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Review: Best Chicken Feeds
Last updated: 20 Jul 2021
Buying chicken feed is similar to choosing cat food in that you need to find the most nutritious options for your pet depending on how old they are. Careful selection is needed for baby chicks and laying hens. Take a look at these top choices of the best chicken feeds in 2021.
This chicken feed is packed with nutrients to help your bird stay healthy and produce more nutritious eggs. It has a high calcium content which helps the chickens produce eggs with stronger shells, while the prebiotics and probiotics strengthen their immune system and digestion. This chicken feed contains 16% protein and high levels of vitamin A, D, and E for better reproduction.
This complete chicken feed is formulated to fulfill the daily dietary needs of your laying hens. It is designed to provide essential nutrients to boost their health and reproduction. Manna Pro’s mini-pellet is free of any artificial color, flavor, soy, or wheat and is great for mixed flocks. So this non-GMO bird feed will feed not only laying hens but also ducklings and goslings.
This 25-pound bag of chicken feed is made for laying hens to help with reproduction, resulting in stronger, nutritious eggs. It is formulated to provide a feed that is nutritious and easy for hens to digest. It is free of GMOs and chemical processing, making it a great choice for a healthy flock. This chicken feed comes in mini crumbles, ideal for minimizing food wastage when compared to pellets.
To grow your chicks on the right feed, you need to carefully consider your options because there are quite a few. This is important so that you can choose the most suitable feed for your chickens to provide them with all the leverage they need to thrive.
As a caretaker, you will have to choose the best chicken feed with all the necessary nutrients that your chickens need depending on how old they are. This is because each stage of the chicken’s growth requires a different type of feed. To successfully raise healthy chickens, you will need to have complete knowledge and understanding of these various stages.
How to Feed Chickens at Different Life Stages?
There are various kinds of feeds associated with the different stages of a chicken’s growth. This is because their diet requirements change as they grow into the various cycles of their lifespan.
If you’re caring for baby chicks, you need to ensure they are properly fed, particularly within the first few days of their lives. The dietary requirement of a baby chicken is quite different from full-grown chickens. When you buy feeds for baby chicks, you need to make sure their diet is dense in proteins—somewhere between 20-40% of the composite feed.
The ideal diet for teenage fowls is very different from that of baby chickens. Chickens at this stage do not need as much protein in their feed. The grower feed should contain about 16-18% protein and should not contain unnecessary minerals or vitamins, which can do more harm than good to the young birds' health.
Fully grown chickens require the type of feed that has the perfect balance of nutrients. These nutrients include calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals. This feed has similar protein levels (16-18%) to the grower feed but contains more calcium.
What Things Should You Consider When Looking for Chicken Feed?
The particular type of feed you need for your chickens depends on your situation and what effect you want the feed to have. We have classified a few of the different possibilities below for your consideration.
Medicated vs. Non-medicated
Certain feeds contain a chemical compound known as ‘Amprolium’, a treated feed that is common among starters and helps to prevent fowl diseases (such as coccidiosis) in your birds.
Fermented Chicken Feed
Fermented feeds have a number of effects on chicken. It is a great way to neutralize the toxins in their system and provide the vitamins and enzymes that your chickens need to improve their digestion. Fermented feed also cuts down on your feeding expenses as it also leaves your chickens feeling full for longer durations.
Chicks require the right nutrients if you want to keep them thriving and healthy. As we previously mentioned, a major factor in this regard is the age of the chickens that you have in your flock.
Just like other animals, chickens need fats, proteins, carbs, minerals, and vitamins. So the feed you choose needs to be a decent combination of all these nutrients. For example, certain feeds come with coarsely broken oyster shells; this ingredient provides extra calcium to the chickens so that they can produce eggs with stronger shells.
Certain caretakers prefer their chicken feed to be either organic, soy-free, and corn-free. These sorts of feeds do exist. It’s important to note that not only are they difficult to find, but they also cost significantly more than regular chicken feed.
When a feed is stated to be vegetarian, it means that there aren’t any animal products in the feed. Keep in mind, however, that chickens are omnivores and will eat virtually anything.
What Are the Types of Chicken Feed Available?
Chicken feeds come in different varieties. For this reason, it is often overwhelming and confusing for the average chicken keeper to go through chicken feed menus. To try and assist you in sifting right through all of the jargon, we’ve listed some of the more common kinds available on the market below.
Pellets – This variety of feed is very commonly available and comes in the shape of legal compact cylinders. They have the benefit of not going to waste if the chickens accidentally knock the feeder over.
Crumble – This kind of feed is a coarse type of mash that is not quite as compact as pellets. It has a similar texture to oatmeal.
Mash – This chicken feed version is loose, processed, and has a texture similar to potting soil.
Chicken Scratch – This is technically chicken feed, but rather more of a ‘treat’ for your chickens. It is usually made from cracked corn and various other grains that chickens love.
Shell Grit – This variety of feed is very rich in calcium to help chickens lay eggs with strong, sturdy shells.
How Much Feed Do Chickens Require?
People often wonder how much feed they need to feed their chickens every day. Chickens like to eat several times a day. A medium-sized hen will eat a quarter of a pound to one-third of a pound of pellets a day.
In addition to their feed, chickens also need constant access to grit (tiny rocks stored in the gizzard for grinding up food). Vegetables, table scraps, and scratch feed are perfectly fine if given sparingly.
Chicken Feed FAQs
What is the best chicken feed for my bird?
With so many brands at your disposal, it can be extremely confusing to select the one that’s best for your bird. The best chicken feed really depends on several factors such as the type and the age of the chicken. Finding the best feed requires some research and adequate knowledge of the ingredients that will improve the flock's health. You’ll need to choose the feed depending on whether you're raising them for meat or eggs.
How many times a day Should I feed my chickens?
Generally, chickens will eat when they need to. If you want to keep your flock healthy so that they provide high-quality meat or eggs for you, you will need to give them an adequate amount of food throughout the day. This means that you should be checking the feeders to ensure that they are topped up every day.
How do I know I’m buying the correct chicken feed?
Sooner or later, as a caregiver, you’ll start noticing the effects of the current feed on your flock's health. You need to be observant of how the birds react to the formula. If it’s a new chicken feed, give the birds a few days to adjust to it. If you notice that they aren’t eating as much as before, you should probably reconsider repurchasing from the same brand.
Rick shares the not-so-common appreciation for exotic pets but ultimately advocates for ethical ownership and care of these animals. With several exotic pets of his own, Rick knows the materials and information needed to raise healthy animals and enjoys passing it on to others.