Feeding mash to chickens provides them with all of the nutrition needed for egg production, providing energy, protein and calcium needed by laying hens to produce eggs in healthy quantities.
Combine with hot water to form a porridge-like consistency – perfect for bantam breeds and other smaller chickens who have difficulty with eating pelleted feed.
Laying mash is specially-formulated feed designed to give laying chickens the nutrients they need to produce more eggs, including more protein and calcium than scratch feed and ingredients that assist their bodies with digesting the eggs she produces.
The mash contains ground grains, proteins (such as fish or bone meal) and legumes such as alfalfa. Additionally, supplemental vitamins and minerals may also be included. It can be fed dry or moistened, and crushed into smaller chunks for pelleting; pellets tend to be easier for hens to consume than mash due to being made up of both whole and rolled grains.
Research has demonstrated that pellet diets improve laying rate and feed efficiency compared to mash diets for hens. Pellet diets also tend to increase starch digestibility and intestinal glucose uptake; however, feeding these can negatively alter the layers in small intestines.
Chickens require various nutrients in order to lay healthy eggs. They need proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins and calcium in order to grow properly and lay eggs consistently.
A popular method for producing chicken food is grinding whole grains into a powder and mixing it with protein meal and health supplements to form what’s known as “mash feed”, used to feed both baby chicks and adult chickens of various sizes. Unfortunately, however, it produces lots of feed dust which clings onto hens and may cause respiratory issues.
Pelled chicken feeds provide another type of convenient, compact feed option without the need for a pellet grinder or any additional machinery. Pellets also reduce waste created during feeding by eliminating pecking through mash to find their favorite pieces resulting in less wastage and providing a healthier diet overall.
If your hens are currently eating laying mash, switching them over to pellet feed may help decrease food waste and save on feeding costs. Pellets are compact cylinders that remain intact over time and do not disperse like crumble feeds can. Plus, pellets are easily stored and served up.
Most varieties of laying mash consist of ground corn, soybean meal, poultry mineral mix and ground calcium to provide the balance of essential nutrients that hens require for egg production.
Hens require enough calcium, protein and minerals for healthy bones and bodily processes. They cannot obtain all these extra vitamins and minerals through scratch feed alone, so laying mash is often the better choice for your flock. When shopping for this type of feed, look for options with at least 20% protein to ensure your hens produce healthy eggs with large sizes.
Quality laying mash feed should contain 16% protein and high calcium to promote egg production. This meal typically combines cracked grains and pelletized or crumbled meat meal for optimal body development and egg production.
Home-mixing feed can often be found at farm stores, with its lower cost making it appealing for small flock owners. However, due to possible contamination with old food or even waste from rooster droppings, proper storage must be observed.
Pelled mash feed uses steam and pressure to compress a mash mix into long, thin tubular pellets that require less water for consumption, are easier for chickens to chew, digest, and manage than solid forms; however, its drawback lies in creating too much feed dust which they cannot consume.