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The Optimal Balance Of Chicken Feed Nutrients

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John Verhock, the area manager for Koudijs, takes farmers through how to manage the feeding of chicken at different stages.

A broiler chicken should be fed high protein complete feed.

If you are a backyard flock raiser, you know the chicken math drill. You start with three hens and soon you have 30.

Add up the right nutrition and management for broiler chickens to reach mature weight in six to ten weeks.

Broiler chickens are growing in popularity because they are quick and easy to raise and these were the key points to note when feeding chickens at different stages.

Feed management broilers

• Feed mill

• Feeders and placement

• Feeding times

• Zoo technical approach

•      Amino acids

• Feed conversion rate!

What is the good feed?

• Feed with the right nutritional composition to match the requirement of the bird to grow.

• Feed is adjusted to the requirement which is changing with its development

• Has the right balance to optimize growth and efficiency

• Gives predictable results

Feed mill

Good homogeneity

– The max variation depends on the feed intake (animal)

– All ingredients should be available in sample:

– Purchase raw materials according to the mixing

– Storage

– Protect the raw materials from rain, excessive temperatures moulds, deterioration rodents, insects and birds.

– Check the sieve and hammer

 Feed management

• Feed mill

• Feeders and placement

• Feeding times

• Zoo technical approach

• Amino acids

• Feed conversion rate!

Feeders and placement

• Make sure the number of feeders is sufficient for uniform growth

• A chicken may not be further away than 2 meters from a feeder

• Chick feeder or plate: 1:40-50 chicks

• Big feeder: 1: 50 birds

• Increased number of feeders will help to get uniform weight and increase feed efficiency

Feed intake on day 14:  68 grams

Feed intake on day 36: 196 grams

Feeding time!

• Make sure the birds always have sufficient water and feed!

• Do not overfill the feeders.

• Rodents

• Check on feed intake

• Spilling

• Provide feed on plates for the first days!

• Adjust the feeder heights daily!

• Make sure the feeders are empty for a maximum of 1 hour!

• Keep feed in the feeders when the light is on.

• Make sure you use the right feed! (Phase)

Zoo technical approach

A chicken needs feed for:


• Meat (protein)

• Fat


• Movement

• Warmth

• Reserves

Feed conversion rate is low at the start

• Less feed needed for the growth of 1 kg of meat:

• Temperature ok?

Feed conversion rate is high at the end:

• More birds to maintain:

• Fat takes four times as much energy

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