Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chris09, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    I found this some time ago and thought I post it here.
    I take no part in wrighting this!


    WATER: Birds can live longer without food than without water. Lack of a consistant supply of fresh water hinders the growth of young poultry; it leads to low egg production and early moulting in the laying flock.

    PROTEIN: This is usually the most expensive feed material, but the one most likely to bring profitable results if properly used. Protein from animal sources - milk, liver, fish scraps, meat or meat meal - is more effective in promoting growth and egg production, than protein from most vegetable sources. Grains alone are entirely inadequate in amount and kind of protein. Excess protein has a forcing effect which may be detrimental to poultry of any age.

    CARBOHYDRATES: These are the starchy materials in grains and grain products. Only a starved flock will lack for carbohydrates. They supply fuel and energy, the excess going to form fat in the body or egg.

    FATS: Some fat is present in practically all feed materials. An excess of fat from fish oil or meat and fish products may cause digestive upset in birds, and lead to such disorders as fatty degeneration and "crazy chick disease".

    MINERALS: Calcium carbonate (from limestone or gravel, clam or oyster shells, bone, etc) in the presence of Vitamin D, forms most of the egg shell. Calcium and phosphorous make up the major part of bone; but excess phosphorous (from bone materials) may immobilize the manganese in the diet, leading to crooked bones and slipped tendons in chicks and poults. Salt supplies some essential minerals. Green feed contains small amounts of certain highly important minerals.

    VITAMINS: The naturally speedy growth of young poultry soon reveals any vitamin deficiencies in their rations; hatching of eggs is a critical test of the vitamin content of a breeder diet. Most commonly lacking in Manitoba diets are:

    Vitamin A (from green feed, yellow corn and fish oils). Vitamin A protects against colds and infections.

    Vitamin D (in marine fish oils and synthetic products, or formed in body when exposed to ultra-violet rays of sun). Vitamin D aids in laying down of mineral in shell or bone, and in preventing leg weakness and rickets.

    Riboflavin (in milk, liver, yeast, green feed, synthetic riboflavin, etc.). Riboflavin promotes the growth of chicks and poults, both in the egg and after hatching; hence it is one of the most important factors in hatchability. Riboflavin prevents nutritional or curled-toe paralysis in young chicks.


    Corn is a very desirable grain fed whole, cracked or ground. Ripe corn on the cob may be fed to hens and turkeys. Shelled corn may be used with other grains as scratch feed. Corn chop could be included in any of the dry mash rations listed in this circular. The corn, if not thoroughly dried, should be mixed with the other chop in the mash immediately after grinding.

    Wheat usually is one of the best grains for poultry feeding, although a proportion of course grains in some form should always be included in the ration, along with wheat. In seasons of rust or frost, when wheat is shrunken, more should be ground and fed in mashes and less in the scratch feed. Either hard spring or Durum wheat may be used.

    Barley will work well as part of the scratch feed and in mashes in crushed, rolled, or finely ground form. Ordinarily it is not quite as palatable as wheat or oats; still in seasons when these two grains are of poor quality and the barley is fair or good, more can fed in the different forms, or even as boiled or soaked barley, with very good results.

    Oats vary considerably in feeding value, due to difference in hull. They can be fed whole as part of a scratch feed, or in mashes in the crushed, rolled, or finely ground form. If light, sift out the hulls; poor quality oats frequently have so much hull as to be of little use for poultry feed.

    Millet (proso or hog millet), where grown, may be used to good advantage in growing, laying, and fattening rations. Millet may compromise up to one-third of the whole grain fed, and up to one-third of the chop mixture in dry mashes.

    Rye is not as palatable as wheat, oats or barley, but can be fed in limited quantities as a scratch feed or in mashes along with two or more of the other grains. In large quantities it is likely to cause digestive disorders.

    Flax is high in protein and fat. A small amount may be fed in the whole or ground form in mashes during the moulting season and fall and winter months. Linseed oil cake meal may also be used.

    By-products of grain (such as wheat middlings, shorts, bran, barley meal, oat flour, oat middlings, and oat feed) have a place in poultry feeding, especially where feed must be bought. They may be higher in price than the whole grain, and if used should be fed for a specific purpose, such bran, shorts or middlings in growing and laying rations, and oat flour, oat middlings, oat feed, or barley meal in fattening rations.

    Skimmilk and Buttermilk are Excellent for all Classes of Poultry but especially valuable for young chicks, laying hens and fattening birds. Milk supplies the vitamin riboflavin which is indispensible to high hatching quality in eggs. As a desirable protein supplement, milk undoubtedly heads the list.

    "Concentrates" and "Balancers" are especially prepared supplements put up by feed companies. They should be added to home-grown chopped grains in proportions recommended by the manufacturers.

    Fish Oils (cod liver oil, pilchard oil, etc.) are used in chick rations, in winter laying rations and in rations for producing eggs for hatching, as a source of Vitamins A and D when the supply of green pasture and direct sunshine is limited or lacking. Standard fish oils for poultry should contain 1,250 units or more of Vitamin A, and 200 A.O.A.C. units or more of Vitamin D, per gram. If fed in dry mash the oil should be mixed first with a small quantity of ground wheat.

  2. archerobx

    archerobx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2009
  3. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    Thank you. Very useful!
  4. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    i noticed that it mentioned Manitoba. was this from an article from Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives? they have tons of great information on their website. check my BYC page for some links to more of their articles.
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Quote:You know I dont know... Its been some time since I found it so it could have been..

  6. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Quote:You bet, that's where it came from. Great information source for the BYC'er.

    The Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives offers words of caution, however:

    "This factsheet is produced as a historical document describing how poultry flocks were managed in the 1940's. Not all practices described would be recommended today (January 2006)."

    And, they have another page for "Comments - Poultry Rations and Feeding Methods" on this 1945 document.

    To me, the message is, don't discount what was written in 1945; just take a little time to see how it fits in with modern thinking on poultry nutrition.

    Great resource . . .


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