Weigh­ing up whether to feed pel­lets or mash to ban­tams

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QI get my new ban­tams — four pure Rhode Is­land Reds — soon and, hav­ing looked at the feed choices in my lo­cal agri­cul­tural store, I can’t de­cide whether to feed pel­lets or mash. I will be feed­ing mixed corn in the af­ter­noons as I have seen this sug­gested in sev­eral books. Can you help?

AJeremy Hob­son says: While pel­lets may be the best op­tion in terms of ease and re­duc­ing wastage, some poul­try keep­ers think that dry mash is a bet­ter form of feed. Be­cause birds can con­sume their en­tire day’s ra­tion of pel­lets very quickly, they soon be­come bored, es­pe­cially in win­ter when there is not so much to peck at out­doors. It takes hens a lot longer to eat the equiv­a­lent amount of mash. I’m glad that you are in­tend­ing to feed a man­u­fac­tured com­pound feed as well as mixed corn. Pel­lets and mash con­tain equal amount of nu­tri­ents and es­sen­tial vi­ta­mins to sup­port body func­tions, en­zymes to im­prove feed uti­liza­tion, or­ganic acids to pro­mote growth, bac­te­rial re­sis­tance and gen­eral bird health and, should you be think­ing of breed­ing from your birds at a later stage, trace el­e­ments to im­prove fertility and fatty acids to in­crease chick vi­a­bil­ity and bird de­vel­op­ment.

Feed­ing pel­lets can be the best op­tion in terms of ease and re­duc­ing wastage

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