No matter whether you are raising chickens for eggs, meat or fun, knowing which feed options will provide optimal nourishment is important for their wellbeing. A specialized bird feed will ensure they receive all of the essential vitamins and minerals throughout their lives.
Country Companion offers grower, layer, and specialty feeds for your entire flock – available either crumble or pellet form and available at your local IFA store.
At 6 weeks, chickens should be transitioned from starter/grower feeds to layer feeds, designed specifically for approaching laying age hens with higher protein (18%) content to support growth. Furthermore, layer feeds contain additional calcium sources like aragonite, oyster shell powder or feeding limestone which meet eggshell strength requirements.
Grower/layer feeds come either in the form of pellets (which allow birds to consume their diet more quickly) or mash. Mash contains cracked grains and unprocessed ingredients in an easily digestible texture for chickens to digest.
Good quality layer mashes contain ingredients specifically tailored for optimal egg production and hen health, including essential vitamins such as A and D, iron, selenium, lysine and omega-3 that support egg strength. A balance of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium supports bone health while stimulating egg production; all achieved through sorghum, soybean meal, canola or sunflower meal wheat amongst other nutritious components.
Young chicks (known as chicks ) require starter feed with 20-24% protein to establish strong foundations for future health and growth.
Starter feed comes in three forms – mash, crumble or pellets – without altering its nutritional value; however pellet form allows less waste from spillage while providing easier consumption for younger chicks.
After 6-8 weeks, chicks should be switched over to grower feed containing vitamins and minerals to aid their transition into productive laying-age hens. Grower feed also ensures laying hens receive optimal amounts of calcium by including shell-strengthening nutrients specifically tailored for egg production. At this time, male and female chicks must also be separated so as to prevent interbreeding and ensure healthy sexual development – female chicks are known as pullets while cockerels represent male chicks respectively.
Adult chickens require feed containing vitamins and minerals to promote egg production while supporting hen health, so Country Companion’s Layer Pellet is ideal for this age group and helps reduce waste.
Each breed of chicken develops at its own rate, so it’s essential that you monitor and provide a diet tailored specifically to their needs. Hens are omnivorous animals who like eating everything from garden and kitchen scraps, fresh fruit and vegetables, bread and even insects!
Supplement their diet with grit, which provides calcium essential to egg formation. A healthy laying hen requires about one pound of feed every week for optimal performance.
Medicated feeds are designed to protect chickens from disease. Containing antibiotics and other medications, they serve as preventative measures against diseases like coccidiosis. If you plan to raise chickens for eggs or meat production, medicated feed is highly recommended.
Specialty feed additives are expected to experience significant growth driven by increasing demands to improve gut health & digestive performance, mycotoxin management and palatability enhancement. Palatability Enhancement products are projected to experience the fastest expansion due to their advantages for higher feed intake and enhanced capacity for nutrient absorption.
Country Companion’s Layer Pellets are specially formulated to support layers from 16 weeks old onwards throughout their productive lives, offering reduced waste and easier clean-up than crumble feed. Pelleted form helps minimize waste while offering easier cleanup than crumble feed; additionally it contains vitamins and minerals for egg production and health, marigold extract as a natural preventative against coccidialisis, small cylindrical-like grains that chickens love as snacks, making this feed ideal as either primary menu item or supplement feed option.