Food is very paramount and important to our everyday lives. Without food, we cannot survive and no man can live daily without satisfying the three basic needs of life which are: food, clothing and shelter. Not just humans that needs this basic needs but also our animals. In other to run a successful poultry business and yield good profit in your business, feeding is very important. A healthy bird is shown based on its feeding. The correct type of feeding for your poultry birds depends on two things: their age and whether it’s a lying or for the purpose of meat.
FEEDS FOR LAYING BIRDS
For starters, layers can be given in their chick stage, a broiler starter, this is given for the first 8 (eight) weeks of their birth. We can also call this a chick mash.
After their chick mash/starter, young pullets are destined for a laying flock and here they are put on a lower –protein diet to slow growth. This allows adult body weight and strong bones before lying begin.
NOTE: DEVELOPMENT HAPPENS QUICKLY IF THE PROTEIN IS TOO HIGH AND THE BIRDS TO LIE TOO EARLY.
This is introduced when 5-10% of birds start lying and it is given until the birds are sold. At around 22(twenty-two) weeks of age, laying hens require a 16-18 percent protein level and extra calcium and minerals for strong eggshells.
NOTE: NEVER FEED LAYER FEED TO A STARTER OR GROWER. IF NOT, THIS CAN DAMAGE THEIR KIDNEYS DUE TO THE HIGH AMOUNT OF PHOSPHORUS AND CALCIUM.
FEED FOR BROILERS
For broiler starter, it is high in protein and energy. This is given from a day old until 4-6 weeks old.
I) Broiler finisher: This has a lower protein and energy content than starter. It is given from about 4-6 weeks until target weight is attained
3). FEED FOR CROCKERELS
Starters Chick: for a cockerel starter (chick starter). It starts for the first six weeks of your poultry bird’s lives. Here, the percentage rate is usually 22(TEWNTY-TWO) – 24(TWENTY-FOUR) PERCENT PROTEIN FOR MEAT BIRDS (CALLED BROILER STARTER) AND 20 PERCENT FOR LAYING BREEDS.
II). Growers mash: The young chickens who have developed from the starter chicks are put on a lower protein diet to slow growth which allows strong adult body weight and bones before laying begins. Here also, if the protein in the feeds is extremely high, development happens quickly and the birds lay too early.
MAIN FEEDS FOR POULTRY BIRDS.
We have locally made main feeds for your poultry birds and they are:
- Field peas
- Alfalfa meal
- Fish meal (it boosts protein and omega 3)
- Cultured yeasts (helps in digestive enzymes, minerals and vitamin b)
- Oyster shell
- Aragonite or feeding limestone
EQUIPMENTS NEEDED FOR POULTRY FEEDING
You will need a flour mill which will enable you to freshly grind the grains you purchase for your hens. Also, have a good storage for the bags of grains you buy. then, Endeavour to at least get a storage bin with partitions for each of your grains and a lid on the top. Cleaning the bins once or twice a year should be carried out completely to prevent pest infections.
Mix the major ingredients of the poultry feeds, then add like 9six) of the other items to add. Grind them and place them on the storage bin to keep till when they are needed and also when you need to feed your poultry birds.