Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
Steps to Feeding Your Chickens
Give Enough Food and Water at all Times:
You should always give fresh food and water to your chickens. Bear in mind that they are
birds and will peck and search for eatables all day. They do forage if given the chance but
they should have feeds available to them. The best way to feed them is to give them a con-
tainer of feeds so that they can just help themselves to. A container of feeds placed in a
shady spot of the run will satisfy their needs. Cool water should also be placed in a shady
part of the run and be available at all times. The feeds and water should be changed daily.
Keep Feeds Stored in Cool and Dry Place:
Feed should be kept in a cool dry place. Closed metal containers are good so that vermin
like rats and mice do not get into the feed.
Avoid Expired Feeds:
Do not get too much feed at a time and always check the expiry date. Wet or moldy feed will
make your birds sick and they can even die. To avoid this problem always make sure that
your feed is fresh and within the expiry date. Home made feeds can last about a month in
refrigerated conditions.
Grits Should Be Limited to Ensure Proper Digestion:
Grit is an important part of a bird's digestive process. They do not have teeth so their gizza-
rds will grind down the hard shells in their diet with the aid of grit.
There are 2 sorts of grit insoluble and soluble. Soluble grit will be broken down by the stom-
ach acid in the bird's digestive system. It is not that effective for grinding food down, but
is a good source of calcium. Examples of this are cuttlebone and ground up oyster shells.
Insoluble grit is made up of small stones, sand and gravel and will act as teeth for the bird
by grinding up hard portions of their diet like seed shells.
However pet birds including chickens do not eat as many hard shelled seeds as domestic
birds. Therefore the need for insoluble grit is not so necessary. Foraging chickens will pick
up small grains of sand and little stones instinctively. This will be enough to help them with
their digestion. Chickens in a closed run require a small amount of grit in their diet. Do not
place a dish of grits in the run with the birds as they can overindulge on grits and it will
accumulate in the gizzard, causing impaction. A better idea is to mix a small amount with
their feed to help their digestion.
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