Feeding of Chicken

 

Feeding of Chicks 

 

Average feed consumption by layer type chicks

 

Age in weeks

Feed consumed g/bird/day.

1

6.5

2

13.0

3

17.0

4

24

5

32

6

37

7

40

8

49

The feed may be given for the first 2 or 3 days on paper spread under the hover or on filler flats or in small box lids. Thereafter, chick-size feeders can be used. This can be bought or made out of split bamboo. The feeder space requirement for chicks upto 2 weeks is 2.5 cm/chick and 4-5 cm/chick from 3 weeks. If hanging feeders are used, allow 3 hanging feeders each 36cm in diameter with 12 Kg capacity for 100 chicks. The feeders should be filled to the brim for the first 2 days; thereafter it should be filled only to 2/3 full and never to the brim.

Chick ration

Ingredients

Percent

Yellow maize

40

Rice polish

16

Wheat bran

10

Soyabean meal

10

Groundnut oil cake

8

Gingelly oil cake

5

Dried fish

9

Mineral mixture

1.75

Salt

0.25

total

100.00

Clean cold water should be made available to chicks at all time. It is advisable to provide drinking water containing glucose to chicks while placing them in the brooder. Trough-type waterers or fountain type waterers can be made use of. The water space requirement of chicks up to 2 weeks of age is 0.6 cm per chick and from 2 to 7 weeks it is 1.3 cm per chick. If fountain type waterers are used , use 2, five litre waterers for every 100 chicks . Never keep waterers too close to hover as this will heat up the water and reduce water consumption. The feeders and waterers may be placed around the hove evenly, like spokes of a wheel.

From 8 weeks of age, place the birds on a grower feed. The number of feeders has to be increased, so also their height from the floor. The feeder space requirement for growing chicks is 10 cm per bird (considering both sides of the feeder). If tube feeders are used, provide one tube feeder of 25 kg capacity for 50 birds. The level of the mouth of feeder should be in line with the back of the bird or slightly high. Water should be available at all times, the water space requirement being 2-2.5 cm /bird.

Growing chicks

Average feed consumption of egg type birds during growing period

Age in weeks

Feed consumed (g/bird/day)

10

53.0

11

58.0

12

60.0

13

60.0

14

60.0

15

62.0

16

62.0

17

65.0

18

70.0

19

75.0

20

75.0

 

 Feeding and watering

The number of feeders has to be increased, so also their height from the floor. The feeder space requirement for growing chicks is 10 cm per bird (considering both sides of the feeder). If tube feeders are used, provide one tube feeder of 25 kg capacity for 50 birds. The level of the mouth of feeder should be in line with the back of the bird or slightly high. Water should be available at all times, the water space requirement being 2-2.5 cm /bird.

Composition of grower ration

Ingredients

Percentage

Yellow Maize

43

Groundnut cake (expeller)

8

Gingelly oil cake

5

Fish meal/dried unsalted fish

6

Rice polish

16

Wheat bran

20

Salt

0.25

Mineral mixture

1.75

Total

100.00

Layers

 

The feed may be given in linear feed troughs or in hanging feeders. Provide five hanging feeders, each 50 cm in diameter with 20 25 kg capacity for 100 layers. Place the feeders within 3 meters of water. Stir the feed few times a day to promote eating.

Ration of layer mash for chickens

Ingredients

Percentage

Yellow Maize

47

Soyabean meal

12

Gingelly oil cake

4

Groundnut oil cake (expeller)

6

Rice polish

13

Wheat bran

4

Fish meal/dried unsalted fish

6

Dicalcium phosphate

1

Salt

0.25

Mineral mixture

1.75

Shell meal

5

Total

100.00

Water space of 2.5 linear cm per bird should be provided. Increase watering space 25% when temperature goes above 27oC. The feeders in the laying pen must be positioned in such a way that the upper edge is slightly higher than the back of the birds. The feeders should not be filled more than 1/3 full.
Broilers

Provide up to 2 weeks 5 cm and from 3 weeks to finish 10 cm linear feeder space per bird. Raise the level of the feeder as the birds grow. Do not fill the feeder more than half. If tube feeders are used, provide 3 nos. of 12 kg capacity feeders per 100 chicks.

Composition of broiler ration

Ingredient

Percentage inclusion

Starter (0-5 weeks)

Finisher (6-7 weeks)

Yellow Maize

47.00

54.50

Rice polish

8.00

10.00

Soyabean meal

17.50

14.00

Groundnut cake (expeller)

15.00

11.00

Unsalted dried fish

10.00

 8.00

Mineral mixture

2.00

2.00

Salt

0.50

0.50

 

100.00

100.00

For 100 kg of feed add:

 

 

Vitamin A

6,00,000 IU

6,00,000 IU

Vitamin B2

600 mg

600 mg

Vitamin D3

60,000 ICU

60,000 ICU

Coccidiostat

50 g

50 g

Lysine

50 g

50 g

 

Alternatively commercial broiler starter and finisher rations prepared by reputed feed manufacturers can be given.
  • Provide for 100 chicks of 0-2 weeks - 2 x 2 litres capacity waterers.
  • 3 weeks to finish - 2 x 5 litres capacity waterers.
  • Ensure clean fresh water always.
  • Exercise extreme care and attention during the brooding period. If the losses in the first few days exceed 2%, carefully check the brooding management and get the postmortem examination done.
  • Reduce brooder temperature every week by 3oC. When the brooder is removed provide one 40-watt bulb for every 250 broilers during night.
  • To ascertain approximate quantity of feed and water that 100 broilers consume per day, the following formula given will be useful.
    Kg feed per 100 birds - Age in days/4.4
    Litres of water per 100 birds - Age in days/2.0
  • The above formula will give approximate figures under average conditions. Depending on the season of the year, there is likely to be variations in the range of 5-10%.
Backyard poultry

 

A suitable all-purpose premix is suggested below exclusively for the use of backyard poultry. Fairly good egg production can be achieved by providing 50 per cent of daily requirement of feed in the form of balanced feed/commercial feed.

Concentrate mixture for backyard poultry

Ingredients

Premix I (%)

Premix II (%)

Groundnut cake (expeller)

52

60

Gingelly oil cake

20

-

Unsalted dried fish

20

32

Broken rice/wheat/dried tapioca

4

4

Mineral mixture for poultry

4

4

Total

100

100

 
Myco-toxins in feed Chicken show varying degrees of sensitivity to different mycotoxins. Presence of mycotoxins in feed is found to cause depressed growth in chickens, depressed egg production and egg weight in laying hens. It adversely affects fertility and hatchability also. Ducks are more sensitive to mycotoxins than chicken.

The feed ingredients and feed should be free from mycotoxins. Moisture content above 11% leads to mould growth. Spoilage during storage can be avoided by drying, keeping in air tight bins and reducing storage humidity. Screening of feed ingredients and compounded feed may be carried out regularly. Toxin binders and mould inhibitors may be added to feed for safety.
References Kerala Agricultural University. 2001. Package of Practices- Recommendations: Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, Kerala Agricultural University, Trichur. .