F or optimal productivity and health of your chickens it is very important to know the minimal amount of daily nutritional needs. Although there are some general rules that you should follow, these needs are different with every other breed of the chicken and depend of the purpose your chickens are raised. For example laying hens also has higher protein requirement and a lot of calcium as much of it goes straight to eggs. In every other breed high level of calcium can cause just damage. As well as with other spices these requirements depend also of the age of our chickens and general conditions.
Although all of the nutritional requirements can be satisfied by the commercial mixed feed from local store, it is always more healthy to combine fresh and pure ingrediance when feeding your chickens. Balanced diet within the chickens should contain 16-17% of proteins, up to 80% of carbohydrates, around 3% of Calcium and of course plenty of vitamins and minerals.
And where these nutritional elements could be found?
The biggest percentage of proteins could be found in earthworms, but also in a few more plants such as Alfalfa (Lucerne), duckweed, comfrey and even wheat. Carbohydrates can be provided from all types of grains: wheat, rice, oats and other vegetable seeds. They are very important as they give the energy to your chicken. All mention feed, especially herbs and vegetables from your garden are full with minerals and vitamins that are obligatory for your chicken’s health and development.
At the end, the need for calcium can be satisfied in two different ways. The first one is by consuming green leafy vegetables and herbs such as cabbage or chamomile, dandelion etc. or sunflower and sesame seeds. The other way, which is usually recommended when raising laying hens, is to recycle egg shells, by drying and crushing them.
However, rule number one when serving the meals to your chickens is to take care that all of the food is fresh and clean. Without it, all of the mentioned in this article won’t have much of the effect.