What Do Chickens Eat for a Regular Day?
Trying new food is always a pleasure for most of us incorporating new cuisines into our diet, and varying sources of nourishment. For birds and especially poultry, it’s a whole different story, and choices are preferred to be limited. Modern poultry farming tends to have better methods which give quick results and provide cost-efficient solutions for developed and well-shaped poultry. In this article, we will learn about what chickens eat every day.
Factory farming and its impacts on chickens:
Chickens are natural scavengers which commonly scratch the ground to find bugs, worms, insects, or any seeds to eat. They enjoy exploring their habitat with a huge curiosity to make their unique nests.
Similar to us, they need to vary their food resources to meet their growth and reproduction needs. Unfortunately, in factory farming varying food is off the list. Most farmers only apply grain-based diets without giving the opportunity to roam around and access different food like insects and different plants.
To provide all necessary nutrients for chicken growth, many supplements need to be added to the grain-based diets. Otherwise, chickens are prone to many health troubles caused by malnutrition.
What is the best food for birds?
Many farmers wonder:” What can I feed birds?”.
The commercial diet for chickens usually concentrates on serving high content of protein to achieve rapid growth. This diet is usually composed of 42.8% corn and 26.4% soybeans for protein, and about 14% bakery meal.
Egg-laying hens must get more nutrients in their diet, 53% more corn and 30% more soybeans and bakery meals.
“Do not overwhelm your bird by handful of food scraps in the cage. Begin gradually with small quantities.”
Related Topic: Healthy Treats For Your Pet Birds
The best chicken feeds must contain:
It’s important for every farmer to know what poultry chicken feed ingredients are:
- Long list of forage and plants that chickens love as treats.
- Dark leafy legumes, turnip greens, lettuce and chard are great options.
- Moderate amounts of berries and watermelon are considered a healthy snack for chickens.
“Do not try to starve your bird into eating a new food. They may die in as little as 48 hours”
It’s always preferred for chicken farmers to install fences or tunnels in the yard to keep chickens safe from any predators, to keep them away from ruining their favorite gardens, and at the same time, it gives chickens the opportunity to roam and scratch ground looking for their favorite plants and snacks. Remember that scratch grains should be viewed as a treat and not be mixed with the complete feed.
Don’t forget about the grit:
Grit is tiny stones every bird stores to help them break down grains and other food. If your chickens have access to gravel, small stones or even sand you don’t need to add grit.
What shouldn’t chickens eat?
- If we are talking about laying hens, avoid treats that impact egg flavor like garlic and onions.
- Rotten and salty food scraps can be toxic and result in very wet feces that could lead to dehydration.
- Skins and pits of avocado contain persin which is very toxic to chickens.
- Dried or undercooked beans contain hemagglutinin which can prevent the digestion of everything chickens eat.
Should I provide additional light to stimulate laying?
Some kinds of chickens are good layers even in the winter, no matter how short the day is. In general, if you want to have eggs all winter long, supplementary light is needed. However, supplementing lights stress out chickens and affect negatively on their laying life.
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