How Much Chicken Feed Per Day?
It depends on chicken breed, age, weight, types of chicken and poultry, weather condition, feeding system, and management system of poultry. It is a common question of poultry or chicken producer on How Much Chicken Feed Per Day. How Much Chicken Feed Per Day is broadly calculated underfeeding programs in commercial poultry.
Every chicken takes feed from day-old until marketing continues under a feeding program that is specific to specific. Every chicken and commercial species have been followed limited feeding programs or schedule at a definite time. Now, we discussed various feeding programs of differents species and measures How Much Chicken Feed Per Day on a particular breed.
- Broiler chicks – fed ad libitum for 42 to 56 d to an average weight of 4 to 5 lb.
- Feed represents 60 to 75% of the total production cost. Fed conversion – about 1.5-2.0
- Use a 3-stage feeding program (starter, grower, and finisher) – The starter for the first 2 to 3 wk, the grower for about 2 wk, and the finisher for the remainder.
2. Replacement Pullets
A) Generally divided into three stages:
- 1) Starter with 18-20% CP & about 3,000 kcal ME/kg from 0 to 6 wk of age.
- 2) Grower with 14-16% CP & about 3,000 kcal ME/kg from 6 to 12 wk of age.
- 3) Developer with 12 to 14% CP & about 3,000 kcal ME/kg from 12 wk of age until lay (approximately 20 wks).
B) Leghorn-type pullets
Seldom fed restrictedly during the growing period because feed intake & sexual maturity can be controlled by varying lighting during 6 to 20 wk of age.
C) Heavy breeds
Tend to deposit excess body fat, thus common to restrict feed:
- Feed daily a controlled amount of a well-balanced diet. Requires adequate feeder space and rapid even distribution of the diet.
- A skip-a-day feeding program. Adequate feeder and water space may produce a more uniform flock.
D. When pullets start producing eggs, their feed intake should increase. Sometimes, necessary to reduce the energy density at 18 to 19 wk of age to increase feed intake.
E. Laying about five eggs per 1000 birds, the birds should be placed on a pre-lay program, in which the diet contains about 2% or more Ca.
F. 5% egg production? – Should be placed on a regular layer feed program.
3. Laying Hens
A) Higher concentrations of vitamins (A, D, E, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, and B12) and Mn & Zn would be required if eggs are to be used for hatching.
B) White Leghorn – Need about 18 g of protein/bird/d to support optimum egg production, thus with a 15% CP diet, must consume ≈ 25 to 26 lb of feed/100 birds/day.
C) Met – The first limiting amino acid and economical to use synthetic Met & its analogs
D) Ca, P, and Vitamin D – Important for eggshell formation?
- Ca requirement – Varies with the age, ambient temperature, rate of lay, and egg size, but a general recommendation is 3.4 g Ca/d & 3.8 g Ca/d after 40 wk of age.
- 2) P? – 0.3 to 0.4% available P, which is equivalent to about 0.5 to 0.6% total P.
- 3) Adequate vitamin D3 is a must.
E) Grits – Can improve feed efficiency slightly, but not when finely ground feeds are fed. Can be fed in special feeders every 3 wk, mixed in a complete feed at 0.25% of the diet, or sprinkled on top of the feed at a rate of 5 lb per 1,000 hens every week.
F. Phase feeding – To reduce the waste of nutrients caused by feeding more than necessary:
- 1) Pullets coming into egg production – 17 to 19% CP and reduce to 15 to 16% after 3 to 4 mo of lay, or when the pullet has attained the adult weight.
- 2) Feed intake decreases as the temperature increases above 85 to 90̊F, thus may be necessary to increase CP to 18 or 20% when the temperature exceeds 100̊F for an extended period of time.
G) Challenge the flock to lay more eggs?
- 1) Young pullet flocks may respond to additional feed when their production seems to be reaching a plateau.
- 2) “Challenge” the flock with about 2 more pounds of feed per 100 birds. If the flock does not respond by the 4th day, return to the amount fed prior to the challenge. Can be repeated as often as necessary depending on the flock response.
H. Peaked in egg production & begun a gradual decline in lay?
- 1) Sometimes, will produce more efficiently on less feed
2) Passed peak & showing a normal decrease (4 to 6%)?
- a) Reducing the daily feed by ½ lb/100 birds for a period of 3-4 days. If results in an abnormal drop in egg production, return immediately to the prior feeding
- b) As production continues to decline normally, this may be repeated as often as necessary depending on flock response.
Animal Nutrition Handbook, page 410