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Chicken Nutrition Center

Eat This, Not That

Gastronomes chickens are not, but our feathered friends do appreciate scratching and pecking for their daily rations, whether crumble, pellets, greens or grubs. If you’re like most poultry keepers, you probably head down to your local farm-supply store, pick up a bag of feed and offer it to your ladies without thinking twice about what’s in the mix. Chickens, however, require a careful balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals to fuel their metabolisms, build dense meat and strong muscles, and produce all those tasty eggs.

Before you fill your ladies’ trough with their delicious, nutritious morsels, read on to learn more about how to choose which diet is right for them.

Commercial or Homemade

Home-cooked diets are all the rage among dog and cat owners, but is it a good idea for chicken keepers? Homemade chicken feed can be made with the knowhow, tools and materials, but it may not be worth the effort.

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Poultry Feed Facts

There are so many feed terms out there and so many choices. What are backyard chicken-keepers to do? For starters, they should read this article.

Organic Versus Conventional

At most farm stores, you can choose between organic chicken feed and conventional chicken feed. What’s the difference? And does it matter?

For starters, there are very strict rules for manufacturing organic chicken feeds. Simply put, organic feeds must be comprised of organically raised ingredients with no pesticides or chemicals and not grown from genetically modified seed. A small percentage of the diet is allowed to be nonorganic micro-ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, salt and the amino acid methionine.

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Know Your Feed

Chicken feed is chicken feed, right? Not quite. Commercial ration comes in four basic forms:

  • Whole grains: In this type of food, unprocessed grains are included in the feed. The chickens are able to select the tastier whole grains out of the mixture, resulting in an unbalanced diet. Confined hens that eat whole grains may need some grit to provide their gizzards with the tiny rocks to help it to grind up the whole grains.

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