When the question arises about what to feed chickens or about the raising of chicken hens, then there are a number of points to consider. Poultry nutrition and feeds are made in order to fulfill the needs of the chickens in a more effective manner and also for the sake of increased egg production. There are a number of types of feeds that are used in the poultry settings. For example, chicks that have just hatched are given starter feeds. In comparison to this, grower and other forms of feed are given to the chickens in their adolescence. It is quite clear from this that chickens require varying levels of feeds and nutrients in order to grow and develop naturally. Although the ingredients that are used in the making of these feeds might be similar, still they come to impact the development of the birds in a different manner. It is an established fact that the amount of nutrients required by chickens vary in terms of their age and requirements. For example, chickens that lay eggs are required to be given some more effective feeds so that they might continue at the same pace. In terms of the specific nutrients which the chickens and birds requires, all of the feeds must contain proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats and much more, all of which are really crucial for their normal development. Any lack in the fulfillment of these nutrients might lead to numerous problems in the health of these animals. Below are the types of feeds used in the farm settings for feeding chickens.
For a period of 6 weeks after hatching, the chicks are reared making use of these chicken feeds, designed specifically for them. These starter diets and nutriments are made in order to boost the speed of growth for newly hatched chicks. In terms of proteins composition, these feeds contain nearly 18 to 20 % of them. Some more efficient diets might also be used for the meat chickens which demand more amounts of proteins and other forms of nutrition for chicken.
Developer and Grower Feeds
At the time the birds reach the age of 6 weaks, it is now time to change the feeds that are being used. Grower feeds typically contain about 15 % proteins which come in handy for maintaining the levels of growth which the animal is going through. By the time the chickens reach the age of 14 weeks, you might replace the grower feeds with the developer nutrients and feeds. The developer feed is really crucial for preparing the chickens for the stage of egg production. Here it is also important to consider that both of these feeds can also be interchanged within the time spans specified above.
Layer and Breeder Feeds
As soon as the chickens start laying eggs, you have an option of introducing these feeds in the diets given to the chickens at these times. The choice for the required feed depends upon the purpose for which the eggs would be used. The layer feeds are specially designed for the hens laying eggs for home or table use. These feeds contain 16 % levels of proteins and high amounts of calcium so that the chickens might be able to produce better layers for an egg or the eggs with stronger shells on them. On the other side breeder feeds are given to the best laying hens and birds that produce eggs for hatching. These feeds are more or less like the layer feeds, but vary in terms of the higher levels of proteins they contain. In addition, they are also believed to contain some extra vitamins for the chickens in comparison to the layer feed for chicken.
Most of the medicated foods and diets are prepared to make the animals immune to the various diseases and virus attack that might come their way. In almost all of the farms in the developed countries, these feeds are offered to the flocks. These feeds aren’t normally present in the layer and breeders feeds. Those which contain some substantial amounts of such feeds are labeled. These medications are also subject to some major researches and analysis due to which you can be assured of their safety. At the same time you can also make use of the non-medicated feeds which are easily and widely available on order.
Water and Scratch Grains
Water is also crucial in terms of the growth and development of the eggs, due to which it should be provided in adequate amounts. Moreover, chickens also love to engage in the process of scratching by making use of their feet. So by making use of such grains, this kind of behavior can be easily reinforced. The feeds used for this purpose are either cracked or rolled.