Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers


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Percent protein in three types of chicken feed

Commercial chicken feedThe first thing to understand when you begin to formulate your own chicken feed is that there are different types of feed out there.  Basically, chickens of different ages or types need a different ratio of protein and calcium in their diets.  Here are the top three types of chicken feed:

  • Starter.  The starter ration you buy in the store is a high protein diet (usually 18 - 20%) that gives your chicks a jump start on life.  Feed this to young chicks for their first six weeks.
  • Grower.  When raising chickens for meat, you should feed slightly different amounts of protein as the chickens age.  After six weeks, lower the protein to 17%, and then lower it again at 15 weeks to 14%.  Of course, you can keep feeding the starter ration to your birds, but it costs more to feed the high protein diet, and your chickens may get fat.
  • Layer.  The layer ration is for adult, egg-laying hens.  These girls can get slightly lower proportions of protein than chicks (usually 16 or 17%) but will need calcium added to their diets to replace the nutrients used up while making egg shells.

Of course, different breeds of chickens also need slightly different formulas.  In addition, time of year can make a big difference --- many sources recommend feeding more carbohydrates (mostly corn) in the winter to give your chickens the energy to stay warm.

Stay tuned for homemade chicken feed recipes.  Until then, check out our poop-free chicken waterer, because copious, clean water is essential to your chickens' health!


This post is part of our Homemade Chicken Feed series.  Read all of the entries:


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