Feed­ing for suc­cess

Your Chickens - - Feature | Chicken Keeping -

When it comes to feed­ing your new chick­ens, stick with what they know ini­tially, says UK poul­try sup­plier Cyril Ba­son (Stoke­say) Ltd…

“By the time you get your new hens home, they will prob­a­bly already have been on a lay­ers’ ra­tion of ei­ther pel­lets or mash. Check with your sup­plier so that you can con­tinue to feed them what they are used to. These layer ra­tions are es­pe­cially for­mu­lated to pro­vide all the vi­ta­mins and min­er­als nec­es­sary to help birds lay eggs. It is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to stick quite rigidly to this lay­ers’ ra­tion un­til the birds be­come well es­tab­lished in lay.

“It is tempt­ing to feed new pets treats, such as scraps or whole corn, but these can fill up the birds with­out pro­vid­ing the right levels of min­er­als. This can de­lay the start of egg pro­duc­tion, so stick to lay­ers’ feed un­til they are lay­ing well. Lay­ers’ ra­tion should be avail­able ad-lib and must al­ways be kept fresh and dry. Once es­tab­lished in lay, it is fine to give treats in mod­er­a­tion. In fact, hang­ing let­tuces or other sim­i­lar veg­eta­bles for your birds to peck at will help to keep them en­ter­tained as well as pro­vide ad­di­tional nu­tri­tion. This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant if your birds have a re­stricted area in which they can scratch and peck around.

Your birds should also have free and easy ac­cess to clean fresh wa­ter at all times.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.cyril-ba­son.co.uk.

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