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What is Poultry feed?

Poultry feed is food for farm poultry, including chickens, ducks, geese, and other domestic birds. Before the twentieth century, poultry was mostly kept on general farms, and foraged for much of their feed, eating insects, grain spilled by cattle and horses, and plants around the farm. This was often supplemented by grain, household scraps, calcium supplements such as oyster shells, and garden waste. As farming became more specialized, many farms kept flocks too large to be fed in this way, and nutritionally complete poultry feed were developed. Modern feeds for poultry consists largely of grain, protein supplements such as soybean oil meal, mineral supplements, and vitamin supplements.

The quantity of feed, and the nutritional requirements of the feed, depending on the weight and age of the poultry, their rate of growth, their rate of egg production, the weather (cold or wet weather causes higher energy expenditure), and the amount of nutrition the poultry obtain from foraging. This results in a wide variety of feed formulations. The substitution of less expensive local ingredients introduces additional variations. Healthy poultry requires a sufficient amount of protein and carbohydrates, along with the necessary vitamins, dietary minerals, and an adequate supply of water. Lactose-fermentation of feed can aid in supplying vitamins and minerals to poultry.

Egg-laying hens require 4 grams per day of calcium of which 2 grams are used in the egg. Oyster shells are often used as a source of dietary calcium. Certain diets also require the use of grit, tiny rocks such as pieces of granite, in the feed. Grit aids in digestion by grinding food as it passes through the gizzard. Grit is not needed if the commercial feed is used. Calcium idate is used as a supplement to iodine. The feed must remain clean and dry; contaminated feed can infect poultry.

Damp feed encourages fungal growth. Mycotoxin poisoning, as an example, is "one of the most common and certainly most under-reported causes of toxicoses in poultry". Diseases can be avoided with proper maintenance of the feed and feeder. A feeder is a device that supplies the feed to the poultry.[8] For privately raised chickens or chickens as pets, the feed can be delivered through jar, trough, or tube feeders. The use of poultry feed can also be supplemented with food found through foraging.[9] In industrial agriculture, machinery is used to automate the feeding process, reducing the cost and increasing the scale of farming. For commercial poultry farming, feed serves as the largest cost of the operation.

Feed Type

To put it simply mash may be a loose and unprocessed version of chicken feed. Just like the feel of potting soil, mash is that the finest kind of chicken feed normally accessible. Mash is generally used for baby chickens, because it is easy to digest, but it’s not uncommon for totally mature chooks to be fed mash.

In simple terms crumble may be a coarse kind of mash however not as compact of pellets. Such as the feel of oatmeal, crumble may be a semi-loose kind of chicken feed that’s slightly easier to manage than mash. Some chicken lovers use crumble to bridge the gap between mash and pellets for his or her flock.

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