As someone raising chickens, you may be trying to determine the appropriate form of poultry feed for your flock. There are two main formats – pellets and crumbles.
While both pellets and crumbles offer similar nutrition, there are distinct differences between the two options. Whatever choice you make for your flock, make sure they receive shell grit as it allows their food to grind up easier in their gizzards for maximum absorption of more essential vitamins and minerals.
It’s a coarser variety of mash
Though pellets and crumbles both offer similar nutritional qualities, each type possesses unique attributes. While pellets consist of small solid chunks of chicken feed, crumbles are smaller pieces broken up so as to be easier for young chickens to consume.
A mash is a combination of unprocessed grains that provides chickens with all the protein, fats, vitamins and minerals they require for survival. Chooks find it easy to digest this diet while it helps them generate heat to help create warmth in their environment. Furthermore, its longevity makes it ideal for long-term storage compared to processed rations.
Mashes may be more challenging for older chickens to consume than crumbles, which can be easily picked up with beaks. Furthermore, their coarser texture causes more mess. Still, mash can make an excellent option for flocks that like foraging for their food; studies have proven it produces greater weight gain and FCR results than crumble-pellet diets but is not as efficient.
It’s easier to manage than pellets
Chicken feed typically comes in the form of pellets or crumbles; both options offer great nutrition to your flock, with each offering different advantages and disadvantages. Pellets tend to be preferred since they offer consistent nutrition in every bite with minimal waste produced. But crumbles also work, with chickens often preferring their texture over pellets.
Crumble feed can be an ideal way to begin feeding young chicks (formulated as starter/grower feed) or small birds who struggle with swallowing large pellet pieces. Made from the same ingredients as pellets but crushed into more manageable chunks, crumble feed often is mixed in with pelleted feed in order to ease chicks into this new feeding regime.
Once your chickens are old enough to produce eggs, it’s important to switch their feed from crumble feed to layer pellet or crumble feed, which has been specially developed to support healthy hens during egg production and contain higher protein levels to ensure top egg quality.
It’s a good transition from mash to pellets
Country Heritage Chicken Layer 16% Crumble Feed, 50# is designed to provide your hens with the optimal balance of protein for egg production, while providing essential vitamins and minerals essential to their health such as marigold extract and optimized levels of Vitamin E.
Chicken pellets and crumble feed are made with similar ingredients, yet processed differently. Pellets are small solid chunks while crumble is more easily eaten by your chickens. In general, your birds won’t discriminate between the textures – either will eat any kind of feed without issue!
If your flock has become accustomed to eating starter/grower crumbles, you can gradually transition them over to a formulated laying feed by moistening the powder with yogurt, applesauce or water to help ease them into their new texture and avoid stomachache. Once they reach full laying age, pellets offer greater convenience and better nutrition.
It contains shell grit
As a first-time chicken owner, you may not yet realize the significance of shell grit to your flock. It serves two key functions: providing calcium to strengthen egg shells while strengthening their digestive systems. There are different varieties of grit available at feed stores but it’s essential that you find one suitable to your birds and provide it in separate containers to avoid it being mixed in with feed.
Grit should consist of insoluble stone such as granite or flint and can usually be purchased at your feed store or online. While chicks do not need access to grit, once snacks or layer feed are introduced it’s important to make sure they have access to some. Grit helps them consume their food more easily which in turn promotes faster growth rates and healthier hens.