There are quite a lot of different types of chicken feed out there. It can be super confusing at times, especially if you are a novice chicken keeper. Some terms such as mash and grower feed can be very difficult to understand. Following are some of the different types of chicken feed you can feed your chooks.
Starter Chicken Feed
Starter feed is a protein-rich type of chicken feed created to satisfy the nutritional needs of young chicks. For the first six weeks of their lives, newborn chicks can often survive on a diet of starter feed and water before switching to grower feed. Young chicks benefit from the high protein content, which ranges from 20 to 24 per cent, as they develop into active pullets, but you must gradually stop giving them starter feed once they are 6 weeks old since too much protein might harm the liver.
Grower Chicken Feed
In many aspects, grower feed is similar to chicken feed for young chickens. A chicken between the ages of 6 and 20 weeks has considerably different nutritional needs than a young chick. In essence, grower feed has a lower calcium concentration than standard layer feed but contains a protein content of 16–18%. In a nutshell, grower feed encourages your teenage chookies’ continued growth without overdosing them with nutrients better suited for laying hens that are fully matured. Your girls will be prepared for layer feed once they start laying eggs, so watch for that.
Layer Chicken Feed
For the majority of your flock’s existence, delicious layer feed will make up the majority of their diet. The clever protein, calcium, and other vitamin and mineral ratio in layer feed promotes your flock to produce superior eggs. Comparable to grower feed in terms of protein content, layer feed has an additional 16–18% calcium content to guarantee that the eggshells are crisp, clear, and crunchy. However, feeding young pullets or baby chicks layer feed won’t satisfy their special dietary needs. Only chickens that are around 20 weeks old or have begun to lay eggs should be given layer feed.
Simply defined, the mash is an uncooked, loose kind of poultry feed. Mash is the finest type of chicken feed that is typically offered, and its texture is comparable to potting soil. Mash is typically offered to baby chicks since it is simple to digest, but it is also sometimes given to fully grown chickens. Mash and hot water are sometimes combined by Chicken Ladies or Lads to produce a porridge-like texture that your flock will adore. However, keep in mind that using this technique can result in the feed expiring more quickly. Keep in mind that the primary problem with mash varieties of chicken feed is that their texture frequently leads to an increase in unintentional waste.
A mash is used to create pellets, which are then compressed and heated to mould them into the shape of chicken feed pellets. A pelletized feed for chickens contains a “complete” diet, just like mash, but it tends to make the hen’s digestive system less effective than it would be with mash. Due to the many ingredients being combined into a single “tablet,” pelletized feed also has a tendency to be somewhat bland for hens.
Head on to Dave’s pet and Garden to choose our favourite pellet mix. Allora Grain and Milling Pel-Mix are suitable to be fed to all poultry from 18 weeks of age.