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Poultry Diets for Small Flocks

by 5m Editor
1 June 2003, at 12:00am

By B.L. Damron and D.R. Sloan, University of Florida - This article looks at the feed formulations for poultry farmers with small flocks and includes tables for calculating the correct ratio of ingredients.

Poultry Diets for Small Flocks - By B.L. Damron and D.R. Sloan, University of Florida - This article looks at the feed formulations for poultry farmers and includes tables for calculating the correct ratio of ingredients.

The feed formulations in Tables 1a and 1b are designed for the flock owner who may wish to home-mix feeds or have them custom-blended for their birds. They also allow the incorporation of corn from sustainable agriculture or organic programs.

These formulations are based on nutrient requirement recommendations and ingredient nutrient analyses of the National Research Council. (National Research Council, 1994. Nutrient Requirements of Poultry 9th Rev. Ed. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 156 pp.) These diets are designed to be fed in mash form, and they meet all the nutritional needs of the various species of birds. It is not necessary to provide any supplements, such as oyster shell or grit. The feed should not be diluted with scratch feed or other grains.

No duck or turkey breeder feeds are shown because their nutritional requirements are very similar to those of the laying chicken. Therefore, it is recommended that the chicken layer formulation be employed for these birds. A continuous supply of feed and fresh, clean water should be available to the birds at all times.

In order to accommodate different mixing capabilities, formulations with and without vegetable oil (such as peanut or corn oil) used as an energy source are included.

The use of the lower energy diets will result in a somewhat longer growing period and reduced feed efficiency. We also recommend that a feed additive to prevent coccidiosis (caused by a protozoan parasite that invades the walls of the intestine) be added to feeds for starting and growing chickens and turkeys.

Since quail also have a problem with ulcerative enteritis, an inflammation of the intestine sometimes resulting in high mortality, a feed additive to control this condition is also recommended. A small portion of the corn can be removed to accommodate medication addition. As with any medication, directions concerning approved bird age, dosage concentration, duration of feeding, and withdrawal time should be carefully studied and followed.

Supplemental vitamin and trace mineral activities for the microingredient mix are also recommended in the footnotes of each table. For further information on poultry, contact your local county extension agent.

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Source: University of Florida - IFAS Extension - June 2003