Chicken ration and nutritional composition of the egg

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Jenschicken, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. Jenschicken

    Jenschicken New Egg

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    Dec 18, 2014
    Hello,

    How does chicken ration affect the nutritional composition of the egg. I understand that by adding fish oils you can increase the omega fatty acid content of an egg but what of the standard composition? If rather than using a standardized layer ration you made your own with perhaps a barley or wheat base how would this affect the eggs nutritional composition?

    Should the homemade layer feed be sampled and tested for it's composition?

    Just curious how to best go about building a ration while still respecting the nutritional standards and bird health.

    Thanks in advance.

    Jen
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 8, 2013
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    Hello and [​IMG]

    If the hen is only just getting enough nutrients for her own continued survival and a little extra for production, (being the typical formula commercial layer feeds supply so as to be economical) some hens will put very little into the eggs to retain better health, while some other hens will put most of it into the eggs and therefore burn out prematurely and die young with heightened risks of disease. It depends on her genetics mainly. Also depends on your budget and your purpose for having chickens.

    Here's the standard nutritional content of raw eggs.
    Quote: The nutrient profile of whole raw Australian hen eggs and the contribution these nutrients make to Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDI) for key nutrients is shown in the following table.
    Nutrients

    RDI*

    Per 100g

    Per serve
    2x60g eggs
    (104g edible portion)








    %RDI
    Energy (kJ)

    8,700

    559

    581

    7%
    Protein (g)

    50

    12.2

    12.7

    25%
    Fat (g)

    70

    9.9

    10.3

    15%
    Sat fat (g)

    24

    3.3

    3.4

    14%
    Mono fat (g)

    n/a

    5.1

    5.3

    n/a
    Poly fat (g)

    n/a

    1.6

    1.7

    n/a
    Cholesterol (mg)

    n/a

    383

    398

    n/a
    Carbohydrate (g)

    310

    1.3

    1.4

    0%
    Sugars (g)

    90

    0.3

    0.3

    0%
    Sodium (mg)

    2300

    136

    141

    6%
    Potassium (mg)

    2800 (f), 3800 (m)^

    133

    138

    4-5%
    Magnesium (mg)

    320

    12

    13

    4%
    Calcium (mg)

    800

    47

    49

    6%
    Phosphorus (mg)

    1000

    200

    208

    21%
    Iron (mg)

    12

    1.6

    1.7

    14%
    Selenium (µg)

    70

    39

    41

    59%
    Zinc (mg)

    12

    0.5

    0.5

    4%
    Iodine (µg)

    150

    41

    43

    29%
    Thiamin (Vitamin B1) (mg)

    1.1

    0.12

    0.12

    11%
    Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) (mg)

    1.7

    0.5

    0.5

    29%
    Niacin (mg)

    10

    <0.01~

    <0.01~

    n/a
    Vitamin B6 (mg)

    1.6

    0.05

    0.05

    3%
    Vitamin B12 (µg)

    2

    0.8

    0.8

    40%
    Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) (mg)

    5

    2

    2.1

    42%
    Folate (µg)

    200

    93

    97

    49%
    Vitamin A (Retinol) (µg)

    750

    230

    239

    32%
    Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol) (µg)

    10

    0.8

    0.8

    8%
    Vitamin E (Alpha-tocopherol) (mg)

    10

    2.3

    2.4

    24%
    Omega - 3 fatty acids (total) (g)

    0.89 (f), 1.46 (m)^

    0.17

    0.18

    12-20%
    Short chain Omega-3s (ALA) (g)

    0.8 (f), 1.3 (m)^

    0.06

    0.06

    5-8%
    Long chain Omega-3s (DHA/DPA) (mg)

    90 (f), 160 (m)^

    110

    114

    71-127%
    Omega-6 fatty acids (g)

    8 (f), 13 (m)^

    1.37

    1.42

    11-18%
    Lutein (mg)

    n/a

    0.38

    0.40

    n/a
    Zeaxanthin (mg)

    n/a

    0.13

    0.14

    n/a
    Lutein + zeaxanthin (mg)

    n/a

    0.51

    0.53

    n/a
    Biotin (µg)

    30

    <8~

    <8~

    n/a
    Fluoride (mg)

    3 (f), 4 (m)^

    <1~

    <1~

    n/a
    Chromium (mg)

    0.2

    <0.01~

    <0.01~

    n/a
    Copper (mg)

    3

    <0.02~

    <0.02~

    n/a
    Manganese (mg)

    5

    0.023

    0.024

    0%
    Molybdenum (mg)

    0.25

    0.012

    0.012

    5%
    Vitamin K (µg)

    80

    <2~

    <2~

    n/a
    * Food Standards Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Reference Values for Recommended Dietary Intakes on Food Labels, Standard 1.1.1, Schedule Column 3 and Daily Intakes,
    Standard 1.2.8, Table to subclause 7(3) ^ National Health and Medical Research Council. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, 2006.
    Adequate Intakes (AI) ~ Limit of Quantification
    Quote: Quote: I wouldn't worry about testing homemade feed if it's a hassle to do so. Most people don't ever get it tested yet manage to strike upon a good feed for their animals and conditions, but it does take some time and learning. If you learn the basic nutrient profile they need and ensure you supply it, you (and they) should be fine.

    Here's the general nutrient needs...

    Quote: Nutrient Requirements of Growing Pullets a
    Age (wk)

    0–6

    6–12

    12–18

    18 to 1st Egg
    White-Egg Layers
    Body weight (g)
    b

    450

    980

    1,375

    1,475

    Protein

    18

    16

    15

    17
    Arginine

    1.0

    0.83

    0.67

    0.75
    Lysine

    0.85

    0.60

    0.45

    0.52
    Methionine

    0.30

    0.25

    0.20

    0.22
    Methionine + cystine

    0.62

    0.52

    0.42

    0.47
    Threonine

    0.68

    0.57

    0.37

    0.47
    Tryptophan

    0.17

    0.14

    0.11

    0.12
    Calcium

    0.90

    0.80

    0.80

    2.00
    Phosphorus, available

    0.40

    0.35

    0.30

    0.32
    Brown-Egg Layers
    Body weight (g)
    b

    500

    1,100

    1,500

    1,600

    Protein

    17

    15

    14

    16
    Arginine

    0.94

    0.78

    0.62

    0.72
    Lysine

    0.80

    0.56

    0.42

    0.49
    Methionine

    0.28

    0.23

    0.19

    0.21
    Methionine + cystine

    0.59

    0.49

    0.39

    0.44
    Threonine

    0.64

    0.53

    0.35

    0.44
    Tryptophan

    0.16

    0.13

    0.10

    0.11
    Calcium

    0.90

    0.80

    0.80

    1.8
    Phosphorus, available

    0.40

    0.35

    0.30

    0.35
    a Requirements are listed as percentages of diet. Nutrient levels should be adjusted to meet specific strain requirements, level of feed intake, and body weight and skeletal development.
    b Average body weight at end of each period.
    Quote:
    Quote:
    If you live in a hotter area, less heating grains like oats, corn etc can be a better idea. Colder area means more fats and carbs are needed generally and more heating feeds like oats, corn, etc will help. Many grains are no longer what they were due to selective breeding and/or genetic modification though. Many cultivars of corn are too high in sugars and too low in other nutrients now, far from the life-sustaining feed it used to be, and pearl barley used to be alkaline but is now acidic, for two examples.

    Your hen's breed type and family line determines what feed she should be on to some extent, but generally speaking the better the diet, the better their life quality and longevity, overall health and productivity too. That said, some commercial lines like Isabrowns can be more productive on poorer diets, but they of course do suffer for it and die before even hitting their true prime in most cases.

    Many people feed wheat or corn or barley alongside layer pellets/crumble, it will generally be helpful, especially the wheat since corn is no longer what it used to be in nutritional profile... But my chooks aren't too keen on wheat and it's been positively correlated with some gastrointestinal disorders. My chooks love millets of all types but especially white french, black sunflower seeds, barley, whole rolled oats, stuff like that. Most chooks, given the chance, will make pasture and animal protein, with some seeds and grains, their only feed.

    If in doubt, experiment. It's important that you have a good source of protein and multi vitamin/ mineral mix available, while you experiment with base feeds such as grains, seeds, pasture, forage etc, so they can adapt without developing malnutrition. A desperate chook might fool you into thinking your feed is great, since when they're running very short on nutrients they can just start eating like crazy and you could be forgiven for thinking it's the quality or type of the food prompting it.

    Many chooks don't have much instinct about what to eat. If they were raised in cages without free ranging, and on pellets or crumble, you can generally assume they lack the sense to balance their own diet. They may learn, but some may die in the process, and there's always those that won't learn. More instinctive chooks can be presented with an array of nutrient sources and be relied on to choose wisely and in timely fashion, but cage-bred and reared, and pellet/crumble/very artificially fed chooks, can be like junk food fiends and given a choice may imbalance their diet severely by eating too much of one thing, such as mealworms or greens.

    Generally, most chooks conventionally raised (on commercial feeds) are desperately craving two things: animal proteins, and natural oils. The pellets are often vegetarian, basically, and the oils provided are often hydrogenated or synthetic which will never support nor allow true health. Providing cold pressed extra virgin olive oil regularly, even just adding it to their feed or drizzling it on bread crusts, can really assist them on that score... Also, it's an old bit of folklore I've found to be true that hens with olive oil in their feed don't get eggbound. I've never had a single case despite having some very high risk individuals who should have become egg bound. I've raised many hundreds of chooks over years without any issues with eggbinding or prolapsing etc. The natural raw oils keeps every mucosal membrane of the body lubricated and supple, and all the cardiovascular system flexible and able to easily dilate or constrict as needed, so many issues are avoided with a little preventative assistance via diet.

    Most commercial chook foods are plant based but since most chickens simply do not do as well on vegan diets, in future I hope to grow insects for them, beetle larvae, maggots, mealworms or the likes, because I've been experimenting for years with finding the right diet and they don't maintain the same standard of health without animal protein sources. Doesn't matter how otherwise great the feed is.

    There's many different chook diets out there, many home-mixed, some recipes are published on this forum as well as on other sites... You can pick and choose, and experiment. What works for some hens, some conditions, some people, doesn't work for all. I'd recommend experimenting and reading up more on the subject because it's not that simple in practice. Super-simple in theory. One thing that's been as simple in practice as in theory for me, though, has been using garlic, preferably raw, as coccidiosis control. I've never had any chick mortality to disease, in large part thanks to that.

    I have multiple different genetic lines in my flock and some don't do so well on the diet the rest thrive on, generally these are outcrosses to bring in new blood. Pellet/crumble reared chooks and their first generation crosses are never as good as those I raised on more natural foods, I find, they're always feed inefficient and poor doers. Diet has multi-generational impacts. It's stuff to keep an eye on and learn about for sure.

    Just because someone publishes their super-awesome chook-diet recommendations doesn't mean you're going to get the same results on it. Feed quality varies widely by season, breed of plant, producer, soil it was grown in and weather and fertilizer conditions etc... And so much more, and that's not even counting the harvesting and storing conditions either on farm or at the retail outlet, the genetics and gut microbiota of your animals, etc, which all interacts to produce the final results... Many places sell moldy or rancid grains. If the corn you see is translucent, not opaque, it's rancid, for example. Cracked grains lose nutrient levels pretty quickly once cracked.

    Best wishes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014

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