All feed is in mash form due to not having access to a pellet mill. Even though it is in mash form, we have not had customers complain about excessive feed waste.
How much feed per day will my birds require?
Feed intake will depend on the following factors:
- Growth Rate
- Production Level
In most cases, birds can be fed free-choice and eat as much as they need. Typically, birds have the ability to eat to their energy needs and will not overeat. However, in some instances feed may need to be restricted. If you have any questions on when to restrict feed intake, please contact us.
Do I need to feed any supplements to my birds?
There is only one supplement we recommend using.
- Free-choice oyster shell for birds that are producing eggs. This will ensure your birds lay a good quality egg with strong shells.
Can you ship feed?
Some of your feeds appear lower in crude protein than expected. Why is this?
Although our diets for young birds are high in protein, we do not have high-protein diets for mature birds for several reasons.
- We balance for digestible amino acids. Amino acids are the real reason to include protein. By balancing for the proper amino acids we can avoid using excessive protein, allowing us to safely use a low protein diet.
- Excessive protein for a mature bird that is not building muscle or gaining weight is wasted. Birds (and all animals) do not have the ability to store excess protein in their bodies. Therefore, any protein that is consumed and is not needed for tissue maintenance or repair, growth or egg production will be excreted as nitrogen. This nitrogen then causes ammonia production when it reacts with water in the environment.
- Excessive protein causes high body heat production. When protein is digested, it creates more body heat than any other nutrient. If protein intake is too high, then body heat production will increase. This can be detrimental, especially during hot summer weather and can possibly cause a decrease in feed intake – leading to a reduction in growth rate.
- Protein digestion and metabolism requires more water. High water intake results in subsequent water output via the excreta. And as mentioned above, water in the environment reacts with nitrogen and produces ammonia. This can especially be a problem during the winter, when buildings are not ventilated as much to remove the moisture. This leads to ammonia build up which is not healthy for your birds.
- There is a lot of research that suggests low protein diets actually increase fertility in poultry (and conception rates in mammals). Researchers aren’t exactly sure why, but it has been shown that low protein diets do result in better fertility. It has also been suggested that lower protein diets alter the environment of the female’s oviduct to where sperm vitality and sperm penetration of the yolk is improved.
Many of your breeder diets have the same crude protein content. What makes them different?
Crude protein is only part of the equation when it comes to formulating a diet. Although crude protein may be the same, there are many nutrients that are different. The amino acids that make up that protein are usually in different amounts and proportions for each species. Energy levels are also not the same across all species’ nutrient requirements. Furthermore, minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and sodium are usually required in different amounts by each species.
Will feeding extra calcium help build a larger frame on my birds?
No. Feeding extra calcium will not cause an increase in frame size compared to a bird that is fed the recommended amount of calcium. Ultimately, it is the bird’s genetics that will dictate how large of a frame they develop.
What makes your Showbird Conditioner special?
Our Showbird Conditioner is a feed intended to use on exhibition type chickens to get them in top shape for show. This is accomplished by providing everything the bird needs to develop properly and build a strong skeleton and muscle structure. This feed has elevated levels of methionine (a sulfur amino acid) to help produce good, strong feathers. The feed is also developed with a high fat content, helping to put a sheen on the feathers and keep them in nice shape once they are fully developed. Our Showbird Conditioner feed includes alfalfa meal – an important source of xanthophyll. This compound helps produce bright leg color in yellow-legged breeds, as well as a nice red color in the face of the chicken.