How to Feed Chickens For Maximum Egg Laying Production

How to Feed Chickens For Maximum Egg Laying Production
Feeding chickens is more than just throwing out a few grains in front of them. If you expect to raise chickens that supply you with high quality eggs and on a consistent basis you need to understand several fundamentals about chicken feeding. When chickens first begin producing eggs, all through the initial laying cycle, they are still growing and maturing. During this period they must be given a greater quantity of protein. As the number of eggs starts to lessen their protein requirements also fall.

Big commercial chicken growers know that protein is expensive so they watch protein amounts meticulously when feeding chickens. They begin by supplying 18% protein for the initial 4 months of their laying period and then lessen it to 16% at 4 months. Protein is reduced to 15% when the laying birds drop to about 60% of egg laying production from their maximum.

Most small backyard chicken raisers like to keep things as simple as possible when feeding chickens and consequently provide their laying hens the same feed during the full laying period. This is customarily accomplished with an all-mash diet that offers about 16% to 17% protein levels.

Mash is made from finely crushed grains and is provided in two ways. It is either combined to provide 100% of the chicken's day by day nutrient requirements or fed along with other grains. Feeding hens a considerable amount of grains immediately previous to roosting time can help them stay warmer and happier all through the nighttime.

Grit typically is offered in the manner of small stones or granite and must always be fed to pullets eating whole grains. Grit helps grind the grains and improving digestion. Hens will consume all types of stuff, including feathers, and grit must continually be available to help hens assimilate these different materials, even when being fed all of their meals by way of an all-mash feed.

Whole grains will normally cause chickens to gain added fat which will normally cause egg production to diminish, so it is imperative not to give grains in sizable amounts. Plus, whole grains, also called scratch feeds, are generally lower in protein, containing about 10%, so the mash will contain as much as 20% to 40% protein depending on how many grains are given. A diet of mash and grains combined will provide a total protein level of about 16%.

To lower the feed bill kitchen leftovers and backyard garden excess can be added to a hen's diet. These types of food can be offered as a substitute for a portion of the grains, but should be provided in small-sized amounts as they will normally decrease the protein quantities in the overall total diet. Depending on the kind of kitchen leftovers given, they can also lead to bad tasting eggs. Giving them vegetable skins and green tops is suitable, but providing onions, fruit peelings, and other strong-flavored food is not.

Calcium is one of the most critical things required in a pullet's diet because it is necessary to make hard egg shells. Feeding hens an all-mash diet is generally suitable because all-mash diets normally contain around 3% or more calcium. If egg shell strength ever seems to diminish further calcium needs to be added to their feed. Calcium is generally supplied in as oyster shells.

Fresh clean water is another fundamental item that needs to be on hand at all times. Egg numbers will suffer if hens are deprived of water for even short periods of time. Making sure the water is sanitary by changing it every day is also crucial because contaminated water can discourage pullets from drinking the necessary amounts. Soiled water can also cause the spread of disease. To maintain maximum egg laying production chickens need to be offered a suitable diet and sufficient amounts of clean water.

Joshua has kept chickens for over 25 years and is knowledgeable in getting top egg and meat production from his birds. He has a website where you can read about chicken feeding, building a high quality chicken ark, and the value of feeding chickens a good diet.

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Chicken feed: pellets or mash?

Chicken feed: pellets or mash?

The mainstay of pet chickens' diet is usually either pellets or layers' mash and most will accept either quite happily. The choice is more yours as to what works out best for your pocket.

We have experimented with both but opted for mash in the end. When we tried pellets, we thought that the chickens were getting through an awful lot, but gradually started discovered huge stores of pellets outside the run that had obviously been carried away by the local vermin population.

Another reason for choosing mash was pure practicality. We prefer to buy our chicken feed locally and have recently discovered a small poultry farm nearby which we can also get mash from. It feels good knowing it was all grown just a few fields away and it is very good value to boot.

However, some people prefer pellets because the chickens tend not to chuck them around as much as the grain so you get less wastage in that respect. I'd recommend trying both and decide what works out best for you.

You can buy chicken feed, pellets or mash, online or from agricultural merchants.

Other dietary additions

As well as either mash or pellets, chickens can also benefit by small nutritional additions to their feed. Sunflower seeds are an excellent example. The chickens love them and they are a great source of omega6.

However, as with anything, you don't want to go over the top with the sunflower seeds.

Chickens aren't usually too fussy about what you feed them but they really do enjoy some greenery being added to their diet. It is good to hang up a lettuce or some other vegetable for them to peck at from time to time as it gives them some amusement.

Foods to avoid
Feeding chickens kitchen scraps is generally fine, as long as you are selective. Do avoid:

- meat

- avocados (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persin)

- green peppers

- onions

- garlic (if you don't want garlic-y eggs)

As a point of interest, when we bought our Marans we were told by the farmer not to feed them any kitchen scraps at all and to stick to chicken feed. No such warning was given when we bought our Black Rocks, who have a reputation for being bomb proof. It might be worth checking with whoever you buy your chickens from what is best for that particular breed.

Choosing a chicken feeder
When choosing a chicken feeder in which to put your pellets or mash, you basically have a choice of plastic or metal. We always go for metal feeders as we keep them outdoors and the plastic ones easily blow away if they are exposed to the elements. They are really only practical for feeding inside coops.

We buy metal pheasant feeders like these as they are sturdy enough to withstand strong winds and only rarely get knocked over by the chickens.

Choosing a drinker for your chickens
Chickens need to have access to water at all times. The metal drinker vs plastic drinker debate is exactly the same as with chicken feeders and for that reason we recommend metal drinkers like these. It is worth getting the largest size that you can find as you don't want your pet chickens to ever run out of water.

Author: Julian James of All About Chickens, the online guide on how to keep chickens [http://www.all-about-chickens.co.uk]. With information on topics as diverse as what to feed chickens to how to breed chickens, it is useful for poultry enthusiasts both new and experienced.

Read the original article about what to feed chickens [http://www.all-about-chickens.co.uk/feedingchickens.html].

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Chickens - Foods You Shouldn't Feed Chickens

Chickens can eat almost anything. One of the main reasons for keeping chickens is that they are great foragers and will keep your garden free of insects, grubs and most pests. They love worms more than any other food! But there are still some foods that are harmful to chicken health and are to be avoided at all costs.

Knowing what to feed chickens and what not to feed chickens is very important. Buying proper chicken feed at your local pet store is probably the best way of ensuring your hens get the ideal mix of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fat that they need. You can also buy them a treat called scratch which is a mix of corn and cereals including oats and rye, but this is short on some of the nutrients that they need. They do like it, though!

And remember that hens need grit in their crop to help them break up and digest their food. This can be sand or fine gravel, and there is usually enough of this type of grit in most yards. Many poultry farmers put suitable grit in the chicken feed anyway. The good thing about hens is that they will only eat what they need.

Now what about the baddies? These are the things that you shouldn't feed chickens or allow them to access under any circumstances:

Poisons and Toxic Materials - slug pellets, rat poison and strong pesticides are obvious things to keep out of the way of your hens. If you are using any of these things in your yard you will need to fence off the area from the chickens but, even so, be aware that these birds can be very clever at getting through obstacles if they see what looks like interesting food on the other side!

Poisonous Plants - free range hens will tend to avoid poisonous plants because of the bitter taste that occurs naturally in them, but you need to aware of the dangers all the same. Some trees and bushes are bad such as yew, oleander and privet. Clematis and rhododendron are also on the black list. Watch out for vetch and buttercup, ragwort and rapeseed, daffodils and Morning Glory. And unfortunately some fungi are poisonous too. If in any doubt ask your local pet food store or vets - they will tend to know the dangerous vegetation in your area.

Stagnant Water - some kinds of algae can be fatal for chickens, so make sure that any water in their vicinity is kept clean especially in hot weather.

Ammonia - in large concentrations ammonia can cause respiratory problems in hens. This is why you need to keep their bedding clean and dry, and ensure that their coop is properly ventilated. If you can smell ammonia you need to take action immediately.

Carbon Monoxide - if you are using gas heaters in the chicken coop make sure that you check and service them regularly.

Other Substances - I have read in various places that you should avoid avocado, chocolate, citrus fruit and raw potatoes in chicken feed but I can find no justification in any authoritative sources for this. If any reader can supply chapter and verse please let me know.

Also, although not harmful to your hens, it is a good idea to avoid feeding them garlic or onions because these will flavor the eggs. Not a great taste for breakfast bacon and eggs!

For more information about keeping chickens or the best design for a chicken coop please check these links. There is a whole range of useful advice and DIY projects to keep you and your hens happy!

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The Best Chicken Breeds for Your Backyard

The Best Chicken Breeds for Your Backyard

There are a few tips that any new-time chicken owner should adhere to when deciding what chicken is best for them:

1.A big factor in choosing your breed of chicken is the consideration of where you live. A small garden in the middle of the city isn't exactly ideal for thriving chickens.

Neither is a small coop. Planning must be seen when building the coop, as this is the chicken's home and the place where they will spend the most time. Ideally, for any chicken, a large garden should be a feature in your home, to allow the chickens to run freely. The climate where you live also can pose a problem. If you are near the equator, it tends to be warmer, and whether you live about it or below it, it gets cooler.

2.If it's eggs you're after, the Pekins and the Silkies are your guys. Purebred chickens tend to be more fragile and prone to illness than those which have been crossbred, so if you're looking for a good breed, crossbreeding a Silkie and a Bantam has been reported as one of the best breeds of chicken you can get, as they are quiet laid back.

If you're just after inexpensive egg laying, then you should choose the leghorn. Not as pretty as other chickens, they are the cheaper method. However some breeders have reported them as being high-strung.

3.Some people aren't after chickens for their eggs, and if you're one of them, than the Cochin Bantam is your bird. With a sweet disposition, it is exceptionally well-mannered. If you're looking for beauty, than a good choice is the Americaunanas. These are incredibly beautiful because of their feathersFeature Articles, resembling a Falcon in both colour and hooked beaks.

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How do you mix the food mix for chicken

How do you mix the food mix for feeding chickens

How do you mix the food mix for chicken to try it for a few chickens or chickens 20-30 semi-locked, semi-released or fed by a natural formula can cost 35. approximately 40% fermented banana tree leaves are not already, do not buy it. Private residual stresses that can be purchased by restaurants for animals may vary slightly depending on the area.

The ingredients are as follows: Chicken feed

      -------- Soybean meal 20% = 20x .... / 100.

      -------- Fishmeal 7% = 7x .... / 100.

      -------- Fish, rice or corn was 32% = 32x .... / 100.

      -------- Delicate dance 8% = 8x ... / 100.

      Acacia -------- crushed or powdered cassava leaves 4% = 4x .... / 100.

      -------- Banana compost 25% = 25x .... / 100.

      -------- Calcium (crushed shells) 4% = 4x .... / 100.

      -------- Pre MiGs chicken eggs. 25% = .25x .... / 100.

            * Ellipsis is the amount of feed per day, measured in kg chicken, 30 per 120 grams equals 3.6 kg, it took 3.6 put into it.
 
                  The mixture is approximately 17-18% crude protein.

  How do I use the compost banana banana has not dropped its medium-sized to large swathes took a lot of trees to reduce competition in the. (From one to lose nearly one-half months), sliced ​​and chopped so fine it better. Mix it with a molasses and salt ratio molasses 25 of banana and salt 4 the banana like banana, chopped 100 Solo molasses four solo salt 1 logo on the volume and mix and mix well, then. compost into plastic lids submerged fermentation for about four to five days or more is available. From what I had done, I would be open to air out once a day, but no foul odors to smell like yeast or fermented fruit. (The textbook generally will cover the completion date will be applied to open) I try to see it this way, it will be confined to the lecture is that the solution is to add molasses added and fermentation continued. aromatic smell will come back as usual. The changes do not change the food suddenly my eggs will gradually decrease until it stopped over the eggs to eventually return to normal for months ever. How to mix the new food gradually, little by little, then add plenty more. For over a week to be the best. Chicken eggs gradually adapt without stopping it.
  If the eggs are not usually very thin shell, without either increase or decrease the volume down or broken rice is cooked or not, it remains a ripe banana or mango fourth of five children was possible because the chicken mixture. Party with a natural ability to adapt quickly.

what to feed chicken "Can chickens eat meat?"

If you are new to owning backyard chickens, it is possible you have considered which kitchen scraps are safe to give your chickens and which are best kept for the compost heap. Surprisingly, even if you give chickens foods that are not safe for them to eat, it's likely that they won't eat them anyway. Chickens seem to be surprisingly cluey in deciding what to eat and what foods are not good for their health.

Can chickens eat meat?

Chickens are omnivores, meaning that naturally they eat both meat and vegetable material. So giving chickens left over meat is quite alright. Even if you do not intentionally give your chickens meat, they would likely be regularly eating meat anyway in the form of insects, worms or perhaps a mouse. Protein from such meats as well as protein that is found in layer pellets is necessary in their diet.

What about orange or banana peels?

Even if you feed citrus peel or banana peel to your chickens, you'll find that they'll eat the remaining fruit from the peel but leave the actual rind or peel on the floor of the chicken coop. Like us, chickens love the flesh of most fruits, but don't tend to like the peels. These peels are better of placed in the compost rather than in the chicken coop.

Can chickens eat potatoes or potato skins?

Chickens will happily eat left over chips or mashed potato or even potato skins, although some chickens are found to be fussier than others. The part of the potato that should not be given to your chickens is the potato skin if it has gone green. The green indicates that the starch has begun to be broken down into a toxin. This green on a potato indicates the toxin 'solanine' (although the green itself is chlorophyll and is in itself harmless). This toxin is a glycoalkaloid poison found in species of the nightshade family, to which the potato as well as the tomato and others belong. While peeling the skin from the potato will remove most of the toxin, it's best not to feel your chickens any green potatoes or their skins.

Can I give my chickens eggshells?

Calcium is an important part of your chickens' diet as it helps in producing eggs with a tough shell. The chickens can easily break eggs with a thin shell, which can then result in the chickens eating their own eggs. A cost effective source of calcium for your chickens is their own empty eggshells. Make sure these are crushed nice and small and easy for your chickens to eat. An alternative is shell-grit which provides a slow-release source of calcium for your chickens.

What about weeds or lawn cuttings?

Definitely give your chickens green weeds from your garden as these are a source of vitamins and help to make your egg yolks a nice healthy colour. Remember if you've sprayed your weeds or lawns obviously don't give these to your chickens. It's also worth noting that grass clippings from the lawn mower have been known to cause problems in chickens known as an 'impacted crop'. As a chicken eats a range of foods their 'crop' fills up and at night the crop empties into the gut. If chickens grass clippings that are quite long, these many form into a ball in their crop, preventing them from then eating properly. This problem doesn't occur if chickens are left to peck at the uncut lawn themselves as they will eat small pieces of lawn at a time. So make sure your grass cuttings are nice and short if you are going to feed them to your chickens, otherwise add them to the compost heap instead.

Do I need to also feed by chickens layer pellets?

A balanced diet for your backyard flock is very important and can generally not be obtained from only kitchen scraps or garden weeds. For maximum health do not restrict the feed intake of layer pellets. Interestingly, chickens cannot overeat and need a regular supply of feed to satisfy their nutritional requirements. A self-feeder with a regular supply of feed is commonly used for backyard chickens. Most laying chickens eat approximately 120g layer pellets or grain mix per day or around 850g per week, but depends on the quantity of other scraps or grasses that they are also supplied with.

How much water do chickens drink?

Chickens drink from 1 to 2 cups water a day (from 250ml to 500ml), with more consumed in hot weather. It is important that you have a regular supply of fresh water in your chicken coop as too little water results in dehydration, excessive stressBusiness Management Articles, and a decline in egg production. Chickens who have gone without water for 24 hours are said to take 24 more hours to get back to normal.

Article Tags: Layer Pellets, Chicken Coop, Regular Supply

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