Poultry Feed - Poultry Feed Manufacturers
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Poultry feed is food for farm poultry, including chickens, ducks, geese and other domestic birds. Before the twentieth century, poultry were mostly kept in general field living on much of their feed, eating insects, grains spilled by cattle and horses and the plant around the field. This was often supplemented by grain, household scraps, oyster shells as calcium supplements, and garden waste. Charles Darwin discovered the mode of poultry feed different from their ancestor`s ancestor. As farming became more specialized, many farms started keeping flocks too large to be fed in this way, and nutritionally complete poultry feed was developed. Modern feeds for poultry consists largely of grains, protein supplements such as soybean oil meal, mineral supplements, and vitamin supplements. The quantity of feed, and the nutritional requirements of the feed, depends on their weight and age of the poultry, their rate of growth, their rate of egg production, the weather which require higher energy expenditure, and the amount of nutrition the poultry obtain from foraging. This results in a wide variety of feed formulations. The substitution of less expensive local ingredients introduces additional variations.

Healthy poultry require a sufficient amount of protein and carbohydrates, along with the necessary vitamins, dietary minerals, and an adequate supply of water. Certain diets also require the use of grit, tiny rocks such as

pieces of granite, in the feed. Grit aids in digestion by grinding food as it passes through the gizzard. Grit is not needed for the commercial feed. In terms of cost, feed is the most important input for poultry production, and the availability of low-priced, high-quality feeds is critical for the expansion of the poultry industry. In developing countries, the increasing cost and decreasing supply of traditional feed stuffs are expected to constrain the future expansion of poultry production. This situation highlights the urgent need to improve utilization of the wide range of alternative feed stuffs available in these countries. In many circumstances, feed resources are either unused and wasted, or used inefficiently.

The use of most alternative feed stuffs is currently negligible, owing to constraints imposed by nutritional, technical and sociology-economic factors. However, unlike intensive commercial poultry production systems, family poultry units and semi-commercial systems are well-suited to the inclusion of these feed stuffs. A major nutritional problem in developing countries is the biological and chemical contamination of poultry feeds, which may have serious consequences on bird performance and the safety of poultry products for humans. Of the potential contaminants, mycotoxins are the most widespread, particularly in hot, humid conditions, and mycotoxin decontamination must be a part of feeding strategies.

When raising birds in a pasture-based model, it is important to keep in mind that the digestive system of the chicken is geared towards the digestion of insects, seeds, and grain rather than the digestion of forage, and they will still need concentrate feed rations to produce well. However, chickens can make some use of high-quality forages, particularly legumes. Ladino clover was recommended forage in the 30's and 40’s when grazing poultry were more common. Sudan grass was used for summer grazing, oats and wheat were used in the winter, and alfalfa provided perennial legume pasture. Although feed requirements can be reduced by allowing access to range and the accompanying insects, benefits of ranging poultry may lie more in marketing and animal welfare rather than in the feeding.


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