Feeding Chickens Correctly Can Boost Egg Production

Published: 08th February 2010
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Feeding chickens is more than simply putting out some grains for your chickens. If you want to raise chickens that supply you with high quality eggs on a steady basis you must be familiar with a few basics about feeding chickens. When hens first begin laying eggs, all through the early laying period, they are still growing. All through this phase they need an increased amount of protein. As egg production begins to lessen their protein requirements also lessen.

Commercial chicken growers know that protein is expensive so they keep an eye on protein levels diligently when feeding chickens. They begin by providing 18% protein for the earliest 4 months of their egg producing cycle and then cut it to about 16% at 4 months. Protein is decreased to 15% when the laying birds decline to about 65% production from their maximum.

Most backyard chicken farmers aim to keep everything as easy as they can and as a result supply their laying pullets the identical diet all through the full laying cycle. This is typically accomplished with an all-mash diet that contains about 16% to 17% protein.

Mash is prepared from finely ground grains and can be formulated in two principal ways. It is either combined to supply 100% of the hen's day by day nutrient requirements or fed in addition to other grains. Providing birds a big amount of grains just previous to roost time can keep them warmer and more comfortable all through the night.

Grit generally comes in the form of small-sized stones or granite material and needs to be fed to birds consuming whole grains. Grit helps grind the whole grains and improving digestion. Birds will chomp on all kinds of things, including feathers, and grit should continuously be available to help hens digest these different items, even when being fed 100% of their meals by way of an all-mash feed.

Grains, like corn and oats, will usually cause birds to gain extra fat which will usually cause egg laying to fall, so it is essential not to provide too many grains. Additionally, scratch feeds (grains) are normally lower in protein, containing about 10%, so the mash needs to include as much as 20% up to 40% protein depending on the amount of grains that are provided. A diet of grains and mash will supply a total protein level of about 16%.

To reduce the feed bill kitchen table scraps and backyard garden surplus can be added to a hen's diet. These kinds of food can be provided as a substitute for a portion of the grains, but should be given in restricted amounts as they will usually lessen the protein quantities in the overall diet. Depending on the sort of kitchen table scraps used, they can be the cause of bad tasting eggs. Providing vegetable peelings and green tops is suitable, but providing onions, fruit peelings, and other strong-flavored foods are not.

Calcium is an extremely important requirement in a hen's diet as it is required to form sturdy egg shells. Offering chickens all-mash meals is generally sufficient as all-mash diets usually include about 3% or more calcium. If egg shell strength ever seems to become reduced extra calcium must be added to their meals. Calcium is typically provided in as oyster shells.

Clean water is another necessary item that must be on hand at all times. Egg production will drop if chickens are deprived of water for even a short period of time. Making certain the water is sanitary by changing it on a daily basis is also vital as polluted water can deter pullets from drinking the necessary amounts. Soiled water can additionally cause the spread of health disorders. To maintain high egg production hens must have a suitable diet and copious amounts of clean water.

Joshua has successfully grown poultry for over 25 years and is skilled in getting optimum egg production from his birds. He keeps a website where you can learn more about chicken feeding, how to build an inexpensive chicken ark, and the importance of feeding chickens a good diet.

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