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Poultry Feeding

A tube feeder
Chickens eat from a tube feeder.

Diets in specialty poultry production are generally free of routine medications and animal by-products. Although ducks, geese, and turkeys generally consume more forage than chickens, poultry with access to pasture still need to have concentrated feeds available to them. In poultry diets, corn and soybeans are commonly used to provide energy and protein, respectively. Feeds may commercially available, custom-mixed or mixed by hand on the farm. Specialty poultry production may involve whole grain feeding, free-choice feeding, and specialty ingredients for finishing, as well as ingredients high in omega-3 fatty acids to enrich meat and eggs. In organic production, 100% organic feeds are used and alternative protein sources are of interest because synthetic amino acids are not generally permitted. In developing countries, by-products such as harvest wastes are especially important for poultry feed. Alternative feeds such as sprouted grains and dairy products are of interest and the role of forage/roughage in poultry diets.

Slow-growing birds are usually fed a lower energy and protein diet than fast-growing birds receive. Nutrient requirements are less understood when poultry have outdoor access because of variation in climates and forages.

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Related Video

Learn how Little Portion Farm in Berryville, AR grinds and mixes their own poultry feed to supply their pastured poultry operation.


Related Link

Organic Livestock Feed Suppliers Database
The database lists suppliers of organic formulated feeds as well as organic ingredients. (Self-listing.)


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This page was last updated on: June 3, 2015