Chicken Feed Buying Guide: Everything You Need To Know
Chicken feed is one of the most important components of a successful chicken keeping enterprise. Getting the right type and amount of food for your chickens can be a challenge, but with some research and careful consideration, you can make sure your chickens get the nutrition they need. In this guide, we cover everything from types of feed to how much to feed your chickens, so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your flock.
What Types of Chicken Feed Are Available?
There are four main types of chicken feed available: starter, grower, finisher and layers feed. Starter feed is designed for chicks from 0-6 weeks old and contains a higher protein content than other types of feed. Grower feed is for birds from 6-18 weeks old and finisher feed is suited to chickens aged 18-24 weeks, although grower and finisher feeds can sometimes be combined if you prefer. Layers feed is for hens that are laying eggs and contains nutrients such as calcium for eggshell formation.
What Are the Different Types of Chicken Feeds?
The two main types of chicken feed are commercial and non-commercial. Commercial feed is available at most pet stores and comes in a variety of formulas designed to meet the specific needs of your chickens, such as starter or layers feed. Non-commercial feed is usually made up of kitchen scraps, plant material and insects found in the garden. It is important to ensure that whatever you feed your chickens is nutritionally balanced so they get all the nutrients they need.
What Are the Benefits of Commercial Feed?
Commercial feed has a number of benefits over non-commercial feeds, including convenience and consistent nutrition for your chickens. Most commercial feeds are nutritionally balanced and contain the right levels of protein, vitamins and minerals for your chickens’ needs. Commercial feed is also easily available at most pet stores or online, so you don’t have to spend time searching for ingredients or preparing it yourself.
How Much Feed Should I Give My Chickens?
The amount of feed you should give your chickens depends on the type and age of bird, so it is important to read the instructions on the back of the bag. On average, a full-grown chicken will need around 1/4 pound (113g) of feed per day. You can also offer your chickens treats such as fruit or vegetables as a supplement to their feed.
What Are the Benefits of Non-Commercial Feed?
Non-commercial feed can offer some benefits over commercial feeds, such as lower costs and less waste. Non-commercial feed can also give your chickens variety in their diet, allowing you to mix up ingredients so they get different nutrients from different sources. Non-commercial feed is also better for the environment, as it usually uses ingredients that are readily available and do not require additional processing or transportation.
What Should I Look For When Choosing a Feed?
When choosing a feed, you should look for one that is nutritionally balanced and contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals for your chickens’ needs. You should also look for a feed that is free from pesticides and other contaminants, as these can be harmful to your birds. Finally, you should consider the cost of the feed, as some brands may be more expensive than others but provide better nutrition for your chickens.
What Are Some Tips For Storing Feed?
Feed should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. To keep feed fresh and safe to eat, it should also be stored in an airtight container and replaced regularly. If you are storing feed for long periods of time, you may want to consider freezing it or keeping it in the refrigerator as this will stop it from going stale.
Choosing the right type of chicken feed is an important part of keeping your chickens healthy and happy. There are a number of different types of feed available, both commercial and non-commercial, so it is important to understand the differences between them and choose one that is suitable for your birds’ needs. Ultimately, providing your chickens with a nutritionally balanced diet will ensure they get all the essential vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy.