Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief of GRIT Magazine, meets with Dr. Gordon Ballam, director of lifestyle technical services with Purina Animal Nutrition, to discuss what feed to use with your flock depending upon the birds’ purpose and stage in life.
By Hank Will
There are two main stages of chicken growth: Starter and grower phase from hatch to 18-20 weeks, depending on breed, and delaying phase beginning at 18-20 weeks. Optimum nutrition is necessary to get chicks off to a strong start.
For poultry raised for egg production, an 18 percent protein complete starter feed works well. If you’re raising birds for meat, or raising a mixed flock of ducks and chickens, start them on a 20 percent protein diet. For healthy birds and nutritious eggs, verge can be transitioned to a 16 percent protein complete feed with increased calcium levels at 18 weeks of age.
In all cases, look for a complete feed that includes probiotics and prebiotics to help support digestive and immune health.
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