It’s essential to provide high-quality, nutritious feed to ensure the productivity and health of farm chickens. Like most other farm animals, chickens need a balanced and nutrient-filled diet to thrive.
There’s a few things to check to make sure you’re giving your feathery friends only the best quality feed, which is why in this article we’ve put together a checklist of things to consider when assessing the quality of poultry feed.
Here’s a six-point checklist to guide you in choosing and maintaining quality chicken feed:
- Balanced Nutrition: Any well-balanced chicken diet should consist of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Look out for feeds labeled as “complete” or “balanced,” as they are formulated to meet the full nutritional needs of your chickens, and are also developed specifically for feeding at various life stages.
- Protein Content: Chickens require protein for muscle development, egg production, and overall health. Ideally poultry feed should have at least 16-18% protein content. This is particularly essential during their growth and laying phases, which is a very nutrient-intensive process.
- Ingredients List: Always make sure to examine the ingredients list on the feed packaging. Grains like corn, wheat and barley are great sources of energy, while soyabean meal, peas and sunflower meal are great protein sources. Diets should also contain added macro and trace minerals and vitamins.
- Freshness and Storage: Quality feed should be fresh and free from contaminants like mould and insects. Proper storage in a cool, dry place is essential to maintain its nutritional value and prevent spoilage.
- Age-Appropriate Feeding: Different life stages require different types of nutrients in the feed. Starter feeds are designed for chicks, grower feeds for young birds, and layer feeds for hens producing eggs. Providing the right feed at the right time promotes healthy growth and egg production.
- Check in with your local experts: the dietary needs of chickens can be influenced by unique variables such as the local climate and conditions, or the particular breed of your chickens. Consulting with a local farming expert can provide valuable insights into selecting the best feed for your specific circumstances.
Incorporating these six points into your chicken-keeping routine can lead to healthier, happier birds and higher-quality eggs.
Ensuring quality chicken feed involves careful consideration of balanced nutrition, appropriate protein content, and avoiding harmful additives. Reading ingredient lists, feeding based on age, and maintaining freshness through proper storage are essential steps. Additionally, seeking advice from local experts can help fine-tune your approach to chicken nutrition. By following this comprehensive checklist, you’re not only contributing to the well-being of your flock but also reaping the rewards of healthier, more productive chickens.
For more information on quality NZ poultry feed brands, visit Our Brands page for chicken feed with the FeedSafeNZ tick.