultry and gain the weight required for slaughter faster, we should use modern feeding methods, which will be discussed later. It is important that broilers have a short digestive tract and a fairly fast metabolism. We must therefore ensure that their daily diet is varied and know the stages of development of chickens and the dietary requirements associated with them.

  • In the first phase of development, the chick needs a lot of protein (about 20% of the feed).
  • In the next stages of broiler growth, we should focus on providing it with as much carbohydrates as possible (about 13.5 MJ per kilogram of feed)

It is also popular to use feed with an average protein and carbohydrate content throughout the life cycle of the broiler. However, the aforementioned division into phases is more effective. To reduce energy losses from food, it is best to breed poultry in spring and summer or in heated rooms.

The best feeds for chickens - characteristics

Specially prepared feed mixtures are dedicated in particular to large poultry farms. Firstly, it makes the work of the owners of such a kennel easier. Secondly, they are balanced in terms of the amount of minerals, protein, carbohydrates and other nutritional values. As we have already mentioned, we can choose feeds dedicated exclusively to broilers in the first growth phase (high protein). There are also those that contain both protein and carbohydrates in the right proportions. The latter type of feed can be given to chickens throughout their growth period. On feed packaging, manufacturers usually provide the exact composition of the feed, confirmed by tests. For chicks, feed manufacturers offer different types of mixtures.

  • Starter – we give it to chickens from 6 to 14 days of age. Then broilers already have a high demand for protein, calcium, lysine and phosphorus.
  • Grower – we use from about 14 days of the broiler’s life, until about 6 days before slaughter. There is very little protein in this mix for metabolic energy.
  • The finisher is the feed that we give the broilers just before slaughter. It no longer contains protein, but only an increased dose of energy.

What do compound feeds consist of?

The best feeds for chickens consist mainly of cereals: maize, wheat, barley, oats and triticale. Manufacturers, however, do not produce feed based on rye, because such feed could irritate the delicate intestines of broilers and cause diarrhoea. The feed for broilers also contains: gluten, wheat germ and other by-products of the grain milling process. Manufacturers also add trace amounts of oilseeds, soy, rapeseed or so-called rapeseed to feed mixtures. post-extraction media. On the other hand, narrow-leaved lupine or peas supplement the feed with protein. In order to diversify feed mixtures, producers also add dried greens (e.g. alfalfa), powdered milk, yeast, chalk and fodder salt, calcium phosphates. The above ingredients ensure that we provide our animals with all the ingredients they need for proper development. Modern feeds, on the other hand, contain proteins of selected amino acids and vitamins, as well as feed enzymes that support digestion. The task of these enzymes is also to reduce the toxicity of broiler droppings and to eliminate possible diseases thanks to probiotics.

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