FEED AND FEEDING METHODS
The main mistake that poultry breeders make when keeping laying hens is the violation of poultry feeding. One of the reasons why chickens do not lay eggs is that they are underfed or overfed. Both lead to a loss of productivity, in the first case due to exhaustion of the body, and in the second-due to obesity. In order to learn how to properly feed your chickens and get the most eggs from them, you need to follow several simple feeding rules. What should every poultry breeder know?
Types of feed and methods of feeding.
The diet of laying hens is divided into several types:
- Protein. They contain proteins, without which the chicken can not only lay eggs but also live. They are divided into animal feed: fish or fishmeal, meat-and-bone or meat-and-feather flour, dairy products(cottage cheese, yogurt or milk), and vegetable feed: meal, cake, legumes (peas, soy, beans, etc.), yeast, nettle or pea flour.
- Carbohydrates. These feeds contain a large amount of starch and other carbohydrates. These include cereals(barley, corn, wheat, sorghum, oats), root crops (beets, carrots, radishes, potatoes, etc.), and various milling wastes.
- Mineral. They contain various minerals, such as: calcium, without which the eggshell can not form on the eggs, sodium, without which the chicken will be sick, copper, iron, and other trace elements. These include salt, chalk, seashell, limestone, and complex mineral additives.
- Vitamin. They are valued for their high content of vitamins, without which the hens will also not be laid. These include: green grass or flour made from it, rot from good hay, fish oil, coniferous flour and special vitamin concentrates of industrial production.
The basis of the diet in the household economy is traditionally made up of cereals: wheat, corn, oats, barley and other cereals. They differ among themselves in the content of protein, fat, carbohydrates, hard-to-digest fiber, minerals and vitamins. Each grain is valuable in its own way, and therefore it is best to use them in the diet of laying hens in the form of mixed feed. Compound feeds with the following percentage of cereals have proven themselves well:
- Wheat – 50 %
- Oats-15 %
- Barley – 25 %
- Rye or millet – 5 %
- Corn – 5 %
Feed the bird can be both dry and wet, both whole grain and crushed. During the day, it is better to give crushed grain, and at night – whole. This grain is digested longer, so that chickens will not feel hungry. Food prepared in the form of various mixes is well digested. They can be prepared with the addition of mineral and vitamin supplements, dairy products, various kitchen waste, flour, etc.
Feeding standards for laying hens.
With the dry or wet type of feeding, the consumption rate for one chicken is 120-150 gr. per day. Of them: 2/3-carbohydrate feed, and 1/3 – protein.
It turns out approximately the following scheme:
- wheat grain – 50-80 g;
- oats-20 g;
- barley-30-50 g;
- rye or millet – 30-40 g;
- grain legumes (peas, soy, etc.) – 10-12 g;
- sunflower cake or meal – 7-10 g;
- meat and bone or fish meal-10 g;
- minerals – 5-6 % of the diet.
Salt is given in mixes at a rate of 0.4 gr. per head; chalk, shell, limestone-3-6 gr. Vitamin top dressing is also introduced into the composition of mixes or dry forage mixes in accordance with the instructions. Access to water at any time of the year for the bird should be free, the water should be clean and warm. It should not be forgotten that for the proper operation of the tract, in a separate feeder of the tuft there should always be fine gravel.
Kvochki’s body is arranged in such a way that food passes through the digestive tract quite quickly. Therefore, it is better to feed them at least three or four times a day. For convenience, you can fill the feeders with dry feed mixtures as they are completely consumed. It is good to feed with wet mixes during the day and give whole grains at night.
The mash prepared from the crushed grain of various types with the addition of mineral and vitamin supplements, salt, animal products. All this is well mixed and moistened with water or dairy products (milk, whey, curdled milk, or buttermilk). The food should be well moistened, but not sticky. Otherwise, it can lead to gluing the nasal openings, feathers on the head, and even clogging the beak. Meshki is a perishable product. Therefore, they should be given in such a way that the chickens eat it for 30-40 minutes. This is especially important in the summer. The trough after eating wet food needs to be cleaned to prevent mold deterioration and poisoning.
Give food at night should be so that the chickens have time to eat it before sitting on the roost. A convenient feeding schedule you can build yourself, based on the volume of feeders, the speed of eating food, and free time.
Preparation of feed for feeding.
The most common training methods are
- yeast production;
As we have already found out, poultry feed is much better digested in its crushed form, so grains should be crushed in special crushers. The crushed grain is used for the preparation of mixes, various mixed feeds and forage mixes.
Another useful method of preparation of feed for feeding is the germination of grain. To do this, the grain is soaked for a day in warm water, then the water is drained, and the grain is scattered in a layer of about 5 cm. Mix the wet grain 2-3 times a day until germination of sprouts. Sprouts can be grown and quite small white color, and you can grow up to the appearance of green sprouts. Grain with both sprouts is very useful for chickens, as it becomes more nutritious. It is easier to digest by the body of chickens, as well as vitamin a appears in it.
Yeast feed is carried out to achieve the same goals as sprouting – enriching food with useful substances and increasing the absorption of food. Make the yeast as follows. In a container with warm water, yeast is dissolved, at the rate of 100 grams of yeast per 8-10 kg of feed, then finely ground concentrates are poured at the rate of 1 kg of feed to 1.5-2 liters of water. Dishes for yeast should be kept in a warm place (the temperature is not lower than 20-22 degrees Celsius). The mass is stirred every hour for 5-9 hours, depending on the speed of the yeast. Then the finished mass is distributed to the hens. This feeding contributes to the proper functioning of the digestive tract of the bird and its productivity.
Root vegetables and potatoes are good to add to the mashed potatoes in the boiled form. Carrots are an exception. It is more useful to give it in raw crushed form, so as not to lose its useful vitamin properties. Grass and tops are chopped or passed through a meat grinder. You should know that over-feeding vegetables can lead to diarrhea of birds and loss of productivity, so you need to give them while adhering to the feeding norms.
And more. Do not forget to observe the feeding regime of your poultry – this will have a good effect on both the eating and productivity of chickens.
CONDITIONS FOR KEEPING LAYING HENS
The second, no less important reason why hens are poorly laid, can be a violation of the rules for keeping laying hens. As you know, tufts do not see well in the dark, so it is very important to create the right light mode in the chicken coop. The optimal lighting duration of the chicken coop is 10-12 hours. If the lighting time is reduced, the bird does not have time to eat its quota, sits a lot, and does not move, which negatively affects its egg production.
It is equally important that the chicken coop is kept warm. In this case, the hens will not spend energy on heating their own body but will spend it on producing eggs. The optimal temperature for keeping chickens is at least 15 degrees Celsius.
Do not forget that the chicken coop should be well ventilated. This is also very important for keeping chickens healthy and maintaining their productivity. But at the same time, it is necessary to avoid drafts in the chicken coop to prevent colds of poultry. Maintaining cleanliness is also an important component of a healthy life of tufts and their productivity.
THE CHICKENS THAT DOESN’T LAY EGG? HOW DO THEY FEEL?
Chickens, like any other living organism, when any factors of their life are violated, can get sick, get old and therefore lose productivity.
Examine your birds, pay attention to whether their behavior and appearance have changed, how they eat food, how they move. If you notice that the birds are sluggish, sedentary, do not eat well in comparison with the previous period, they are swearing, they are bald or peck each other – this means that your chickens are most likely sick.
Chickens can go bald for several reasons:
- lack of vitamins and trace elements in the feed;
- diseases parasitic diseases (e.g., pogoed);
- other diseases that cause pen loss.
True, the baldness of chickens can also be caused by seasonal molting, which usually occurs in autumn or spring. Such molting is a physiological norm, but only if it is not prolonged for a long time.
When breeding laying hens, each owner should understand that the highest productivity is observed only in young Chicks. Usually, these are chickens aged up to a year, then their productivity begins to fall. Therefore, it is advisable to change birds at least once every two years and cut down old chickens for meat. This way you will get the most eggs from the minimum number of heads at the lowest cost.
SEVERAL OTHER REASONS FOR LOWER PRODUCTIVITY
The egg production of hens at home is directly influenced by the season of the year. It is known that in summer and spring, as well as in the warm period of autumn, hens are laid well. Peak productivity occurs in spring and early summer. In winter, the hens do not lay well, sometimes they do not even lay at all. Why? This raises a reasonable question.
The fact is that they are affected by such factors as the length of the day, walking in the fresh air, sunlight, and much more. No matter how hard the owners tried to diversify the diet of their hens, everyone noticed that during the walk laying hens constantly dig in the ground, looking for something only they understand and need. It is at this time that birds lay the maximum number of eggs with good quality. But do not forget that during this time of year, hens often begin to hatch Chicks, and this may be associated with a decrease in the number of eggs in General from all your birds. As soon as the chicken’s body temperature rises, it stops laying eggs, and begins to “hover”, i.e., it sits on the nest and begins to hatch Chicks.
The egg-laying capacity of laying hens depends directly on the breed of your bird, as well as on their tendency to evaporate chickens. To get the maximum number of eggs, you should buy chickens of specialized breeds. These include the Leghorn breed and the Russian white. These are the most egg-bearing breeds of birds, although they are most adapted to our conditions of keeping and feeding.
If you are going to raise chickens at home, you should learn how to feed and maintain chickens. Follow the simple rules and you will never have a problem that the hens have stopped laying well or do not lay eggs at all. You can always provide yourself and your loved ones with a delicious homemade egg.