A Guide to Different Types of Chicken Feed
Ensuring you choose the right chicken feed is the single most important consideration for their health and happiness, as well as for producing quality meat and eggs. Farmers need to have detailed understanding of the different types of chicken feed along with feed supplements to make sure their chickens get the right balance of proteins, fats and other nutrients essential for their growth and health. In this post, we offer a brief guide to explaining a variety of chicken feed and how they are relevant for each stage of growth of a chicken’s life.
3 Key Types of Chicken Feed
All chicken feed can be categorized into three main kinds: pellets, crumbles and mash. Each has its own unique benefits; hence it is important to make the use of all three to ensure your chickens are raised healthily and happily.
Pellets are the most widely available form of chicken feed that you can find. As the name suggests, these are cylindrical, compact chicken feed that you are easily consumable and digestible by chickens. In some cases, pellets can be the only type of chicken feed available and its greatest benefit is that it does not go to waste easily. More importantly, pellets are easy to store and provide to chickens.
These are best suited for chicks, simply because they are unprocessed and are far easier to consume that pellets and crumbles. However, you can also feed mash to fully grown chickens. The best way of serving mash is to mix it with water to resemble like porridge, provided that it is served and consumed as quickly as possible as this form tends to expire a lot quicker.
Crumbles can be rare to find, but if you do manage to do so, it can be a lot convenient to store and serve than mash, owing to its semi-processed form. Due to its oatmeal-like appearance, crumbles lie somewhere between mash and pellets in terms of being easy to eat and gather. However, in terms of nutrition, it is no different to other types of chicken feed.
Other Chicken Feed
By its name, chick starters are ideally suited to be served for the first 6 weeks of a chick’s life. With protein content of almost a quarter of its total nutritional value, these are an excellent source of providing good nutrition to chickens. If you are raising organic chicken meat and eggs, you should opt for unmedicated feed.
Finisher, or pullet developer, are given to chicks once they reach 14 weeks of age. These have less protein content in comparison with starter chicks and ideal for hens for laying eggs.
Although this doesn’t exactly come under chicken feed, chicken scratch are more like chicken treats consisting of cracked corn and other healthy grains. These make great sources of energy, but not so much in terms of their body fat. Because of this, be sure to give them in small quantities and only when you need to give them a push of energy.