New Zealand has a global reputation: it is known for its food quality and safety. It exports dairy products, beef, fruits, seafood, wine and even poultry. Farm owners provide fresh produce ready for local and international consumption.To ensure your chooks reach their optimum weight and size, pay attention to the food they eat.
Chickens are omnivores—they will wolf down virtually anything—orattempt to, at least. You should know what to feed your chicken, lest they harm themselves or shorten their lifespan.
0 to 10 Weeks
Recently hatched chicks must eat a starter diet containing 10% to 20% protein. Meat birds like pheasants, quails and turkeys need higher protein levels of 22% to 24% to maximise the growth of these roasters and broilers; egg-laying chickens do not necessarily need more protein.
Once your chicks have reached the 10-week mark, replace the starter chicken feed with the grower feed. At this age, the chicks need around 15% to 16% protein from their food to sustain their growth. For game birds, a 20% protein level is a must.
Once your chickens lay their first egg, or at 18 weeks, whichever comes first, your chickens should be eating layer pellets. These deliver the highest level of nutrition needed by chickens that lay eggs.
Takaninifeeds.co.nz explains that layer pellets contain fibre, grains, vitamins and minerals. They contain 16% crude protein, along with calcium required for optimum development of egg shells.
How Much Water Do Chickens Need?
Chooks should drink water during their first hour. This should contain a teaspoon of Terramycin soluble powder and ¼ cup of sugar per gallon to lower stress levels and increase immunity. It is critical that your chickens have access to clean, fresh water at all times since they can drink thrice as much as they eat—even more during warmer seasons.
The right food determines the growth of your chicks, but feeding them properly also plays a part. When buying chicken feeds, consult the guidelines provided at the back of the packaging and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.