The chicken feed calculator for your chickens. Chicken feed should contain all the necessary nutrients and also should be cost-effective. We have researched and listed the best chicken feeds out there. The feed for your chickens is one of the most important things to keep or get your chickens healthy and fit. Are you curious about what all you need to pay attention to when feeding chickens?
In this article you will read about how many times you should feed your chickens. You will also learn how much you should feed your chickens. Let’s take a look at our chicken feed calculator.
How Many Times a Day Should I Feed my Chickens?
The best way to feed chickens is the free-feed way. So, the chickens can eat all day long, whenever they like. But, if you want to control the feeding, then feeding twice a day will be ideal. Feeding once in the morning and then in the evening will be enough.
If you are considering free-feeding your chickens, then you should go for automatic poultry feeders. So that, your feed will not get wasted and chickens will have access too.
Can Chickens Overfeed?
Normally, the in free-range method, chickens won’t overeat. Chickens usually eat frequently but in small portions. So, you don’t have to worry about overfeeding. But, if you are raising broiler chickens (meat bird), then you should give more thought to feeding.
Chicken Feed Nutritional Requirement, Chicken Feed Calculator
Chicken feed should contain protein, essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and most important water. However, this varies from breed to breed and also chickens age.
- 0 to 6 Weeks Old (Chicks): For chicks, chicken feed should contain about 20% protein. Starter feed for chicks (Amazon) is the option for you.
- 6 to 20 Weeks Old (Pullets): Your chickens are growing and preparing themselves to start laying hens. During this time, chicken feed should contain 14-16% protein. You should consider giving them high-quality pullet grower feed (Amazon).
- 20 Weeks or Above (Egg-Layers): When chickens start laying eggs, they need lots of energy, calcium, manganese, and other essential nutrients. Chicken feed should contain 15-18% protein. There’s specialized layer feed (Amazon) for egg-laying chickens.
- Broiler Chickens/Meatbirds: These birds need unlimited feeding and a high level of protein in their feed. They need 20-24% protein for maximum growth. Consider giving them meatbird feed (Amazon).
Influence of Feed on Eggs
The kind of chicken feed has a lot of influence on the quality of hatching eggs. Hatching results can suddenly deteriorate even though one has not changed feed brands. The cause may be a changed composition of the feed by the manufacturer for instance. The amount and composition of vitamins and minerals in the feed play a major role in the quality of hatching eggs to. Even the weather conditions during grain storage can affect the nutritional value and also the hatching results.
A Cold Chicken Wants to Eat More
It sounds very logical, a chicken that is cold wants to eat more. But how much more feed does it need? Researchers at Wageningen University have figured it out: on average, energy requirements increase by 1.8% when the temperature drops by 1°C. So at the moment that the temperature drops by 10°C, the maintenance requirement increases by an average of 18%. Chickens thus compensate for their heat loss by eating more feed. So keep in mind when using the chicken feed calculator.
In addition, chickens anticipate cold by having thicker plumage in winter and during colder periods. Chickens running outside also ensure that they suffer as little cold as possible by seeking shelter.
In winter, chickens often go out with a full crop. If the crop contains enough muscle and enough grit, it will process the food during one night. But it can happen that the crop is too weakened. If a hen still has a full crop after one night, put her only on water for a few days and after a few days gradually give her some food again to recover.
The cause of such a crop problem may be zinc poisoning (Look at the water bowl. Is it made of galvanized iron and starting to rust? Throw it away and buy a plastic one) or a lack of calcium. If the chicken is given normal feed, there is enough calcium in it. So don’t just give the chicken extra calcium without knowing what the problem is.
You could upset the balance between calcium and phosphorus by giving to much calcium. In any case, make sure the chicken alweays gets enough grit.
It is always a good idea to keep a few feeders and waterers to ensure all the chickens get enough space. Always, take a look if your chickens are liking the feed you are giving them. That is important when using the chicken feed calculator. Hope you will raise some beautiful healthy birds.