Feed and Water

By Belinda Grundling and Jessica Lewis

Feed bin containing poultry feed

Feed:

  • It is important to check feed daily and containers used for feed should be cleaned completely at the beginning of each week.
  • The feed given to poultry needs to meet their growing needs and stage of life.
  • Red Hen is a good balanced feed that has a variety of grain. This or equivalent feed is recommended.
  • Poultry are usually fed pellets, crumbles and a variety of seeds or mash.
  • Poultry can be fed by using grain feeders or simply by attaching a feed and water container to their cages.
  • Feed can be stored in feed bins and under a roof to prevent spoilage.
  • The way protein is supplied in the chooks feed is by including:
  1. Fishmeal
  2. Sunflower Meal
  3. Soybean Meal
  4. Meat Meal.
  • During the early brooding and rearing period there is a high demand for protein for body growth and development.
  • When the chickens increase their age there is also an increased demand for energy, warmth and activity.
  • During the chickens laying period their requirements for protein are decreasing.

The main five feed requirements for poultry are:

  1. Protein
  2. Fats
  3. Vitamins
  4. Minerals
  5. Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates are supplied by grains such as:

  1. Wheat
  2. Maize
  3. Barley
  4. Sorghum
  5. Oats
  • Fats are not usually added to poultry diets except for meat birds.
  • Minerals are needed in poultry diets for egg production and growth.
  • Vitamins are needed if the poultry bird is housed away from sunlight.
  • The most important vitamins for poultry are vitamin A, B2 and D3.
  • Vitamins can be added to feed or mixed daily in their drinking water.
  • Layer hens need calcium to produce a hard eggshell.

Water:

  • Poultry drinking water needs to be clean and fresh, checked daily.
  • Dewormers, antibiotics and vitamins can be given through their drinking water if required.
  • Ducks can be given small ponds to swim in.