Different Varieties of Poultry Feeds
One of the prerequisites of running a business is knowing how the process works inside and out. For the farm and feed mill industries, this involves understanding the different types of poultry feeds—what it’s made for and the benefits each one carries. Making sense of all the different varieties may come as an overwhelming task at first, but you’ll find this comprehensive glossary useful in learning about your business better.
3 Main Forms of Poultry Feed
Poultry feeds are classified into three major categories: pellets, mash, and crumbles. Each of it has its own significant uses and benefits, making it essential to try all kinds to make sure that you’re raising a flock of healthy chicken efficiently.
This type is often always the first choice of poultry farmers. As the name suggests, pellets are cylindrical-shaped compact feeds that are able to hold itself nicely, even during incidents when the chicken knock over their feeders. This means that this type doesn’t easily go to waste—it’s simple to store, serve, and manage.
This type is the unprocessed version of chicken feed, making it the finest variety that is commonly available in the market. To give you an idea, mash feeds are comparable to potting soil. Because of its texture, this kind of chicken feed is the most recommended one for chicks, as it’s easy to consume and digest. However, it’s not unusual to use this feed for grown chicken either. We suggest serving mash with hot water, creating a consistency like that of porridge. Just take note that doing this speeds up the feed’s expiration. Also, keep in mind that due to its fine texture, mash feeds are prone to incidental wastage.
This type is the rarest among all varieties. When it comes to texture, it lies in the middle of the first two mentioned. Resembling oatmeal, its semi-processed form makes it easier to consume than pellets and easier to manage than mash feeds.
Types of Poultry Feeds
Chicken need a varying amount of nutrients based on their maturity. Different types of feeds are formulated to ensure that these requirements are met.
As the name suggests, chick starters are suitable feeds for the first 6 weeks of a chick’s life. This grain feed has the highest amount of protein among others, intended to meet the dietary needs of baby chooks. However, bear in mind not to feed chick starters beyond 6 weeks to avoid liver damage caused by excessive consumption of protein.
Grower feeds contain less amount of protein than chick starters—just enough to meet the needs of a 6 to 14-week-old chicken. The lower-protein diet allows for slow growth, so your pullets have enough time to develop strong bones and good body weight necessary for healthy laying.
Pullet developers have even lower protein content, suitable to feed for chicks beginning 14 weeks until they are ready to lay eggs.
Around 22 weeks, when hens begin to lay their first eggs, the body requires a certain amount of protein as well as more calcium and minerals. This is what layer feeds are formulated for. However, be careful not to feed this kind to younger chicks, as excessive calcium causes liver damage.