Wondering if your chickens need chicken feed supplements to help them grow healthy and strong? Don’t fret. In this blog, we will show you how to make healthy chicken feed, how to add protein to chicken feed, and the right way to go about chicken feed and supplements.
Who arrived first - The chicken or the egg? Well, this conversation has been around for years, and everyone has their own theory to support one over the other. Keeping jokes aside, many have ditched the typical tradition of becoming a cat or a dog parent and have chosen to keep chickens as their pet. Irrespective of the choice of pet, you always want the best for them.
As a pet parent, you must look after several factors like their hygiene, habits, playtime, and most importantly, their diet. As for chickens, how do you know how to add chicken feed supplements, and what amount of chicken feed and supplements should you give your pet chicken?
Thanks to Fly Grubs, we have these problems sorted for you.
Chickens Do Need Feed Supplement
Like any other pet animal or pet bird, chickens too need chicken feed supplements. This is not to say that their regular food does not include all the required nutrition. But like humans, animals fall sick and go through their life cycles too. You need to give chicken feed supplements only in these specific situations.
Let’s see how, when, and why you must give your chicken feed supplements:
On a Regular Basis?
The majority of us feed commercial layer feed to our hens. These are designed to include a specific amount of protein, fat, fiber, and other nutrients. Vitamins like B-12, folic acid, vitamin E, and others have been added as well.
They'll obtain all the required vitamins and minerals if you provide the right feed for their kind and lifecycle phase (chick starter, layer feed, gamebird feed). So, do you need to give them chicken feed and supplements regularly? No, not at all.
When Sick or with a Disease?
Like any other animal or bird, chickens are not completely immune to viruses or illnesses. In the wild, chickens must hide their ailments to avoid falling prey to animals who might hunt and kill them. As a result, domestic chickens are hardy pets; by the time they exhibit symptoms, it might be late. Hence, you'll need to keep a careful eye on them and respond if their condition worsens.
Some of the physical symptoms of an ill chicken are:
- Inhibited activity (including not eating or drinking)
- Sitting hunched up (or fluffing up their feathers)
- Sagging tail
- Changes in their fecal matter
- Tiredness or lethargy
- Sneezing and gasping (as if experiencing difficulties breathing normally)
- Gurgling sound upon breathing
As a result of their illness, your chickens will need extra supplements depending on their health status.
Like other beings, chickens are too susceptible to nutritional deficiency. As mentioned before, chickens need a range of vitamins and nutrients like Vitamins like B-12, folic acid, vitamin E, proteins, calcium, etc.
This nutritional deficiency can affect their development, resulting in feather abnormalities, depigmentation of feathers, irritation, inflammation, keratinization, bone deformation, etc. For example, protein deficiency can affect muscle size.
If you see that your chickens are laying eggs that have a very thin shell, they might be calcium deficient. In such a case, it is necessary to feed your chickens calcium supplements in the form of oyster shells.
Molting might take 8 to 12 weeks and result in a reduction in egg output. Molt is the term for the annual break from egg-laying. It is a seasonal phenomenon that occurs in the fall as the number of hours of sunshine decreases. Fall signals the beginning of winter preparations, which necessitates high-quality feathers.
Molting does not necessitate extra feed supplements. However, depending on your chicken’s health, you can increase the protein you are feeding them. The chicken starter feed has the highest amount of protein. Other rich sources are soybean and cottonseed meals, oilseed meals with peanut, sunflower, and sesame, commonly used in chicken feed.
Making Your Own Feed?
If you are someone who doesn’t feed their chickens commercial feed but gives them a hand-mixed grain feed at home, adding chicken feed supplements is a wise choice. Adding these feed supplements will cover the nutritional gap and help your chickens grow and develop in a healthy manner.
Understanding Feed Supplements
Chicken feed supplements often include the following supplements:
- Electrolytes - Electrolytes aid in the maintenance of fluid equilibrium in bodily tissues, preventing dehydration.
- Amino acids - Supplements restricting amino acids like lysine to help lower dietary protein levels. It's also a good way to relieve heat stress.
- Vitamins — Vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, and vitamin B-complex are examples of vitamins that improve general performance and immune function.
- Minerals - When poultry is subjected to heat stress, they excrete an abnormally high amount of minerals, necessitating supplementation to restore normal bodily functioning levels.
- Probiotics and fermentation products - Helps to prevent bacterial infections by maintaining the gut's microbial balance and fostering the growth of diverse microflora.
It is crucial to first understand your chickens and then introduce these supplements. Though a healthy blend of chicken food supplements helps ensure that your flock thrives, going overboard can do more harm than good.
More Questions and Concerns?
Fly Grubs is your one-stop-shop for all your chicken feed supplements. We work collaboratively with chicken farms and farmers to guarantee that their grubs are nutritious, FDA-approved in the country, and cost-effective. We are environmentally conscious, and this is the reason why our products come in a resealable bag made from recycled plastic.
We believe in serving only the premium and are ever-ready to assist you and address your queries. Drop us an email or contact us anytime!