Important factors when choosing feed for chickens should be its usefulness and nutritional value, but at the same time it should be easily digested.
It is necessary to feed enough chickens, in the feeder for chickens there must always be food. Do not give coarse, hard-to-digest food to chickens. For each age there is a special feed. The diet should be properly formulated.
It should include:
- Carbohydrates. They are mostly in cereal feeds. The bird consumes carbohydrates when moving, and the rest are deposited in the form of fat.
- Protein. The most important component of chick growth. The chicken meat itself is 20% protein. To provide the birds with this trace element, in addition to grain, it is necessary to give boiled meat residues, lentils, and cake.
- Fat Chicken feed has plenty of fat. Separately, fats should not be given, it can lead to problems with digestion.
- Vitamins. Do not forget about vitamins. Without them, normal growth and development of chickens are impossible. An insufficient amount of vitamins can lead to avitaminosis. Vitamin deficiency disrupts the metabolism, and the bird becomes vulnerable to many diseases.
- Vitamin A is available in large quantities in carrots, herbs, fish, dairy products. If the chicks are in an enclosed area, it is necessary to include fresh grass (dandelion, quinoa) in the ration of approximately 30 grams per chicken.
- Vitamin B. Located in yeast, germinated grain.
- Vitamin D. Vitamin derived from sunlight. It is very important for the prevention of rickets, and for the formation of eggshell. Birds can be fed fish oil (3 to 10 grams per day) and yeast irradiated in the sun.
- Vitamin E. Very important in the process of metabolism. Contained in legumes and wheat germ.
Healthy Diet and Chicken Feed Intake Rates
The diet is called the daily set of feed (calculated on 1 head in grams).
The daily diet should include: grains, protein foods + vitamins and minerals.
Chicks must always have access to water, and care must be taken to ensure that they do not get wet, otherwise chicks may get sick. Drinking bowl and trough should be located in a warm bright place.
Weekly chicks should be given boiled water of 30 degrees, then gradually reduce the temperature, by three weeks of age the temperature of the drink should be 18 degrees.
Vitamins and amino acids can be added to chickens in water, and antibiotics can be added in case of diseases.
The feed intake rates are clearly shown in Table 1.
As known, the first chicken food is provided in an egg. Before hatching, it eats the remnants of the yolk, so immediately to feed newborn babies has no special need. Let them dry, rest for a while.
The first feeding should occur no later than 12-16 hours after hatching. Following statistics, the survival and viability of chicks fed in the first 16 hours is significantly higher than the chickens who were not fed the first days at all.
The best option for feeding chicks in the first week of life is every 2 hours, including night time. By the end of the week should be reduced feeding to 7-8 times a day. Make sure that the feeder is always full, rinse it with boiled water.
As for the first feed, there are a lot of disagreements and disputes now. The fact is that for many years chopped boiled yolk was considered the optimal feed after hatching. But recent discoveries have recognized him too fat for the tender stomachs of chicks. In view of this, it is now considered the best first feed is corn grits.
After the babies, you can give the yolk hard-boiled mixed with semolina (so as not to stick together), starter feed, boiled and finely chopped green nettle. On the third - the fourth day you can diversify the diet, making it wheat and barley cereals, boiled potatoes and carrots, chopped green onions.
Chickens need to drink kefir or give finely chopped cottage cheese, because calcium is necessary for chicks. Some poultry breeders mix Linex or Bifidumbacterin in the water to maintain intestinal microflora.
In the first week, be sure to check the chicks at chickens before bedtime. Those who have empty feed separately.
Weekly chicks are fed with mash of corn, barley, wheat and oatmeal (or feed for chickens) + grass, vegetables (potatoes and carrots) and dairy products. The number of feedings per day - at least 7 times. At the age of one week, the chicks should be watered with a weak solution of potassium permanganate 3 times a week to prevent infections.
Already grown up chicks can be added to the diet soaked bread (mixed in cereals), boiled fish. Do not forget to monitor the freshness of food in the feeders, always fill the chicks with as much feed as they eat at a time so that they do not trample it. Compound feeds can already be slowly replaced with bran. The number of feedings of two-week-old chickens 6-7 times a day.
Monthly chicks can already be let out on the street, so that fresh greens are considered an integral part of their diet. At this age, youngsters can gradually give a coarse grain, and by one and a half months - whole.
We also continue to feed the birds with vegetables and vegetable waste, dairy products and cereals. You can give lean meat waste (boiled). Chickens should have a separate feeder with gravel, sand, or crushed egg shells.
You can not give the chicks earthworms, even though they love them very much. From such food, chickens can become infected with worms and even die.
From three months chicks are already being transferred to the food of adult chickens, but feed the young stock should be denser and more often.
The main food continues to be grain, but the birds will not refuse from the leftovers from the table. These can be: bread crusts, meat, fish, etc.
If greenery does not grow in the corral of young animals, you need to give them fresh grass every day. Most often, birds make suspended feeding troughs so that greens are not trapped.
What is ovoscopic eggs and how is it done? We told about it in detail here.
The recipe for chicken mash can be found in our article.
The first five days of the life of future laying hens are fed the same way as all chickens. From the fifth day you can feed dry food. Before feeding oatmeal or barley flour, it is necessary to sift out grain films, as chickens do not digest them well. Be sure to attend feed containing proteins and vitamins (dairy products, herbs, yeast, carrots, pine and herbal flour).
Try to teach the bird to eat greens right away. This will help in the future to do without the additional costs of vitamins and supplements. After all, fresh greens - this is a real pantry of vitamins.
Calcium is of particular importance for egg breeds, it is necessary for the proper formation of the shell. Feed the birds with the same crushed eggshell, chalk, bone meal.
If the chickens are in an enclosed area, they should be given in fish oil from the age of 5 days to 0.1-0.2 g per chicken. It is advisable to mix fish oil with crushed grain, so it will feed faster.
At one month of age, young chickens should weigh 220-270, males - 290g, at three months - 970-1000 and 1150, at five months of age - 1600-1700 and 1900g. Thus, weight should be controlled to pick the strongest individuals.
The approximate diet for egg breed chickens, g per head per day is presented in Table 2.
Broiler chickens have a high growth rate, a rather large size and unpretentious feeding. That is why most poultry farmers prefer broilers. In two months, birds reach 1.4–1.6 kg of weight.
They are usually not grown for more than three months, because afterwards they grow worse, and feeding broilers is no longer so profitable.
Broiler chickens are usually given a little space. They do not have to move much, their main task is to gain weight.
After hatching, the ration of broilers is almost the same as the diet of laying chickens, except that broiler chickens need to be given more protein.
Compound feed should be introduced from the second day to 20 g. For the first two weeks, pre-start compound feed is better. It has all the necessary elements for the growth and development of broiler babies. Starting from 14 days, starting feed will be suitable, and from the month the birds are transferred to the finishing feed. Be sure to read the composition of the feed before you buy, it should include only natural ingredients.
From the 5th day it is necessary to introduce vitamins A, D2 and E into the feed. Taking vitamins will help to avoid many diseases, including rickets. From ten days old, add crushed carrots to the main feed in the amount of 5g per head per day. From two weeks you can replace a quarter of the grain with boiled potatoes, at this age they are beginning to slowly give fish and meat. Do not forget about dairy products.
Number of feedings per day:
- in the 1st week - up to 8 times,
- in the 2nd - 6 times,
- in the 3rd - 4 times,
- from 1 month - 2 times.
A couple of weeks before slaughter, all supplements and gravel should be eliminated from the diet.
When broilers are fattening, it should be taken into account that the bird grows faster the first month, if you feed dry foods rich in protein. Monthly chicken should weigh about 600-700 g. In the second half of fattening, you can give more vegetables and greens, and reduce the amount of protein feed. By the age of two months, the broiler should weigh from 2 kg. To control the weight of birds, it is necessary to carry out weekly weighing.
How to feed day-old chicks
In order for the chicks to grow up healthy, the following rules should be observed:
- the feed should consist of only natural and fresh ingredients,
- you need to feed at the same time
- Chicks should always be fed.
In the first 10 days, the brood should be fed every 2 hours, including at night. You also need to carefully draw up the diet - it must contain all the nutrients necessary for growth.
For just hatched chickens, it is best to use finely chopped and sharply cooked eggs and cottage cheese mixed with corn or semolina. 10 chicks will need 1 egg, 50 grams of cottage cheese and 50 grams of cereals.
Milled oat-flakes, millet, barley, wheat cereals or starter feed are also suitable. Clean and boiled water should be at room temperature near the food. In addition to it, you can use kefir or lean fat yogurt to feed chickens from day one.
As soon as the brood has grown to three days of age, they begin to accustom him to the grass. To do this, the herbs of such plants as dandelion, alfalfa, clover, dried nettle or plantain are finely chopped. On the 10th day, it is already possible to give boiled vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, zucchini and so on. Wet feed chickens are bred in such an amount that the chicks can eat at a time. If the food in the trough will lie too long, it will spoil. In addition, the chicks fill it with debris and excrement. If they eat such food, they will have an eating disorder, because of which the whole brood may die.
The main rule that must be followed before feeding only hatched chickens - food must be easily digestible and sterile.
After the 10th day, you need to give small pebbles (gravel, sand) or crushed shell, they are necessary not only for the digestion of food, but also as mineral supplements. At this age, it is not necessary to feed the chickens at night. In the daytime they give feeding every 3-4 hours. What else can be fed 10-day-old chickens at home, so it is soaked with stale bread in kefir. Before you submit, you need to squeeze and crush it. Meat broth or meat waste perfectly compensate for the lack of protein.
After the chicks have eaten, you should check if all chicks are full of goiter. If someone is noticeably different, then he needs to be transplanted into another cell and fed.
If the brood is constantly contained in a cage without walking, then it can develop beriberi. As a result, the chicks will stop growing and may become ill. To do this, it is necessary to give vitamin supplements containing vitamins of groups A, E, D. When feeding daily chickens at home, 1 tablet of multivitamins is mixed with food. It is enough for 10 chicks.
How to keep chickens
In the first days of life, the brood is especially weak and easily sick, which leads to its death. Therefore, it is extremely important to arrange for chicks a warm place for growth and without drafts. Most often, a large box or brooder is used, and a lamp with an ordinary incandescent bulb is installed as a heater. Its power is calculated in such a way that the temperature in the cell is the same in all places and equals + 30 ° C.
At the same time more than 25 chicks should not be placed per 1 m 2, and after they reach one month of age, up to 17 heads are placed on the same area. Before you feed the chickens in the first days of their life, you need to lay paper on the floor of the box and cover it with compound feed or small corn groats. Nestlings will be able to quietly rummage in such litter without damage to their health
Feeding trough and drinker should be of such a design that the chickens could not climb into them with their feet. Dirty water and feed are an excellent medium for the spread of intestinal diseases.
What else can feed the chickens in the first days is the starting feed, or how it is also called “nulevka” differently. The main ingredients of the mixture are wheat, corn, peas and barley. Also contained in small doses of fish meal, amino acids and vegetable fats. The rate of one chicken per day ranges from 10 to 30 grams. Combined blends enriched with vitamins, such as Sun, are even better. Daily rate - 10-55 grams per 1 head. Compound feed with “Growth” marking is given to two weeks old chickens. Its composition is designed so that the bird gains weight as quickly as possible. And the ingredients in it are significantly larger than in the starting one, since chicks at this age are already able to digest them.
It is not necessary to buy the combined feed for feeding chickens, they can also be made with your own hands.
For the starting feed you will need to mix the following ingredients:
All components must be thoroughly crushed to fine crumbs so that the chicks can easily swallow them. For chicks with an age of more than two weeks to 1 month, the composition of the combined mixture varies slightly:
- corn - 48%,
- feed fat or unrefined sunflower oil - 1%,
- wheat - 13%,
- dry milk - 4%,
- freshly cut grass - 3%,
- fodder yeast - 5%,
- fish meal - 6%.
If the chickens have problems with the intestines (weak stools), then instead of pure water for 30 minutes they put water diluted with potassium permanganate to a slightly pinkish hue.
After the chicks have reached the age of weeks, bunches of various herbs can be hung in a cage on the walls. If a weak chicken has appeared among the whole livestock, it must be separated from the brood in another box. This is necessary in order to protect healthy chicks, and it was more convenient to treat the patient.
Feeding chickens at home
Chickens who have just hatched from an egg, they can not eat independently. In the yolk sac a small reserve of vital elements is stored, which should be enough for them for several hours.
After that, they are placed in front of a manger, and the chicks learn to peck the food themselves. The main rule when feeding chickens at home - observe mode and menubased on their age.
Mostly babies are fed the following foods:
General recommendations for proper feeding of chicks:
- Feed troughs should be only one third, so that the feed is not heavily trampled.
- All chicks should eat well. If suddenly a few babies start to rarely approach their feeder, they should be planted out and fed with a pipette with a mixture of milk and pounded egg yolk. After they get stronger, they sit down back to their fellows.
- In the room should always be fresh water, which is regularly updated.
- For the prevention of disease, chicks three times a week should be given a saturated solution of potassium permanganate.
- The feeder should be cleaned and disinfected regularly using a hot soap solution or 5% formalin solution. Residues of feed should always be removed to avoid rotting.
How to feed newly hatched chicks
It was scientifically proven that the faster a chick learns to peck feed itself, the better and faster its digestive system will be. As soon as the baby eats the seed in the very first hours of his life, immediately his brain will fix the reflex nutrition. If several hours have passed after hatching, and the baby has not touched the stern, nutrient deficiency occurs, the organs begin to develop poorly, and serious disturbances can occur later.
Therefore, feed the chickens as soon as they are born. Having dried and strengthened, they begin to stand on their feet and should already be trying to peck at something. В плоскую кормушку или просто на дно коробки им насыпают немного кукурузной крупы. Она сама по себе мелкая, поэтому хорошо подойдёт новорожденным птенцам.
Вокруг яичного желтка идут споры, стоит ли давать его только что вылупившимся цыплятам. Одни птицеводы уверены, что круто сваренный и измельчённый желток приносит только пользу. Другие утверждают, что он слишком жирный для таких малышей.
Ветеринарные врачи придерживаются последней точки зрения. According to their observations, such food no load on the muscles of the stomach of a newborn chicken. Because of this, the formation and structure of its walls is not properly. If after such soft food to give the chicks the necessary for them rough food, indigestion often occurs.
Also, because of the yolk in the intestinal system of chicks, pathogenic microflora multiply. In addition, with the yolk growing body gets too much fat.
What to feed the monthly chicks
Monthly chicks should already be released for walking, so their diet is mainly greens. Consuming grass and other greens, they will receive the vitamins necessary for their growing body. At this age, laying hens are introduced into the ration of chicken coarse grains. At one and a half months they should already eat whole grains. You can give bone meal and food waste.
It is necessary to take care of a separate feeder with fine gravel, sand or ground shell. They support the chickens well in their normal balance. If at home to properly feed the chicks, then they grow fast and not get sick.
Proper maintenance and feeding of newborns, weekly and monthly goslings at home
Incubation of a goose egg lasts a standard 30 days. The temperature during the incubation period is maintained around 38 degrees. But sooner or later, the newborn babies will leave the warm, cozy incubator, and then there will be a question of further content.
The temperature regime is most important for goslings in the first 10 days, Since thermoregulation is not yet developed and the body does not keep warmth, it is impossible to keep little goslings on the street. This leads to loss of heat and the risk of loss of brood. In order to avoid such incidents, the temperature must be maintained artificially and sufficiently high.
Temperature and care for offspring grown in an incubator in the first days of life
The first three days are heated more intensely. The temperature is maintained around 28-30 degrees. The temperature will be comfortable for goslings if:
- kids spend most of their time around the feeder,
- resting on the litter without trying to curl up more compactly at the heat source,
- chicks have a normal appetite and thirst.
Then by the 3rd week the temperature is gradually reduced to 20 degrees, or even 18. In terms of temperature, geese are more adapted to the environment. Unlike other poultry, the goslings have a shorter heating period, only 20-30 days.
If the heater is not enough and the temperature is below the required, you can use infrared lamps (fix at an angle).
Warm air is very pleasant, but do not forget that any heater dries the air, which means you need to take care of humidity. Humidity index, the first 10 (15) days, should not be less than 70%, then you need to reduce to 60%.
To maintain the required level of humidity, it is necessary to spray the floor of the room in which the animals live, and if necessary to lower the level of humidity, they resort to airing.
Incubator goose eggs waiting to hatch
A hen heats and protects eggs throughout the entire period of hatching. If the incubator turns the eggs on average once every two hours, the hen makes it up to 50 times a day, which is 4 times more often. The result of her efforts is immediately visible - the output of young stock is higher. Temperature and humidity under the goose is optimal for eggs.
The nature is laid so that the hen ensures even warming up, periodic ventilation and does not overdry eggs. But, as elsewhere there is one drawback - no more than 15 eggs can be put under the goose, otherwise the quality of incubation decreases.
Having entrusted incubation to the hen, all that remains is to take care of the bird itself. It is necessary to provide free access to food, water and the opportunity to swim. There were cases when especially impressionable hens were afraid to get off the nest and walk to the feeder, which could lead to the death of the hen if not for forced feeding.
Regardless of how the chicks were bred, it should be noted that the length of daylight directly affects development, the intensity of weight gain and the health of the goslings.
The first days (about 7 days) should provide round-the-clock coverage of the chicks' dwelling, This will allow you to quickly get used to and easily find food and water. It’s still worth dividing day and night, even if you do not turn off the light, but only by muffling, but there should be a difference.
After a week, daylight hours can be reduced to 16-17 hours. But not sharply, but gradually, daily to reduce the time of intense illumination by about 30-40 minutes. Bringing the period of the day to 16-17 hours, you can adhere to this schedule until sending for slaughter.
Hatching goslings. First day of life
Goslings have a feathering gradually. From the moment of hatching to full plumage takes about 75-80 days.
The first 20 days the babies walk covered with a fluff, the next 10 days you can watch the steering feathers appear (on the tail), after another 10 days the wings are fledged, these feathers are called terry, then gradually and more or less evenly by 2-3 months full plumage .
So, the goslings hatched, feeders and water at the ready, the room is warm and light, but how to fill the feeders? The period of feeding in goslings begins immediately after they have dried.
First feeding should consist of food already familiar to their body - this is egg yolk. The yolk should be cooked hard-boiled, slightly diluted with boiled water and thoroughly ground. This is the diet for the first 3-4 days. Then you can offer young green onions. It should be thoroughly chopped and mixed with the yolk. If the pieces are larger than 2-3 millimeters, the goslings may not swallow the food.
Weekly and two-week lures. The first 10 days of babies are fed at least 7 times a day, making a break for the night. After some time (a week and a half), you can begin to enter high-calorie feed, about 15% of the total diet.
Food should be rich in fiber, it can be:
finely chopped eggs,
Complementary food at the age of 1 month. Closer to the month old, you can begin to practice walking and feeding in the fields (pens). For this it is important to choose a place where the grass is not trampled and not eaten. Geese themselves will find themselves suitable leaves or roots. In this case, you can completely abandon the additional dry food. It is important to consider that greens should form the basis of the diet.
Under the condition of a normal reaction to food, you can begin to feed goslings with beets, carrots and pumpkin already from 4 weeks of age, fresh vegetables are rich in vitamins and microelements, which will only benefit.
The period from 4 to 8 weeks will determine the profitability of the whole idea with the breeding of geese. Starting from the 4th week of life, the goose body is already accustomed to different calorie and not very good food, which means it is ready to assimilate and grow. The basis of weight gain is the core of the grain (a storehouse of calories and flour). If you do not skimp on this, albeit expensive, but very effective food, then the kids will gain 2-3 kg per month exactly and as a result - a high weight gain for a shorter period of maintenance.
It does not hurt to pay attention to the especially beloved food, try to give the food that they love and add various high-calorie supplements there (bone meal, wheat flour, vitamins). You can give sunflower cake, mixed with their usual food in the ratio of about 25 grams of cake per 100 grams of feed (1 time in 3 days, otherwise there is a risk of indigestion)
Food largely determines the proper cultivation of geese. It is important to take into account the need of the body and ensure the supply of sufficient amounts of vitamins and other nutrients and food. To do this, there are recommendations for the daily diet and feeding schedule: the daily volume of fresh herbs should not be less than 2 kg per goose.
Approximate consumption rates of greens and grain per individual (daily calculation)
The daily feeding schedule during the cold season looks like this:
- 6-7 hours - ⅓ norms of grain and dry flour mixture,
- 14-15 hours - feed mixture with the addition of vegetables: sugar beet (chopped), wrinkled boiled potatoes, etc.,
- 19-20 hours - ⅔ norms of grain with a dry flour mixture.
In addition to beets and potatoes, you can dilute the diet with such products as:
- vitamin hay or dust,
- flour (fish, meat and bone),
- mineral feed,
- pickled peas
- flaxseed, sunflower, soybean meal,
- boiled and chopped fish,
- cottage cheese,
River sand and gravel should become an obligatory ingredient, they should be poured directly into the feeders. Plus be sure to water the kids.
The daily feeding schedule in the warm season is much simpler, the basic ration is greens, which they themselves find, you can additionally feed them with fresh chopped vegetables (vegetable waste), 50-70 grams per head per day will be more than enough.
Adult geese in the pen
Adult geese by smell can identify dangerous grass and get around it, but young individuals can sometimes be mistaken. and eat a leaf of another dangerous weed, what will make your digestive problems and poisoning. To prevent such problems, you should fence access of the young to the forbidden plants, as well as should be protected from eating green potatoes and potato tops.
- young nettles, especially freshly harvested (but can be replaced with ascorbic, a teaspoon per liter of water),
- beet leaves
- carrot tops,
- wheat grass
- bluegrass meadow,
- young oats and rye,
- swamp duckweed
Dangerous plants for geese:
Fish oil to give goslings can and should be. It is especially necessary during the period when it is not possible to give juicy feed to the bird. Fish oil replenishes vitamin deficiencies.
Trivit and tetravin preparations are provided for poultry feeding, feeding recommendations are indicated in the instructions for use. It will be necessary to know exactly the age of the goslings for the calculation of the norm. It turns out about 1.5-2%.
Adult geese on a walk in the pen
Diseases related to geese can be divided into several categories.
- Non-contagious diseases These include beriberi, rickets, diarrhea and the like. For the treatment of such diseases, it is necessary to look for the cause in the mode of the day and the diet and content. They can manifest themselves in one or several individuals, but the epidemics should not be expected, as they are not contagious.
- Genital diseases, it is yolk peritonitis, it is treated with careful care of the reproductive system and careful care.
- Infectious diseases, such as: aspergillosis, salmonellosis, cholera and others. Such diseases are either difficult to treat or not curable and one must be prepared to kill all infected birds and thoroughly disinfect the room where the geese lived.
- Diseases caused by parasites. Whether it is skin parasites or living inside the body, it is necessary and desirable to carry out more preventive actions to get rid of them.
- Diseases provoked by toxic substances (poisoning). To prevent poisoning, you need to ensure that there is no mold in the feed, there are no forbidden plants in the pasture and to monitor chemicals that can also cause poisoning.
Healthy goslings are the joy of a farmer and the prospect of a good income. In the care they are not particularly whimsical, but to observe how a yellow lump hatch from eggs, which then grows into a healthy, strong goose, a real reward for any animal breeder.
My grandmother always kept geese. I always grazed them (in the spring they always hatched), as soon as they were on their feet, on green grass. But for me, the discovery that they can and should be given fish oil. But we never gave, probably because we grazed on natural.