What do chickens eat?

Every poultry farmer, both beginner and experienced, should know how and what to feed chickens correctly to obtain high egg laying rates and soft and juicy meat. Unbalanced nutrition or lack of it causes deficiency of vitamins and minerals in poultry, which leads to diseases of individuals, their exhaustion and a drop in egg laying performance. No matter what the purpose of the poultry farmer's breeding: meat or eggs, the health and productivity of the animal should always be in the foreground.

Can chickens be fed grapes and grape leaves?

Grape berries and leaves contain many useful substances, including vitamins, especially retinol, ascorbic acid, nicotinic acid and B vitamins. All of them are necessary for chickens for normal development and vitality of their body. There are mineral elements in grapes, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, cobalt and many others. Each of them has a positive effect on the functioning of the chicken body and is vital for it.

Therefore, it is possible and even necessary to give chickens grapes leaves and berries. But everything should be in moderation, too much to feed them, especially berries. This is due to the fact that grape seeds contain hydrocyanic acid, which is extremely poisonous to birds and animals. It can happen so that, accidentally eating grapes, the chickens will be poisoned and die.

That is why if we give chickens grapes just a little bit (a few pieces at a time, no more, and it is desirable to remove seeds from them), and until they get used to new food to watch that one of the birds did not have digestive disorders. If it happens, grape fruits should be excluded from the diet of domestic hens for some time. Leaves should be fresh, it’s better not to give them whole, but cut them into small pieces and add to wet mash with other greens or juicy feeds.

Remember that birds should not be given wild (maiden) grapes, which are used for landscaping, as their leaves and berries are inedible.

Can chickens eat bananas?

It is useful to give banana skins to laying hens. Such waste is a valuable feed additive. They contain calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, manganese, proteins. These substances are necessary for hens to increase egg production and improve the taste of eggs.

In addition, the rind contains components with antibacterial and antiparasitic properties. Thus, the product is a prevention of infectious and helminthic diseases.

Banana skins are fed to chickens whole or crushed and added to wet mixtures. It is recommended to boil them beforehand and soak them in hot water for 5 minutes.

Banana peels can also be prepared for poultry for the winter. The fruit rind is dried, crushed and mixed with mash before feeding.

Plant waste can be added to the diet of adult chickens 2 times a week. The rate per head is 20 g. Experts consider it possible to add 100 g / kg of sun-dried banana peels to broiler diets.

The pulp of the fruit can be given to hens in small quantities. The overripe fruit is fed pure or added to wet mixtures. Do not feed pulp frequently, as it may provoke stool disorders.

Adding enzymes allows the use of banana peel meal up to 340 g. In addition, the effect of replacing 15, 30 or 45% yellow corn with dried banana peel had no detrimental effect on growth, carcass characteristics and hematological parameters.

Can chickens eat apples?

Apples can and should be given to laying hens, they are very useful for laying hens because they contain so many useful components. They include vitamins such as C, A, E, K, B4, B9. Also rich in minerals: potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, fluoride, iron.

To avoid clogging the bird’s stomach, causing cramps and indigestion, it is necessary not to go overboard with the amount of this fruit. Apples are considered both a healthy food and a dangerous food if not fed to birds correctly.

Feeding chickens rotten apples is also not recommended. They have high levels of putrefactive bacteria that are dangerous to the health of chickens. It is also worth remembering about cyanide, which is a part of apple seeds. It is not terrible if the hens eat the seeds. It’s not if they eat too many. Improper nutrition can harm even if the hens live in a cage and their movements are very limited.

You can give apples to laying hens by adding them to the mash. Since apples can spoil quickly, you should not leave uneaten mash in the mash for too long. If the birds have not eaten the apple mash for 5 hours, it should be removed. The fruit content in the mash is less than 10% of the volume.

In order not to spoil birds’ digestion and not to transfer fruit in vain, it is advisable to give apples once a week at the rate of 1 fruit per 3 birds. This way there will be no overeating. The best option is still fresh apples without pips and with the peel cut off. It is recommended to give chickens the cake that remained after fruit processing.

Another option of feeding chickens with apples is apple puree and baked apples. Apples should be added to the feed and mash in shredded form.

Can chickens eat tomatoes?

Ripe tomatoes can be given a little, but green ones should not be given at all! They contain a very harmful substance for chickens – solanine. Chickens die from it! Heat treatment does not help in this case either. This poison remains in the greens even after boiling or drying. This also applies to green leaves.

Ripened fruits of the Solanaceae family – tomatoes and eggplants – in small quantities can be introduced into the diet of chickens. But an excess of these vegetables can lead to digestive problems in poultry.

It is strictly forbidden to feed poultry leaves, stems and green fruits of tomatoes. All solanaceous fruits contain poison, a harmful substance for chickens – solanine. Heat treatment does not help in this case. The haulm contains 0.25% of it. For chickens, even the minimum amount is toxic.

This poison is preserved in greens and after cooking or drying. This organic compound destroys red blood cells and depresses the nervous system, leading to dehydration, seizures, death.

Can chickens be given milk and dairy products?

It is not recommended to give fresh milk to chickens. It contains lactose, which the bird cannot digest. The product is very likely to cause diarrhea in the hens.

But sour milk products, on the contrary, are very useful for chickens. It must be introduced into the diet during the period of molting and reduction of egg production.

Sour milk, kefir, cottage cheese, sour milk and yogurt contain easily digestible protein which is necessary for birds during feather renewal. In addition, fermented milk is very good for digestion. It helps to digest food better and contains probiotics, which not only normalize the intestines, but also strengthen the immune system.

Milk whey or sour milk can be used to make your hens’ mash. In autumn, the birds are easier to molt and do not stop laying completely. Some poultry farmers also practice adding dried milk to the feed. It is good for chickens, but in small quantities.

Powdered milk should be given in winter no more than twice a week at the rate of 1 tsp. per bird. Add the powder directly to the mash and mix well before giving it.

Can chickens eat fish and in what form?

It is possible and necessary to feed chickens with fish. Fish for chickens is a source of easily digestible protein, essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins. Thanks to its rich chemical composition, the product allows: to accelerate the growth of chickens, strengthen immunity, improve egg production. It is included in the diet of poultry from 2 to 3 times a week.

It is very useful for pullets during oviposition and for chickens during active growth. Poultry laying is better, the young gain weight faster, increased resistance to diseases in winter. Experienced poultry farmers feed the product boiled, salted or pre-frozen. The best option is to feed the product in boiled form, preferably without bones. If given raw, chicken should be wormed twice a year, in spring and in autumn. It is not recommended to give fresh raw fish because of high risk of helminth infestation.

Can chickens eat strawberries?

Chickens like almost all fruits and berries, which grow in our gardens and orchards.

Feeding hens with strawberries is not forbidden, but everything must be in moderation, not more than 10% of the total volume of chicken feed (mixed fodder) can be given without fear that the hens will get diarrhea or have any allergy.

Excessive consumption of berries is dangerous for chickens because their seeds contain hydrocyanic acid, a fairly strong poison.

Stems, like leaves, are safe for chickens in small quantities.
It is not advised to give broilers strawberries, they are capricious birds and it is better not to risk, stick to special feed.

Can chickens eat celery?

Chickens love to nibble on grass, it is useful, and the diet can be enriched if you give the hens different grass.

Celery can be given. But take into account the fact that you have to do it in small quantities. Celery should not be the main part of the diet, but for appetite you can put some into the troughs and let the hens nibble on it, there’s no harm done. You can also dry some celery and then give it to the chickens, or you can give it fresh.

In general, celery can be introduced into the diet of chickens, the main thing is not to give it a lot, then it will be useful and diversify the diet too.

Can chickens eat bread?

Chickens need foods rich in proteins, fats and carbohydrates for a balanced diet. It is necessary and possible to feed laying hens with bread. It is a complete feed that has a positive effect on their productivity.
Bread contains carbohydrates – a source of energy, amino acids and vitamin “B” complex. Therefore, it is useful for laying hens. Because of the saturation of this product with carbohydrates, it is better to give it in a dried form and in portions.

Introduce this feed to the chicken ration effectively in the cold season, when the birds need energy for heating. It is especially useful together with cereals, vitamin complexes, boiled potatoes, cottage cheese, bran and greens. Stale bread is soaked and added to mixtures or porridges, it can be simply crumbled.

Give preference to white bread, because rye bread is sourer than white bread and spoils more quickly, and it is also less digestible

Bread should be given in dosage, in dried form, preferably together with other food necessary for hens. This is especially true for its rye varieties.
Poor quality product is dangerous for birds, as well as fresh bread.
It is best to feed chickens breadcrumbs, which do not contain spices, additives, oil.

Can chickens eat oranges?

It is not recommended to feed chickens with citrus fruits, neither orange pulp nor the sweeter tangerine pulp. Such food can disrupt the gastrointestinal tract of the birds and lead to irritation of the mucous membranes of the stomach. Moreover, it is not allowed to give hens lemons, limes and grapefruit.

Some poultry farmers dry and grind orange peel, and then add it to the mashka a little at a time. In this form, the powder is useful and can be used, but fresh peels are not used as feed.

Can chickens eat onions?

Onions are a fodder additive to the basic diet of chickens in winter. In summer, it makes no sense to introduce such a supplement, as the birds get everything they need from grass. In the warm season, green onions are given only to chickens. The feathers of the plant contain vitamins and natural antibiotics, which help the youngsters to get stronger faster.

Can chickens eat mushrooms?

For adult broilers and meat breeds, the mushroom component in the diet provides an antioxidant effect, slowing the aging process of the body and improving the taste of meat (great for making jerky in the dryer chamber).

The laying hens have a positive effect on the quality of egg laying and the taste of the eggs.

The best option is considered boiled mushrooms without salt. After boiling the water is poured Mushroom mass is washed under running water, shredded and added to the wet mixture in an amount of 2% of the total weight of the feed.

In dry mixtures can be added crushed dried mushrooms in an amount of 5% of the weight of the entire mash.

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